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So long Internet... it was nice knowing you


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#61 drdredel

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 04:41 PM

View PostBanty, on 26 April 2014 - 07:50 AM, said:

Who gets to put all that fiber into the ground, and how do they get paid for that, and who maintains that?

Bandwidth can be thought of as a flow or current and it is not limitless, but it can be metered.

Whoever wants to benefit from charging people for bandwidth gets to put it in the ground (Comcast in my example). The problem, as has been noted isn't just the "putting things in the ground" but the "last mile" and the "last 100 yards" which is to say there is already a ton of high capacity cable (frequently fiber) that's in the earth and the effort is to actually get it to your living room.

The money to be made from this effort is pretty massive, and there are many players perfectly positioned to do said work, but this FCC decision de-incentivizes the relevant players because it gives them an avenue towards making the same money from simply raising fees on existing capacity rather than increasing capacity.

However, the whole point of my analogy is that "bandwidth" is very much UNLIKE electricity in one crucial way... There's a finite amount of electricity to begin with. Someone has to actually produce that electricity and said production is an expensive undertaking with fixed costs that need to be made up somehow. So yes, the *distribution of electricity is similar to the distribution of data in that there's a limit on how much you can squeeze through the pipe of both. But the point is that while PG&E has to pay $X for each megawatt it generates, Comcast pays exactly nothing for the data it sends, regardless of how much of it it sends.

And therein lies my point. Netflix gives Comcast data to transmit to my home - for free. That's the nature of the internet. Comcast *can be a dumb pipe that just charges me for data (that's exactly what they do now). I'm in no way opposed to *how they charge me for that data, so long as someone (the government?) requires that they offer me enough data to read the news and send emails for some very low rate (think of it as basic phone service). Beyond that they should charge whatever the market will bear for the kind of data volumes necessary to watch hiDef video streams. But none of this should be charged back to the providers - not because it's "unfair" to said providers, but because it is will be hugely damaging to innovation.

I'm currently involved in a start-up that does video conferencing. We have several competitors that are also in various stages of nascency. The big fish that we're ultimately competing with (not directly, but we're definitely swimming in their pond) are Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple's Face Time.

If Comcast has the right to come to us and demand that we pay them some massive surcharge for the privilege of sending our video streams through their pipes (and then Verizon and AT&T and every other provider comes along and sticks their hand out) we're doomed. Google and Apple and (possibly - though not necessarily) Skype will be the only video conferencing providers left standing in such a scheme. And as I say, my personal financial fortunes are directly tied to this decision precisely for this reason.

And the prospect that Comcast will develop an *exclusive relationship with Apple and simply refuse to transmit any video data not originating from a white list of Apple's IPs is *also out there (though I suspect less likely given that that would almost certainly awaken the public to the terribleness of this legislation and force a change).
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#62 AnBr

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 06:02 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 April 2014 - 04:41 PM, said:

Whoever wants to benefit from charging people for bandwidth gets to put it in the ground (Comcast in my example). The problem, as has been noted isn't just the "putting things in the ground" but the "last mile" and the "last 100 yards" which is to say there is already a ton of high capacity cable (frequently fiber) that's in the earth and the effort is to actually get it to your living room.

Exactly. The expensive part has already been done. It is a matter of putting too many end users on their nodes. They should have been adding nodes as their customer base grew. Cable companies have for years oversubscribed their nodes, even before streaming caught on. As I had noted earlier, it does not take a lot of bandwidth for streaming. The ISPs here have been doling out tiny, incremental increases in speed, milking it for all they can for all and as high as they can as the rest of the world has surpassed us in both speed and lower prices. And though I have not seen any numbers on it and it has been years since I have seen a live instance of Polaris, so I don't know if VOIP usage has dropped, but I suspect that it has with many people opting for just cell phone only. This would be some bandwidth being freed up.

On the surface it seems like a reasonable request, but the circumstances do not bear it out. If it was only to make the high bandwidth users pay more, the current tiering subscription scheme already makes them pay more. If you need to throttle that back even more, add a variable monthly bandwidth cap to the subscription schemes, as many ISPs already do. Given how Comcast has pushed the hardest and just as they are about to get their way, they have gone on a buying spree of media companies and ISPs. As they say, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck. This smells very strongly of corporate manipulation of a governmental agency for monopolistic goals.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#63 Sinan

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:17 PM

ISPs don't own the last mile, they milk it. Just to give you some data, my client in NM wanted to replace the copper plant I just installed with FTTH for just 6,000 homes. The budget was 20,000,000. They stopped when the costs went over and they only got to around 4,000 homes. This stuff is expensive.
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#64 J-CA

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:54 PM

DrDredel, your electricity analogy is confused again, in the real world distribution and generation have a complex and heavily regulated relationship and even inside companies that do both the accounting is always separate and they still have to interconnect with others.

View Postdrdredel, on 26 April 2014 - 04:41 PM, said:

..though I suspect less likely given that that would almost certainly awaken the public to the terribleness of this legislation and force a change..
That's right, but your teleconferencing/telepresence start up is screwed if it get discriminated against because not nearly enough people are going to care about it. Of course, therein lies an opportunity for Netflix where they use their Comcast traffic access as a generic CDN service at reasonable rates!
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#65 AnBr

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 10:47 PM

FTTN is considerably cheaper given that most of the systems are HFC, so much of the coax is in place. Yes, it would be nice to have a 100% fiber system, but adding more nodes to service the same number of houses would go a long way to easing traffic. They can do what they are currently doing of charging an arm and a leg for fiber to the curb.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#66 drdredel

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:37 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 26 April 2014 - 09:54 PM, said:

DrDredel, your electricity analogy is confused again, in the real world distribution and generation have a complex and heavily regulated relationship and even inside companies that do both the accounting is always separate and they still have to interconnect with others.

I'm not sure what you're describing here. My electricity analogy isn't confused because my point is a content agnostic one. The internet is almost entirely content agnostic, except for the very very VERY small sector which deals with copyrighted materials which are distributed based on some sort of licensing deal. But you can count the number of said deals on (just about) one set of human digits. The vast *vast majority of the content on the internet is accessed without any special privilege and Comcast pays nothing for it (who would they pay?). So... in my analogy this content is acquired for free by Comcast (technically it's not actually acquired by Comcast, as you understand, it's simply relayed like all internet content from some server to some client) whereas the electricity provided by PG&E is generated somewhere by someone at huge expense. How is this analogy confused?

Quote

That's right, but your teleconferencing/telepresence start up is screwed if it get discriminated against because not nearly enough people are going to care about it. Of course, therein lies an opportunity for Netflix where they use their Comcast traffic access as a generic CDN service at reasonable rates!

And here you appear to be just arguing my point. I don't want to make deals with Netflix. I want my company's offerings to travel on the same opened and unfettered internet that we've all enjoyed for 20(ish) years. I think that's an entirely rational desire. Further it's the model that actually serves the larger community's greater good, as opposed to this new model which is only good for a small number of corporations.
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#67 Sinan

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:00 AM

View PostAnBr, on 26 April 2014 - 10:47 PM, said:

FTTN is considerably cheaper given that most of the systems are HFC, so much of the coax is in place. Yes, it would be nice to have a 100% fiber system, but adding more nodes to service the same number of houses would go a long way to easing traffic. They can do what they are currently doing of charging an arm and a leg for fiber to the curb.

Yes but HFC plant is only present if you have a cable company and cable companies only invest when they have a franchise and franchises only make sense when you have high densities which means rural America is out. There are very, very few MSO's in rural America. The few that exist are small mom and pops with terrible networks. Also, HFC is a shared medium and the bandwidth is very oversubscribed. The best solution is fiber and all it takes is money and the desire to actually invest in our networks by everyone. Once you get fiber to the home, you are future proofing the largest piece of the investment. Then all you have to do is change the end points and you can keep up with bandwidth demands. Today backbone transport is at best 10 Gige from access nodes. Pretty soon it will be bonded 10 Gige, then 100gige then terabit Gige...it never stops.
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Kenneth Boulding

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Willie Nelson and Colbert

#68 Traveler

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:10 AM

Hey guys, for us nonspecialists, HTC? Google gives me FTTN.
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#69 AnBr

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:00 PM

View PostSinan, on 27 April 2014 - 09:00 AM, said:

Yes but HFC plant is only present if you have a cable company and cable companies only invest when they have a franchise and franchises only make sense when you have high densities which means rural America is out. There are very, very few MSO's in rural America. The few that exist are small mom and pops with terrible networks. Also, HFC is a shared medium and the bandwidth is very oversubscribed. The best solution is fiber and all it takes is money and the desire to actually invest in our networks by everyone. Once you get fiber to the home, you are future proofing the largest piece of the investment. Then all you have to do is change the end points and you can keep up with bandwidth demands. Today backbone transport is at best 10 Gige from access nodes. Pretty soon it will be bonded 10 Gige, then 100gige then terabit Gige...it never stops.

Oh, I agree with you that all fiber is the way to go for future proofing, but I'm thinking about the reality of what we have now. The point is that we already have Tiering and many ISPs include a cap in the tiering plans. People who use more bandwidth are already paying more. If it is not enough, they need to restructure their packages. This plan is a pathway to a monopoly.

View PostTraveler, on 27 April 2014 - 09:10 AM, said:

Hey guys, for us nonspecialists, HTC? Google gives me FTTN.

You mean HFC?
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#70 J-CA

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:50 PM

DrDredel, I argue your point because I support your position, I do not support the eye-roll-inducing job you are doing of supporting it.

Your tortured logic about acquiring or relaying content is a symptom of how confused your case is about the whole thing. These companies are in the distribution business, the act of distributing something to someone that wants or needs it adds value, they take a cut of that added value, that is the core economic principle involved. How much the cost of production was of the thing that they are distributing does not matter, it is irrelevant and I have no idea why you are bringing it up or trying to beat it into the shape of being central to your argument in any way.
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#71 dsp

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:16 PM

View Postdrdredel, on 27 April 2014 - 12:37 AM, said:

it's the model that actually serves the larger community's greater good, as opposed to this new model which is only good for a small number of corporations.

Yes, yes, 1000x yes! The simplest insights are often the most important.

The starting point should be the question: which approach best serves the public good?

Instead, people are splitting the hairs over how best to accommodate the needs of Verizon, AT&T and Comcast. God bless America.

drdredel, A+ work ITT.

#72 dsp

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:15 PM

Congress should just declare them all common carriers and let that be end of it. Is even one rational reason they should not do this (other than some very deep corporate pockets are against it)?

#73 dsp

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:47 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 27 April 2014 - 02:50 PM, said:

DrDredel, I argue your point because I support your position, I do not support the eye-roll-inducing job you are doing of supporting it.

Your tortured logic about acquiring or relaying content is a symptom of how confused your case is about the whole thing. These companies are in the distribution business, the act of distributing something to someone that wants or needs it adds value, they take a cut of that added value, that is the core economic principle involved. How much the cost of production was of the thing that they are distributing does not matter, it is irrelevant and I have no idea why you are bringing it up or trying to beat it into the shape of being central to your argument in any way.

Probably my fault, but I'm tracking with DDs points a lot more than I am with yours.

This isn't just about data, infrastructure, distribution and "pipes." Let's not forget that Comcast is a near-monopoly ISP and a content provider. And what content, amazingly, is Comcast restricting access to? Netflix, who just happens to be Comcast's greatest competitor in the content sector. Thus, it sure looks to me like Comcast is using its near-monopoly ISP power to increase the market share for Comcast content.

What are the identifiable benefits a non-neutral net will bring to ordinary people? As far as I can tell, there answer to that question is none.

#74 drdredel

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:13 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 27 April 2014 - 02:50 PM, said:

DrDredel, I argue your point because I support your position, I do not support the eye-roll-inducing job you are doing of supporting it.

Your tortured logic about acquiring or relaying content is a symptom of how confused your case is about the whole thing. These companies are in the distribution business, the act of distributing something to someone that wants or needs it adds value, they take a cut of that added value, that is the core economic principle involved. How much the cost of production was of the thing that they are distributing does not matter, it is irrelevant and I have no idea why you are bringing it up or trying to beat it into the shape of being central to your argument in any way.

There is nothing "tortured" about my logic. I made a totally clear and totally relevant distinction (in response to Banty) about the difference between what Comcast delivers and what PG&E delivers. It is indeed easy to confuse the two but the difference (as I've outlined) is quite clear. If you don't wish to take into account that Comcast pays nothing for what they charge you for, and to ascribe value to said product by dint of them relaying it to you (the logic there is fantastically circular btw) so be it, but the fact remains that cable companies are monopolies and just like Bell before them, they monopolize a critical utility. Now... it's true that many cell companies are on their heals with services that may at some point in the not too distant future actually offer relevant competition on the data delivery front. I don't want to overstate that because cell infrastructure isn't much less expensive or difficult to distribute to remote areas than cable, so, largely the argument remains the same.

I'm glad you agree with me. I'm entirely unclear on what part of my argument you find tortured. I haven't actually disagreed with anything you've said, but I do fail to understand on what points you differ from my point of view. I get the sense (though I'm not entirely clear) that you think I'm short shrifting normal market forces here, but quite to the contrary, I'm adamantly protecting market forces. Monopolies are illegal for precisely this reason.
The Blind have lost their sense of "sight";
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Republicans have lost their sense of "common".

#75 AnBr

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:29 PM

View Postdsp, on 27 April 2014 - 09:47 PM, said:

This isn't just about data, infrastructure, distribution and "pipes." Let's not forget that Comcast is a near-monopoly ISP and a content provider. And what content, amazingly, is Comcast restricting access to? Netflix, who just happens to be Comcast's greatest competitor in the content sector. Thus, it sure looks to me like Comcast is using its near-monopoly ISP power to increase the market share for Comcast content.

But infrastructure is the excuse that they use to justify having the government stack the deck in their favor. You have to look at the validity of that argument first before you can dismiss it. It is not a distraction, but an analysis. My point in this has been that people wanting more are already paying for it with higher fees for more bandwidth and higher caps. People that want fiber already have to pay through the nose for it.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#76 Traveler

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:48 AM

View Postdrdredel, on 27 April 2014 - 11:13 PM, said:

...If you don't wish to take into account that Comcast pays nothing for what they charge you for,.....
Wait a second, don't they pay ESPN and all sorts of other providers for content? I believe its only the over the air content that is free. Otherwise, how do providers like science channel etc make any money?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#77 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 07:58 AM

View PostTraveler, on 28 April 2014 - 07:48 AM, said:


Wait a second, don't they pay ESPN and all sorts of other providers for content? I believe its only the over the air content that is free. Otherwise, how do providers like science channel etc make any money?

We just saw the end of the spat between Direct TV and the Weather Channel because the latter raised their rate a couple of pennies per subscriber. So unless cable has a different (strange) business model, yes they pay for content.

Unless you mean as an ISP they don't pay for blogs, Tumblrs, YouTube videos, etc.

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GOP delenda est.
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#78 indy

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:01 AM

Uh, Comcast pays for their access to the internet too from one or more tier 1 backbone carriers.

ETA

Some more detail about how this all started, more or less, but I may not be entirely correct in the details since it's been a long time.

The Tier 1 service providers have peering agreements in which they don't charge each other for traffic.

Cogent is the tier 1 provider that provides Netflix with their connection. Netflix traffic goes in 1 direction basically, from netflix to customers. So Cogent was dumping all this traffic onto the tier 1 network without receiving much traffic in return. The basic idea of the peering agreement was that IN THE LONG RUN, the traffic is more or less even across the tier 1 networks. Verizon and the other tier 1 providers realized that with video involved, this assumption was invalid and their tier 1 backbones were subsidizing Cogent traffic and they didn't like it.

#79 indy

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:35 AM

And, to add yet something more.

Netflix wants to build a pipeline directly to Comcast (because that is where all the Netflix customers are) and completely bypass Cogent and the other carriers. Comcast said, OK, but you have to pay us for access to our customers. Netflix said OK. Presumably they did the cost-benefit analysis and decided this was the best way to go.

All this is way more complicated than Comcast wants to rip off customers. ZOMG!

I don't know what a good solution is, but there is a lot of BS flying.

#80 dsp

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:44 AM

A large amount the BS is coming from straight Comcast's PR and lobbying offices.





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