cheesefood


quality posts: 9 Private Messages cheesefood

I've been a netizen since the 80s when we were calling phone lines on 300 and 1200 bps modems and downloading 3-4 meg files that took HOURS. I've seen the rise of the Interwebs, from humber BBS systems run on computers from some mom's basement to today. I remember when a BBS I knew spent over $1,000 on a 1 gig hard-drive. That was record breaking.

And now here we are today. Movies instantly. Online shopping. Blogs. News. Everything is always new and fresh. And it's being done independently. Anyone can code a website and become the Next Big Thing. We've seen more billionaires created and uber rich than ever before. Google. Facebook. Youtube. Yahoo. eBay. None of these were started by massive corporations, just smart people from home or a dorm room.

And this was all possible to bandwidth. Bandwidth that caused job bubbles and trends in the late 90s. Bandwidth that bankrupt some t-cons because they bought so much and used so little. And now it's being used, and the competition is a lot tighter.

So why shouldn't the companies that control the bandwidth get compensated fairly for its use? Netflix could not exist without these people but does exist and makes millions. Reed Hastings makes $3 million per year without compensating the world for slowing down our internet from what it could be.

So, while there does need to be this ease of entry into business that the web provides, shouldn't it be funded by those who are profiting from the web?

Now, the problem that I see is that this destroys the pricing model that makes the Web. Imagine is Amazon had to pay a transaction fee. This would cause prices to spike immediately, no longer making it cheaper than Best Buy. If Netflix had to double its price, people might not forget that their local library gets new releases on BlueRay on the day they're released and doesn't charge.

The Liberal's side of Net Neutrality (and I consider myself liberal) is that the net should be free and neutral - a POV that CEOs like Reed Hasting or Jeff Bezos or Zuckerberg REALLY like. They'll invest a lot to make sure you agree with them.

The business side of Net Neutrality shows the money going to "evil" places we supposedly hate...like Cable companies (where we complain that we pay too much despite maintaining an above-minimum package). We're supposed to hate the landlord and love the tenants.

When Net Neutrality debuted, I was very much in favor of a neutral web. Today, I'm starting to see the truth: by filling our bandwidth with junk food like Netflix we're limiting bandwidth that could be utilized for nutritious solutions. The "internet of things" is really taking off and will need that bandwidth that we're utilizing for entertainment and immediate gratification.

So what are your thoughts? Should the net be truly neutral or should those who benefit and utilize it pay their fair share?

Weren't we all just saying "You didn't build those roads, you didn't police those streets" and telling big business that they need to contribute more since they consume more, but Net Neutrality says that they should get more and pay the same as the little guy.

I'm confused.


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jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
cheesefood wrote:I've been a netizen since the 80s when we were calling phone lines on 300 and 1200 bps modems and downloading 3-4 meg files that took HOURS. I've seen the rise of the Interwebs, from humber BBS systems run on computers from some mom's basement to today. I remember when a BBS I knew spent over $1,000 on a 1 gig hard-drive. That was record breaking.

And now here we are today. Movies instantly. Online shopping. Blogs. News. Everything is always new and fresh. And it's being done independently. Anyone can code a website and become the Next Big Thing. We've seen more billionaires created and uber rich than ever before. Google. Facebook. Youtube. Yahoo. eBay. None of these were started by massive corporations, just smart people from home or a dorm room.

And this was all possible to bandwidth. Bandwidth that caused job bubbles and trends in the late 90s. Bandwidth that bankrupt some t-cons because they bought so much and used so little. And now it's being used, and the competition is a lot tighter.

So why shouldn't the companies that control the bandwidth get compensated fairly for its use? Netflix could not exist without these people but does exist and makes millions. Reed Hastings makes $3 million per year without compensating the world for slowing down our internet from what it could be.

So, while there does need to be this ease of entry into business that the web provides, shouldn't it be funded by those who are profiting from the web?

Now, the problem that I see is that this destroys the pricing model that makes the Web. Imagine is Amazon had to pay a transaction fee. This would cause prices to spike immediately, no longer making it cheaper than Best Buy. If Netflix had to double its price, people might not forget that their local library gets new releases on BlueRay on the day they're released and doesn't charge.

The Liberal's side of Net Neutrality (and I consider myself liberal) is that the net should be free and neutral - a POV that CEOs like Reed Hasting or Jeff Bezos or Zuckerberg REALLY like. They'll invest a lot to make sure you agree with them.

The business side of Net Neutrality shows the money going to "evil" places we supposedly hate...like Cable companies (where we complain that we pay too much despite maintaining an above-minimum package). We're supposed to hate the landlord and love the tenants.

When Net Neutrality debuted, I was very much in favor of a neutral web. Today, I'm starting to see the truth: by filling our bandwidth with junk food like Netflix we're limiting bandwidth that could be utilized for nutritious solutions. The "internet of things" is really taking off and will need that bandwidth that we're utilizing for entertainment and immediate gratification.

So what are your thoughts? Should the net be truly neutral or should those who benefit and utilize it pay their fair share?

Weren't we all just saying "You didn't build those roads, you didn't police those streets" and telling big business that they need to contribute more since they consume more, but Net Neutrality says that they should get more and pay the same as the little guy.

I'm confused.



First off, I want to say that I haven't read extensively about Network Neutrality, and most of my thoughts on the matter come from my own experience in ~16 years as a Netizen, back when our first modem was a 14.4, and ~7 years of working in Broadcasting. I've probably spent more time in dedicated thought on the matter in writing the following than at every other point in my life combined. It's also probably far too late at night for me to be making a coherent argument about why I should go to bed, let alone why Net Neutrality matters. That being said, I feel like I have a bit of a unique vantage on the matter, at least on this website, and I wanted to share my 2¢:

I think the bigger concern with Net Neutrality is that the Telcos might try to restrict access to services that they aren't providing themselves or don't have a financial incentive to use, and that would hurt young startups that don't have a relationship with the various Telcos. I seem to remember when Vonage was new, and some of the cable companies started offering their own VoIP services shortly after, a few companies tried to block or restrict access to Vonage in favor of their own service. Vonage was already pretty shaky as a startup; if that had been allowed to continue they might not have survived at all. The cable companies are already kind of annoyed that so many of their customers are streaming movies from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon instead of renting them off the cable company's Video On Demand service; if they can find some way to force their streaming media competitors to funnel some of their revenue back to the cable company most won't hesitate to do that. They lost in the free market because someone else provided a better service at a better price, and they're trying to find a way to take a piece of someone else's pie without innovating and winning back the business. If the providers have to pay an additional fee to our Telcos, eventually we'll see the cost of the video services increasing to offset the fee. If they're able to keep a startup competitor from reaching their user base, that is the opposite of a free and fair market and would slow economic growth.

On the other point of the providers like Netflix and Amazon using up so much of the internet bandwidth, they're already paying their share. All of these companies have to pay for their own access to the internet backbone, and they have to pay for huge amounts of bandwidth to reach all their customers. As an example, let's say Amazon is streaming videos to 100,000 people at a particular point in time, and those videos are encoded at 5 Mbps. Each person at home needs to make sure they're paying their Telco for at least 5 Mbps of bandwidth, which we could guess they're paying maybe $30/month for. On the other hand, Amazon needs to buy at least 500,000 Mbps of bandwidth to serve all those customers, and while they might pay less than $3,000,000/month for that much bandwidth because of economies of scale, they're still paying a significant fee for bandwidth. (Webcasting is still largely a one-to-one service, whereas broadcasting is one-to-many. This is one reason broadcasting is a much more efficient use of bandwidth: your local television station can probably reach 100,000 viewers with a 5 Mbps video stream and they still only need to pay for 5 Mbps of bandwidth {in reality, a TV channel in the U.S. is about 19 Mbps of bandwidth and TV stations are of course paying much more for those 19 Mbps than a residential customer would pay their cable company, but it's surely less than 1,900,000 Mbps would cost}. Of course, webcasting offers a level of individual customization that's simply not available with broadcasting.)

I have seen some interesting ideas about selling restricted broadband at a reduced cost to access only certain content from partner providers, and if that meant consumers were paying maybe $8/month instead of $30 but were guaranteeing sufficient bandwidth to access Hulu, Facebook, and their bank and that's it, that might be worth it for some people. If we believe, however, that the internet is a platform to not only entertain but also educate and inform, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with restricting people's access to that. Whether people use that access for good or for stupid is their own business, and I'm not sure someone else should have a say in how they use it.

I'm not sure where a political ideology comes into play on this; it seems to me that the argument in actual impact tends to fall between those in favor of a free and fair market and those who are arguing for a monopoly, or more likely an oligopoly, which tends to have a chilling effect on innovation and economic growth. More sinisterly, the places we usually see internet restrictions are nations with more autocratic regimes trying to prevent their citizens from learning about dissenting views or things that could end their regime and grasp on power. Whether it's for political or financial gain, I tend to be wary of efforts to restrict internet access.

Finally, if the major internet users are nearing the capacity of the current internet, the market should be able to take care of it as is. For one thing, the corporate users and content providers are paying for guaranteed bandwidth and their internet providers are contractually obligated to provide that bandwidth. For another, supply and demand should mean as demand for bandwidth increases the cost might go up and/or someone will increase the supply of bandwidth when it is worthwhile financially to do so. This shouldn't need a change in the way business is done; the market should be capable of handling it.

Of course, if we really wanted to take on the biggest users of the internet, we'd be more proactive in fighting the bots.

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

cheesefood


quality posts: 9 Private Messages cheesefood

I like your thinking, but in a capitalist economy aren't the three most important driver of sales Location, Location, Location? I think what NN is getting at is that every street should be main street and it should be rent controlled.


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jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
cheesefood wrote:I like your thinking, but in a capitalist economy aren't the three most important driver of sales Location, Location, Location? I think what NN is getting at is that every street should be main street and it should be rent controlled.



I'm not sure I'm following the real estate metaphor. I always thought capitalism was more about the invisible hand guiding markets to where resources can be used most cost-effectively. If there's a real bandwidth crunch the market should self-regulate with higher prices and/or increased capacity, possibly from a competitor. I think the biggest problem facing the industry right now is the lack of competition. In most places there's only 1 cable company and 1 or 2 telephone companies. DSL can't really compete with cable for speed, so in many places the cable company is the only real game in town and there's little incentive to keep innovating and improving (and also allows their near universally abysmal customer service). In some places the Telcos are deploying Fiber to the Home, but they've been pretty slow about that, and in many cases they're not offering the highest speeds, which seems to be an artificial restriction. Pushing the Telcos with competition is one reason Google claims they're rolling out their fiber product, but I also suspect they see there's money to be made in the segment with better internet access and service for whatever company is willing to make the investment.

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jqubed wrote:I think the biggest problem facing the industry right now is the lack of competition.



i agree with this.

i don't really understand why, but i read somewhere that usa internet access is quite slow (or expensive, depending on your point of view) compared to other developed nations. i wonder why interwebs is so much better elsewhere.

jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
no1 wrote:i agree with this.

i don't really understand why, but i read somewhere that usa internet access is quite slow (or expensive, depending on your point of view) compared to other developed nations. i wonder why interwebs is so much better elsewhere.



I'd really like to see the monopolies broken up the way the phone company was so long ago. Lilly Tomlin's Ernestine could rep the cable companies now. "We don't care. We don't have to."

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jqubed wrote:I'd really like to see the monopolies broken up the way the phone company was so long ago. Lilly Tomlin's Ernestine could rep the cable companies now. "We don't care. We don't have to."



currently there aren't many regional phone companies, people don't use landlines or long distance any moar, i guess bell labs is a shell of itself now ... what did the breakup accomplish?

jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
no1 wrote:currently there aren't many regional phone companies, people don't use landlines or long distance any moar, i guess bell labs is a shell of itself now ... what did the breakup accomplish?



It got cheaper for a while. Competition might not make television cheaper, but should make broadband cheaper. I don't know if it would help improve customer service, but it might.

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jqubed wrote:It got cheaper for a while. Competition might not make television cheaper, but should make broadband cheaper. I don't know if it would help improve customer service, but it might.



i think what i was trying to say is that the breakup of ma bell only enabled competition in long distance service, which in itself was only a short-lived "victory." altho local phone service was no longer run by ma bell, it still left virtual monopolies in place, with each baby bell controlling a geographic region - they didn't compete much with each other for local service. breaking up the isps the same way mite not engender much competition the way we'd like; a given address mite still be limited to only a single high-speed broadband provider, just a smaller regional one instead of a national one.

jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
no1 wrote:i think what i was trying to say is that the breakup of ma bell only enabled competition in long distance service, which in itself was only a short-lived "victory." altho local phone service was no longer run by ma bell, it still left virtual monopolies in place, with each baby bell controlling a geographic region - they didn't compete much with each other for local service. breaking up the isps the same way mite not engender much competition the way we'd like; a given address mite still be limited to only a single high-speed broadband provider, just a smaller regional one instead of a national one.



That's true, there's only 2 phone providers in my area and as far as I can tell they charge the same (hard to get an estimate from one; it appears a previous resident had a home business so whenever I've looked up a quote they've switched me from residential to business pages, but they advertise the same price as the other guys). Not particularly expensive though. In one sense they're also having to compete with the VoIP phones from the cable company, Vonage, and others, so that's why they all seem to pretty much stay in the same price range, whether it's traditional copper phone or VoIP.

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jqubed wrote:That's true, there's only 2 phone providers in my area and as far as I can tell they charge the same (hard to get an estimate from one; it appears a previous resident had a home business so whenever I've looked up a quote they've switched me from residential to business pages, but they advertise the same price as the other guys). Not particularly expensive though. In one sense they're also having to compete with the VoIP phones from the cable company, Vonage, and others, so that's why they all seem to pretty much stay in the same price range, whether it's traditional copper phone or VoIP.



copper fone? my fone has always been black plastic! you must live in a reech fambly!

jawsuser


quality posts: 4 Private Messages jawsuser
no1 wrote:copper fone? my fone has always been black plastic! you must live in a reech fambly!



They were probably talking about the wires inside the phone which are usually copper.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jawsuser wrote:They were probably talking about the wires inside the phone which are usually copper.



what do you mean wires in my fone and WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TV?!?

jqubed


quality posts: 7 Private Messages jqubed
no1 wrote:copper fone? my fone has always been black plastic! you must live in a reech fambly!



you need to replace your bananaphone before it turns black.

ⅉℚ Seventh Annual Woot! Bracketology | I'm Quality Peoples!

Skye — 1997-2007

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jqubed wrote:you need to replace your bananaphone before it turns black.



once you go black you never go back.

jawsuser


quality posts: 4 Private Messages jawsuser
no1 wrote:what do you mean wires in my fone and WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING IN MY TV?!?



Talking to you of course, how else am I supposed to get your attention? And yes I know its a horrible surprise, but there are wires hiding within all that lovely plastic.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
jawsuser wrote:its a horrible surprise



that's what she said!