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Democrats Pan Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the party-disfavors dept.
GovTechGuy writes "Four House Democrats wrote to the Federal Communications Commission, urging them to write strict net neutrality rules and reject the framework put forward by Google and Verizon. The lawmakers, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, who represents the district containing Google HQ, said the Google-Verizon proposal increases the pressure on the FCC to come up with actual net neutrality rules, and characterize the deal as harmful to consumers and beneficial for the corporations. In particular, the letter took issue with two pieces of the Verizon-Google proposal: exemptions for managed services and wireless services from strict net-neutrality rules."
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Democrats Pan Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal

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  • About time. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JavaBasedOS (1217930) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:49PM (#33272128)
    They're finally realizing that you can't let corporations have their way with the internet? Hopefully, this leads to a reversal that grants the FCC the proper powers to uphold these rules should they actually make the climb.
    • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ironhandx (1762146) on Monday August 16, 2010 @11:59PM (#33272174)

      Am I too jaded or did anyone else have the reaction to the parents comment that it should read more along the lines of:

      "They're finally realizing that they can't let corporations that aren't paying them off for it have their way with the internet?"

      That(to me) is the most likely reason for them not submitting their own plan. Whoever is paying the bills at their getaway condo in the bahamas is asking them for a stop gap while they come up with their own plan.

      Oh, will you look at that... theres a tin foil hat on my head... maybe I'm just paranoid.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DeadPixels (1391907)

        Oh, will you look at that... theres a tin foil hat on my head...

        The government put it there!

      • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wonkavader (605434) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:50AM (#33272452)

        You're saying basically "Because this sounds like an intelligent reaction by politicians, it has to be fake. It simply must be a maneuver, rather than a real response. An actual response would be stupid. Intelligence is always a lie. Progress is always a lie."

        No, that's not paranoia, any more than thinking the sun will come up tomorrow is paranoia.

        • Just out of curiosity, can you name the part of the proposal you do not like, or are you just following the crowd?

          As far as I have been able to discern the only reason people are upset is basically because the proposal doesnt really touch wireless-- ie, "its good, but it doesnt regulate enough." Well fine then, make your own additional regulation, but do SOMETHING and stop talking about it.
        • I'll have to agree, it is a bit like shooting the paramedic because you oppose hospital bills. If law/policy makers have a good idea support it. When that idea turns sour, shout to the heavens.

          Politicians have always been susceptible to corruption, that is the nature of power. It is up to their constituents to keep them honest. I'd even go a step further and say that once a politician has been beaten up and often enough there is a chance that they evolve into decent politicians. Statesmen don't become state

    • by unity (1740) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:13AM (#33272258)

      It seems to me the corporations have been doing a darn good job with it for awhile now. I don't have much in the way of complaints. But what the hell, I can't see how adding government regulations and control could hurt things. I mean, everybody I know loves the FCC. /s

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Microlith (54737)

        It seems to me the corporations have been doing a darn good job with it for awhile now.

        They -seemed- to be doing a good job, despite stonewalling and slowly rolling out service that is generally two steps behind most of the rest of the world even in the highest density regions of the states.

        And now that they only see money these days, manipulating and destroying the openness that the internet offered for the sake of their other business interests (which are in direct conflict) only serves them. They'd happi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sumdumass (711423)

        Here is the problem with net neutrality and politicians.

        All the net neutral laws have to say is that no ISP or network operator on the internet can limit or interfere with any internet communications to below what the customer paid for except in cases of physical damage to the network or actual attack and the ISP needs to be obvious in what they are selling with their advertising. Give the FCC power to field complaints with appeals going to a competent court in the jurisdiction of the effected customer and

        • by unity (1740)
          "to below what the customer paid for"
          and
          "This would prevent Comcast from screwing with torrent traffic"

          I don't think it would prevent them for screwing with torrent traffic. Last I checked, most consumer-level cable connections such as what most have with comcast explicitly forbid running a "server" on the line in the contract. Torrents pretty much meet the definition of running a server. So comcast could completely block such traffic and still not be interferring with "what the customer paid for"
          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Well, yes and no. IF the torrent user is not sharing, then it's not going to be considered a server by any stretch of the imagination. Most people don't even consider consumer apps like Bit torrent or P2P as actual servers. But that brings us to another problem, what is the definition of a server, if it's something that users connect to in order to get information or services, then it probably could be argued that the tracker is the server, and the node is no different then a distributed online backup servi

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by tepples (727027)

              IF the torrent user is not sharing

              THEN the torrent user is getting dial-up speeds.

              Most users will have an option to use another service provider where one is available and with truth in advertising, Comcast may be forced by market forces to back down from that position.

              In may places, it's still either Comcast with a 250 GB/mo cap or any of six wireless service providers (two satellite and four cellular) with a 5 GB/mo cap.

            • by Thing 1 (178996)

              Perhaps a limit on baring only servers capable of connecting more then 10 people simultaneously to the one service can be worked into the interfering with communications portions. Maybe an official legal definition of a server or something.

              Sounds like the Windows XP definition of a server, to me.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            > Last I checked, most consumer-level cable connections such as what most have with comcast explicitly forbid running a "server" on the line in the contract.

            That would be one of the first things to be prohibited by any regulation worthy of the name "net neutrality".

            The customer pays the ISP to transfer packets. Whether those packets belong to a connection initiated by the client or by another system is none of the ISP's goddamn business.

            A net neutrality law should specify which parts of the IP header the

          • explicitly forbid running a "server" on the line in the contract.

            Can you carefully define "server"? Would that include things like dropbox? What about reverse VNC? What about VNC? Does it include running Google Chrome with gears enabled? What about running a domain controller that is on the LAN, but does not accept connections from the WAN-- thats a server, does it violate the terms?

            Vague terms are vague.

          • Net Neutrality would force all ISPs to allow in home servers. (though maybe not on port 80)
    • by zoid.com (311775)

      You can't let corporations that pay for the infrastructure decide how they can continue to pay for the infrastructure? Truth is, true net neutrality would bankrupt the providers of the network. I guess we need a public option for long haul internet and ISPs.

      • No it wouldn't. What the devil are you talking about? We already have net neutrality, just not enshrined in law. My God do you even think before you speak?
    • They're finally realizing that you can't let corporations have their way with the internet?

      I'm guessing the four House Democrats that wrote the letter have been on the side of neutrality for some time, rather than "finally realizing" anything. While their hasn't been a clear Congressional majority in favor of neutrality (in part because of differences over details, and in part because many members don't even want to address the issue and want to leave it in the FCCs court without directly dealing with it),

  • My prediction. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Palms will be greased.

  • Lots of empty talk (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zelgadiss (213127) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:04AM (#33272210)

    From the way I see it, if these politicians actually had the will to put their foot down on net neutrality then Google wouldn't even have to compromise and cut deals.

    But what do I know.

    • There was some speculation in the Wall Street Journal that Google 'compromised' on the wireless part of net neutrality because of self-interest. The choice for Verizon eventually is either to block some high volume internet protocols (presumably like bit torrent), or to charge per megabyte (or gigabyte or whatever the air can handle). If they start charging per megabyte, that seriously cuts into Google's business because people will think twice about watching a boring youtube clip if they know they have to
    • From the way I see it, if these politicians actually had the will to put their foot down on net neutrality then Google wouldn't even have to compromise and cut deals. But what do I know.

      Evidently, not much about the US political system and current climate.

      Four house members represent less than one percent of the 435 member body. A majority of which being the bare minimum required to pass a law.

      More than a half of them regardless of party take money from content corporations or communication providers or both, and would probably block even a watered-down version of net neutrality. Add to this the fact that Republicans want to deny Democrats any "victories", or avoid seeming like both corr

    • From the way I see it, if these politicians actually had the will to put their foot down on net neutrality then Google wouldn't even have to compromise and cut deals.

      Yes, because four members of one house of Congress can, by sheer willpower, dictate the law.

      But what do I know.

      Indeed.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      ... Google wouldn't even have to compromise and cut deals

      Google caved not because they didn't feel Net Neutrality wasn't possible, but because they stand to profit mightily by preventing it (at least on wireless). Never ascribe intention to corporations where a simply "follow the money" will suffice. Corporations are money-seeking entities at their core and are quite amoral despite the best intention of their founders or shareholders. Google is (slightly) different in that it was setup with a distinct co

  • Relief (Score:3, Funny)

    by tpstigers (1075021) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:10AM (#33272234)
    Well - that's a relief. This should postpone the death of net neutrality for at least a couple of weeks.
  • Back in my day... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:12AM (#33272248)
    I remember back in my day we fought tooth and nail to keep the government _away_ from controlling the Internet. Now apparently it's fashionable to want them controlling it, but only for "good" purposes. I'm sure they'll keep their hands off except to ensure the evil corporations don't screw the noble consumer over, though. Government's pretty good at that kind of thing. Incorruptible and efficient beyond reproach, that's what the government is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yeah because back 10 years ago, it was inconceivable that any one point on the network would start fucking with the other points; it was just... unthinkable.

      Now, they're thinking about doing it because surprise bandwidth costs money(magically? I don't understand how the fuck this works).

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:46AM (#33272428) Journal

      No, back in the day we fought so that nobody would control the Internet. Initially, corporations didn't have enough power to screw things up, so the only people we had to keep from abusing their power was the government. Now, they do, so we have to convince somebody more powerful (the government) to step in and keep them in check. It's about balancing one bad guy against another so that the harm cancels out....

      • I just don't get how the government is "bad" in Americans' eyes. The people elect the government. If corporations are corrupting the process then we need campaign finance reform. Instead people vilify their own extension of power. It's just ridiculous.
    • by Kohath (38547)

      "This time it's different."

      We don't want these bad guys controlling our lives and making all our choices for us. We need to get good guys to do that.

    • that's wingnut talk (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Uberbah (647458)

      Now apparently it's fashionable to want them controlling it, but only for "good" purposes.

      Right, because regulating food and drug safety meant a government takeover of our food and drug supplies....

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @08:38AM (#33274400)
      Here we go again.

      Net neutrality is not government control of the Internet. It is government regulation of ISPs, in the form of a mandate that they continue to provide neutral access to the Internet. It is an assurance the free and open Internet remains free and open. That is all. Stop spreading the FUD.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Monchanger (637670)

        Forget it, friend.

        You're trying to explain quite simple things to someone who can't understand that "government" in the US means "the people". These fools believe "founders" who wrote the constitution weren't politicians, but "patriots", who not only could do no wrong, and would never ever serve in public office because that's for "elites".

        The Bill of Rights was handed down from God, you know, government and legislation had nothing to do with securing our rights from government.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Back in the day, most of us had dialup and had any number of ISP's to choose from. There was no need for such regulation because there was so much competition. Now, most of us have broadband and that means one or two big telco's to choose from. I have exactly one broadband ISP to choose from myself (Comcast) if I want to go over over 3mbps, and a grand total of one more to choose from at 3mbps and lower (AT&T). Now, if the government doesn't stop them, and both Comcast and Verizon decide to create their
  • by pspahn (1175617)

    said the Google-Verizon proposal increases the pressure on the FCC to come up with actual net neutrality rules, and characterize the deal as harmful to consumers and beneficial for the corporations.

    "We think this is bad because it will force us to do work."

    "We think this is bad because it will force consumers to pay money for something."

    "We think this is bad because it means that corporations will make money."

    Are you kidding me? Who is this lady and why is she not on a plane to Alaska?

  • You know what (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Flyerman (1728812) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:22AM (#33272304) Journal

    The lack of neutrality for managed services is going to put an increased burden on IT companies. It will increase the costs where cloud services are already being proven to NOT lower costs.

    The fact of the matter is that True Net Neutrality is beneficial to every company EXCEPT ISPs. ISPs being a set than includes broadband, T1, DSL and any provider as well as the increasing role mobile providers take. Basically a set of companies that receive quite a bit in government money ALREADY to fund construction of network infrastructure.

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      It's a fair point. But does it necessarily make sense to give artificial power to businesses who know nothing about providing internet services to everyone while removing control from the businesses whose business is providing internet services?

      Is this supposed to level the playing field or something? I know that part of me is an idealist when I say that a tiered internet will not enable shady back-room deals to occur. But I foresee NN analogous to giving a freight company transporting hazardous materials

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dgatwood (11270)

        I agree that traffic should be tiered, but it should be tiered not on a pay-to-play basis, but rather on the technical merits of prioritizing a particular class of traffic. Traffic that requires low latency for correctness (live audio/video streaming) should have highest priority, followed by light web browsing, followed by long-running downloads that run for hours at a time, simply because delaying packets for those different types of traffic cause vastly different impact on the customer's experience.

        If a

        • by quadrox (1174915)

          I disagree.

          If ISP's start to put the most common internet content close to the end users, they will use this as an excuse to no longer maintain the long distance lines because hardly anyone is using those anyway.

          So in effect content providers pay ISP's to get their content on the ISP mirrors close to the users, and in return any other content is automtically less of a priority, simply because the long distance infrastructure demands are now lower.

          You cannot improve speeds of some traffic without automatical

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Except that by moving that content closer to the users, the upstream bandwidth is freed, so that effectively makes everyone else's traffic faster, which means that it is okay for the ISP to take longer to upgrade their long haul links because they are under less load.

      • by shermo (1284310)

        Yeah there might be a 2 in there somewhere.

      • Re:You know what (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @01:11AM (#33272566) Homepage

        Net neutrality doesn't mean no traffic engineering at all, it just means that such engineering cannot be based on who did or didn't pay the double dipping fee.

        Fundamentally, anything but net neutrality is fraud. Customers pay their ISP for a connection to the internet. The ISP is obligated to carry their traffic in exchange for the monthly fee. Charging another party to actually honor that commitment is fraud. It's the same reason UPS can't come to you and say "Amazon shipped a package to you. If you want to make sure *AHEM* nothing causes it to end up in Siberia, you could choose to pay us $5.00 in addition to what Amazon paid."

        As for your analogy, show me a packet that can explode in the cable causing death and destruction all around it and I'll consider it.

        Network neutrality says the minimum wage guy has just as much right to use the tunnel as the carload of trustfund babies.

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          As for your analogy, show me a packet that can explode in the cable causing death and destruction all around it and I'll consider it.

          Not quite an explosion [slashdot.org]

          Network neutrality says the minimum wage guy has just as much right to use the tunnel as the carload of trustfund babies.

          So what happens when the minimum wage guy is driving a P.O.S. that exhibits a danger to other travelers, while the trustifarians cruise up to Breck with their snazzy Audi? I know this is stretching the analogy a little far, but consider all of the things we have yet to learn about how the Internet will be used in 20, 30, 100 years. I'm sure there is still some pretty sophisticated malware yet to be developed.

          How about the guy that pays his bill each and every month while others tap

          • by sjames (1099)

            Are you ACTUALLY claiming that network neutrality and basic prevention of malware are mutually exclusive?

            Do you REALLY think network neutrality laws will free killers to go around zapping people's pacemakers?

      • Oh, then you agree, with myself, google and verizon. The entire POINT of net neutrality is to allow proper network management, including priority for low latency applications, while barring uncompetitive actions. In simple terms. All traffic SOURCES are equal.
    • by Kohath (38547)

      The lack of neutrality for managed services is going to put an increased burden on IT companies.

      Sounds like a prediction that might possibly come true. This might be a problem someday.

      Call us back if it does. Meanwhile, hands off the Internet.

  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @01:02AM (#33272524) Homepage Journal

    ...doesn't exist yet.

    When the internet first started...
    There was no "cloud".
    There was no streaming video.
    There was no bittorrent.
    There were no VPNs, no work-at-home over the net.
    There wasn't even a web - though that came fairly quickly.

    The internet was conceived as an open-ended transport mechanism, with no plans or constraints as to the data being transported, though there were some thoughts about QOS, recognizing that some data had to get there quickly, some reliably, some not particularly either.

    Commercial deployments of anything, not just the internet, generally aren't open-ended. They tend to plan things, up-front, and put just as much thought into billing as they do into the rest of the job. (Ever see how much cell phone plumbing is dedicated to billing, as opposed to merely shuttling customers' data?)

    The best reason for net neutrality is something we haven't done yet, something no company has planned for, and very likely something that would be hindered by default, because it doesn't fit into current plans. (Or can you say, "disruption not desired!"?)

    • by DaDeacon (813991) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @02:08AM (#33272816)
      I haven't logged in or posted on slash dot in almost two years and your post my very well be the most honest and real argument for true net neutrality. I have worked for big telco and other "real" players in the ISP and networking biz and let me tell you the money is not in the crops but it's in the farm. Bandwidth really isn't an issue it's getting us to pay more to play more, as more people use the net and less people use PBX / phones and what not the telcos just want you to keep paying them $65 a month one way or anther. Cable companies are now in this game as well they have lost monthly reoccurring monies to home dish systems at a rate that no one saw coming. The internet is cash cow everyone wants to milk.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      You are crazy. Or a shill.

      The best reason for net neutrality is something we haven't done yet, something no company has planned for, and very likely something that would be hindered by default, because it doesn't fit into current plans. (Or can you say, "disruption not desired!"?)

      That is utter nonsense. Everyone wants control over what comes into your house because it can be monetized. The name of the game is profit and if they can get you to pay for access and then they can get someone else to pay for it too, they're going to do it. AT&T does it already, when my local WISP was first moved from some third party AT&T reseller to AT&T proper we were on a non-neutral network where we had good access to AT&T sites, good access to major media sit

      • by dpilot (134227)

        Why do you call me crazy or a shill? You seem to agree with me.

        The real thrust of my post is that the internet for years now has been doing things not originally conceived, and that was by intent. By that same intent, new uses ought to come along in the future of which we don't conceive today. Some of those uses may turn out to make a lot of money, and provide major economic stimulus.

        I acknowledge what you say about profit and monetization. I'll also say that that has nothing to do with the internet, an

  • Google and Verizon really stepped in it. Their new pact doesn't have enough opportunity for government power brokers to choose winners and losers in exchange for campaign contributions. How dare these big companies decide to carve up the free Internet without giving the local warlords their due?

    Expect a grand jury investigation of Google WIFI spying to begin sometime in the next 2 months. It's going to take a lot of campaign contributions and jobs for family members to call off those dogs.

    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      We have a winner!

      Here's hoping that technological prowess always finds a way to trump political fandangling!

  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @01:24AM (#33272632)

    Managed services are a good idea, if they are run on top of a neutral network. As long as that physical network is developed by an unbiased entity and resold fairly with no oversubscription, ISPs should be free to carve out as much bandwidth as they can pay for. As demand increases, regardless of content, investment in additional capacity will follow.

    The problem with the existing situation is that as long as the ISPs own the underlying physical network, the "manages services" aren't running on top of the Internet, but rather the Internet is transformed into a "managed service". There is no incentive whatsoever for the ISPs to invest in additional capacity beyond what they require for their own services, so investment in the Internet is dead, and its value for future innovation is lost.

    • by Fastolfe (1470)

      While I generally agree with your post, I'm curious to know what you mean by this:

      resold fairly with no oversubscription

      How do you run an ISP without oversubscribing? If you provide 20Mbit DSL to 10,000 customers, does that mean you need 200 Gbit connections to all of your peers? Or just the anticipated peak traffic (100th percentile? 99th?)? Further, if you aren't oversubscribed, then, by definition, none of your links will ever become congested. With everything being served non-blocking, at line rates

      • How do you run an ISP without oversubscribing? If you provide 20Mbit DSL to 10,000 customers, does that mean you need 200 Gbit connections to all of your peers? Or just the anticipated peak traffic (100th percentile? 99th?)? Further, if you aren't oversubscribed, then, by definition, none of your links will ever become congested. With everything being served non-blocking, at line rates, what would net neutrality even mean?

        What I meant by "resold fairly with no oversubscription" only applies to the last mile natural monopoly where managed services requiring some form of QoS would be desirable and possible. As you point out, it wouldn't be practical elsewhere, and aggregate traffic would be treated as it is today.

        The idea is that, for the last mile, the providers resell bandwidth to ISPs in terms of a minimum guaranteed rate. Above that, excess capacity will be subject to a fair queuing mechanism, so that it is utilized if a

  • Wait... (Score:2, Troll)

    by crhylove (205956)

    Somebody in Washington is actually STOPPING the maniacally evil corporations for once? I must be missing something. Either that or I'm going to fall over dead from a shock induced heart attack in 3, 2, 1.......

    • Not just -somebody-, but the evil, maniacal, Federal Government (with spending growing at close to 20% a year).

      If you let them, they'll take away a few more of those pesky freedoms or yours, and then have the gall to send you a non-contestable tax bill for their trouble.

      Non-Local Government is the -Ultimate Monopoly-.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        If you let them, they'll take away a few more of those pesky freedoms or yours, and then have the gall to send you a non-contestable tax bill for their trouble.

        Wait, so you are arguing that I should have the freedom to have throttled Internet but not the freedom to have the ability to choose unfiltered open Internet? What freedom do I lose when the government-created monopolies are prevented from abusing their monopolies to screw their customers?
        • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by careysub (976506) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @08:42AM (#33274438)

          If you let them, they'll take away a few more of those pesky freedoms or yours, and then have the gall to send you a non-contestable tax bill for their trouble. Wait, so you are arguing that I should have the freedom to have throttled Internet but not the freedom to have the ability to choose unfiltered open Internet? What freedom do I lose when the government-created monopolies are prevented from abusing their monopolies to screw their customers?

          You do not understand the insights of the modern (anti-conservative) right wing and their Tea Party intellectual shock troops. Government is always evil in everything it does and private corporations never do wrong. This revelation frees you from needing to study such boring and old fashioned things as "facts" or "evidence" or to engage in elitist "rational thought".

          • by TheSync (5291)

            You do not understand the insights of the modern (anti-conservative) right wing and their Tea Party intellectual shock troops. Government is always evil in everything it does and private corporations never do wrong

            That is only true when it does not gore their ox. For example, try to let the free market open a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero.

            And to the Tea Party, government is OK when it is fighting wars or throwing foreigners out of the country (even if they are working for private corporations).

    • by careysub (976506)

      Somebody in Washington is actually STOPPING the maniacally evil corporations for once? I must be missing something. Either that or I'm going to fall over dead from a shock induced heart attack in 3, 2, 1.......

      But do not fear! The Tea Party is riding to the rescue [talkingpointsmemo.com]! The glories of corporate control over every aspect of our lives, the right to be monetized and "revenue optimized" to the grave will be preserved by these courageous patriots!

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