Net neutrality non-neutrality



  • @xaade said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Net Neutrality doesn't end speed lanes from your ISP.

    But it does constrain what/how they can implement these.

    It turned out to be rumor, but there were reports of an ISP who was filtering user content [e-mail] and using semantic analysis to get their political views and then throttle their rates if the views were "undesirable".






  • Impossible Mission - B

    Net neutrality wouldn't be necessary if we had a strongly competitive Internet market, where abused users could realistically threaten to leave. But we don't, and attempts to improve the competitive situation are met with responses like this:


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @masonwheeler
    On the other hand, the ISP I worked for had very frequent outages caused by an indirect competitor (they competed against us on business point-to-point links, but weren't in the residential ISP business) "accidentally" "adjusting" our primary backhaul antenna into a service point where we were both colocated - we both had rights to mount antennas at a similar height level of the tower and our antennas were about 5 feet vertically separated. Any time they went up to add more antennas or otherwise adjust their facility, our backhaul antenna suddenly picked up a 90 degree downtilt (it got pointed at the ground, bringing us offline at the site).

    And that was with them literally trespassing and violating our equipment without our permission. I hate to see what various cable companies would do out of neglect or malice if they had government explicitly granting them unfettered rights to move someone else's cables around. Neither fiber optic nor coax cable can exactly just be yanked into a new length...


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion ...yeah. One touch make-ready doesn't actually work that way. undefined


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @masonwheeler
    FTFA:

    "One touch make ready" reform rules, in contrast, propose using a single, licensed and insured subcontractor able to move any company's gear provided they give a notable heads up and pay for any potential damages.

    And subbies already do plenty of damage to other people's cables and leave the site without notifying them of the damage, so as to skirt being held responsible. Because they're only getting paid to care about the cables of the company that hired them. OTMR is only going to make things worse.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Because they're only getting paid to care about the cables of the company that hired them.

    Nope. That's the whole point of OTMR: the contractors are agreed upon by all of the involved parties. They're explicitly not just working for the one that needs the work done; that's why it works.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @masonwheeler
    At which point there's no difference anyway, because the evil megacorps are just going to drag their feet on approving the subbie, since they're using their evil monopolistic influence to quash competitors.

    And then either the subbie is still only getting paid by one company (and thus not beholden to check with the other companies that they didn't break anything when they moved it), or you've ALSO got to get financial approval to spread the cost of the subbie over all the other companies, meaning now you're compelling the big evil megacorps to FINANCE their competitors.

    Which is, of course, a feature to the companies proposing OTMR. But a bit insane from the perspective of rational governance.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @izzion Meh. Considering we're talking about giant ISPs with a long history of customer abuse, blatant anticompetitive behavior, and a public approval rating that's literally lower than the IRS, it's kind of hard to sympathize with their position...


  • Impossible Mission - B

    AT&T takes cheap shots at Net Neutrality, blatantly lying by claiming that it never considered certain important special cases that are very specifically called out in the current rules as special cases to which Net Neutrality rules do not apply.



  • Don't worry guys, we don't need high speed access anyway.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @coynethedup said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Exclusive franchise is a problem, but the bigger problem is ISP ability to prevent you from connecting to services.

    If you have a properly free market, you can give that ISP the finger for such stupidity and go to a competitor to get the service you want. That's the whole fucking point of a free market. You might have to pay more to get that improved service (or perhaps not; perhaps you'd go for reduced service at a lower cost) but you at least stand a reasonable chance of getting what you want.

    But if there's no choice, or only a choice between a small number of providers who only have a gnat's whisker of difference between their service levels and their prices, that market's not a free market but rather a monopoly or an oligopoly. In that case, there's no long-term incentive for anyone to provide a good service at all; after all, what are you going to do about it? Go to someone else? Ho ho ho…


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I just read this article on ArsTechnica: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/a-title-ii-opponent-explains-why-ajit-pais-plan-wont-protect-net-neutrality/
    I was curious to see what people's thoughts here are on it. Especially @boomzilla, as you're the main person that I recall being very much in favor of overturning the 2015 FCC re-classification.



  • @erufael Sounds like possibly the FTC needs to update some stuff or whatever, but not an argument in favor of current net neutrality rules.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    but not an argument in favor of current net neutrality rules.

    No, certainly not.

    To me, the whole debate makes me think that instead of trying to shove it into the two current ill-fitting classifications (I can see how ISP's can easily fit into both of them), the current legislation needs to be revised a little to reflect the current times, given how the industry has developed.




  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    🇻🇹 "A nice business you have there, would be a shame if you lost your permit to operate. Since you're so big and profitable, you have to build 550 miles of unprofitable lines to keep your business. But your competitors, nah, they're too small."

    Title 2 reclassification, coming soon to the rest of the nation!



  • I bet they are just being asked to do their part in some deal were they gained a lot of benefits from the government. (edit: it doesn't seem so after reading the article)


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @wharrgarbl
    From reading through TFA (even on Ars, which has a very "the Internet and data should be free as in beer" slant), they called out that Vermont was adding it as a condition for renewing Comcast's permit to operate, and that Comcast is in the state from buying out a previous operator.

    That said, I will concede that I have not performed research to determine whether or not the previous operator had a contractual obligation from a government grant to perform the expansion. My implicit assumption is that Comcast wouldn't be filing a lawsuit to avoid a contractual obligation with a claim of "this is an unjust requirement of us that isn't required of our competitors"


  • Impossible Mission - B

    The Pai FCC's latest brillant plan: declare a literal up-is-down, black-is-white proclamation that a lack of competition is healthy competition.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @masonwheeler said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    latest

    Apr 14

    Not up to much then?



  • 0_1509162980933_4cba2616-1d8f-4054-9af0-e5631b908682-image.png





  • @masonwheeler said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    public approval rating that's literally lower than the IRS

    The IRS doesn't make tax laws, and they don't spend more tax money than they put back into the budget. They're pretty much the least-hateable government agency. They're pretty boring, though.



  • @ben_lubar said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @masonwheeler said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    public approval rating that's literally lower than the IRS

    The IRS doesn't make tax laws, and they don't spend more tax money than they put back into the budget. They're pretty much the least-hateable government agency. They're pretty boring, though.

    That's cute.



  • @ben_lubar said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @masonwheeler said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    public approval rating that's literally lower than the IRS

    The IRS doesn't make tax laws, and they don't spend more tax money than they put back into the budget. They're pretty much the least-hateable government agency. They're pretty boring, though.

    The only one of those that's unilaterally true is the second independent clause; it's how the entire government is funded.
    Unless you're being undefinedic about the department's policies not being "laws" per se or "least-hateable" being different than "least-hated". But that's nearing equivocation because the meaning your audience understands is different than what you're professing, and regardless of that is pointless to the conversation, because @masonwheeler mentioned the IRS with the implication that it's very disliked.
    As "boring" is subjective, I won't say much, but the tax rules are very complex, and many people do enjoy figuring them out.



  • @ben_lubar said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    The IRS doesn't make tax laws, and they don't spend more tax money than they put back into the budget. They're pretty much the least-hateable government agency. They're pretty boring, though.

    This reminds me of a fellow LARPer who tried to convince me that Wraith should be considered the most upbeat and positive of the World of Darkness games because, hey, you're already dead, and nothing worse than that can happen now, right?

    Admittedly, I don't really expect well-reasoned arguments from LARPers (including myself), nor do I expect them from @ben_lubar.

    Filed Under: Why yes, the person in question was a goth, why do you ask?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Can someone ELI5 a couple of things?

    1. Since we didn't have net neutrality before 2015, and none of the things NN proponents are saying will happen actually happened before 2015, what changed in 2 years that makes those things more likely now?
    2. Since the proposed NN repeal is only of a US regulation, why do people think the whole world will be affected?

  • Fake News



  • @antiquarian said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Can someone ELI5 a couple of things?

    1. Since we didn't have net neutrality before 2015, and none of the things NN proponents are saying will happen actually happened before 2015, what changed in 2 years that makes those things more likely now?

    Er, they did? Not as overtly as the NN proponents are expecting, but that's a slippery slope in the making.

    AT&T, SPRINT and VERIZON: From 2011–2013, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked Google Wallet, a mobile-payment system that competed with a similar service called Isis, which all three companies had a stake in developing.

    AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

    MADISON RIVER: In 2005, North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked the voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) service Vonage. Vonage filed a complaint with the FCC after receiving a slew of customer complaints. The FCC stepped in to sanction Madison River and prevent further blocking, but it lacks the authority to stop this kind of abuse today.

    I suppose the problem was that traffic shaping was in a murky legal area where it was neither explicitly allowed nor forbidden, and the NN ruling clarified the issue by saying that no, you actually can't cut off Skype to get people to voice call via your network. Now I'm not sure how other laws in place will function when that NN ruling is repealed - ie. whether it'll be explicitly allowed or be back in the grey area - but it looks like a green light for the ISPs to allow it.

    1. Since the proposed NN repeal is only of a US regulation, why do people think the whole world will be affected?

    It might set a precedent for other countries that don't have the regulations in place (especially with ISPs that operate both in and outside the US), or it might push countries which have the regulations to repeal them as well.



  • @lolwhat Dang, his formatting is annoying. But this point sounds a lot like what I was saying above:

    There are serious monopoly problems with "last mile" data provision, especially in America. They were present in the 1990s (in places where we had multiple DS-1 providers in the 1990s, for example, the price was usually 1/2 to 1/5th of that where there was only one "choice"!) and are worse today for broadband where for most consumers there is exactly one option of like kind and quality. But Net Neutrality does not address that problem because it can't; it instead imposes a forced-subsidy model on those who don't want a given service and makes the monopoly problem worse.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @antiquarian
    Ultimately, it comes down to what you believe NN is.

    If you subscribe to the opinion that the NN regulation is really about the transit ISPs for "big content" not being charged by receiving ISPs when they send their data (ELI5: under this theory, Level3 and other CDN networks should be able to send as much data to residential ISPs as necessary without paying an interconnection or transit fee, since the residential ISP's customers are the ones that requested the data and thus the residential ISP should bear the cost load, if any, of moving the traffic), then what will change is going back to the wild west of Comcast & Verizon holding Netflix traffic hostage in order to get paid.

    If you subscribe to the opinion that residential ISPs are evil monopolists that will start (or were already) blocking outside traffic willy nilly to promote their own competing services, then you need NN to ensure you can get your Netflix on any provider, instead of having to subscribe to Comcast Video when you're on their Internet service, and then change to Verizon Video when you move and now have Verizon service.

    Given that 2 years ago (and even 5-8 years ago, when the whole push for FCC NN regulations first started), the big "problem" on the Internet was that Comcast and Verizon were refusing to maintain settlement free peering with Level 3 because Level 3 no longer qualified under (then) standard settlement free peering rules -- they had gone from 1:1-2:1 traffic sent to Comcast/Verizon ratios to 5:1+ after they had brought in Netflix as a customer. And, since the only leverage Comcast/Verizon had was to refuse to upgrade congested links to Level 3 until Level 3 started paying for traffic on the interconnect (as per the industry standard at the time), Comcast & Verizon "throttled" all traffic coming in from Level 3, which was predominantly Netflix traffic, by just letting the ports stay congested until Level 3 would agree to follow the standard rules for interconnect. Somewhere in the resulting game of telephone, it got taken to the court of public opinion, and the Netflix Speed Test was born.

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that Netflix was initially Level 3's unwitting dupe in this, and that Level 3 deliberately underbid their service to Netflix assuming/expecting they could leverage having the traffic that customers wanted in order to maintain their settlement-free peering status even after they busted through the normal ratios for that status. And then when Level 3 got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they went back to their pissed off customer (Netflix) and said "it's not us, we've got ports ready to go, Comcast/Verizon is deliberately refusing to fix the problem on their end", and then Netflix didn't have much option but to either suffer or try to generate public pressure on Comcast/Verizon to fix the problem, since Level 3 wouldn't. But I don't have actual inside knowledge as to where the breakdown happened at the time, just what everyone saw get thrown around in the media.

    Interestingly, there've been other technological improvements since the original problem happened:

    At the time that Level 3 first took over Netflix's CDN business, the protocol used for interconnection between ISPs (BGP) didn't have any good technical method for receiving ISPs to indicate where different traffic should come in. Verizon/Comcast would simply announce "hey, we have these IPs", and Level 3 would have interconnection points to them, and traffic originating from Level 3's network (or moving through it) would either pick just one interconnection point, or round-robin between interconnection points (usually the round-robin, though Verizon/Comcast could do things to favor or dis-favor specific interconnection points, but that basically leads to completely forcing all traffic through favored or to completely avoid dis-favored interconnects). The problem that causes then is the interconnect points are all in major hubs -- e.g. Chicago, Dallas, DC, Miami -- but Verizon/Comcast customers are spread out all over the place. And if a customer in Texas is downloading, but the interconnect from Level 3 is sending all of its traffic in at Chicago, then now Verizon had to bear the cost of moving the traffic across the country. In as much as Verizon/Comcast could keep their IP pools and network allocations "clean", they had the option to setup multiple different ASNs for each area of the country they provided service, and only advertise the "local" ASNs at each handoff -- they could separate their Texas service into one ASN at Dallas, and their New York service into a different ASN at New York City. Buuuuut, that also requires that you reallocate IP pools with ARIN every time you have to rebalance IP addresses to a new service area, which means reallocating large enough pools for ARIN to update the allocations, and a bunch of other increased maintenance costs, so residential ISPs generally didn't use that approach to managing inbound traffic, and thus the "settlement based peering" model -- which, incidentally, sprung up based on the Title II mandated & regulated telephony interconnection "access" model.

    Since that time, BGP has had some extensions that allow ISPs to announce preferences for specific IP blocks at specific interconnects, so that if Verizon moves an IP block from New York to Texas, they can update their BGP announcements in their own router and peers that they connect with at both interconnects can start sending the Texas-bound traffic to Dallas instead of New York City, without having to send any changes through ARIN, or fiddle with ASNs, or any of that. Providers like Riot Games and their "Riot Direct" CDN are leveraging those technologies now to minimize latency & jitter for their League of Legends traffic, though I don't know how much those technologies are getting used for bulk traffic at this point. But it's certainly technically possible at this point, so it's possible that the entire settlement / peering model problem has gone away or will go away and content providers can choose between building out their own distribution network to all the peering points, or paying interconnection fees and handing off at one place that's convenient to them.



  • @maciejasjmj said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

    My reaction to the factual bits of this paragraph are to laugh in the face of the guy editorializing there. Seriously, though, what's wrong with that? People were using the devices and the network in vastly inefficient ways for the network. Why shouldn't I laugh at you when you can't get something for free?



  • @kian It's supply and demand, but you apparently think the demand curve is the only thing that affects it. You're literally pretending that the whole "supply" part of it doesn't exist or matter.

    Increasing taxes on businesses increases their cost of supplying goods or services; this will change the market equilibrium point. But here, don't just take my word for it.

    0_1511798754942_93512f84-3bbd-48cf-b1ea-5f1733698ead-image.png


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Dang, his formatting is annoying.

    At least his article didn't include "someone should be in jail for this" this time.



  • @lolwhat said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    Let us assume I have 1Gbps of transport available to me on my network. I sell service with "speeds" of 10 Mbps and put connections through a "traffic shaper" that delivers "up to" 10Mbps for each customer.

    I sell 500 of these connections in your neighborhood. I do this because I know, with a good degree of certainty (because I modeled it over the period of several months or years) that your average use as a home user will be under 2Mbps all the time, with occasional higher bursts.

    And that's the problem - the massive overestimating of what the ISP claims to deliver. Instead of looking for solutions for that - eg. selling a guaranteed 1.5Mbps service and allowing only a certain amount of burst time per customer, or capping data, or whatever - the ISPs just oversell and pray the entire thing doesn't fall apart.

    And whatever the solution is, turning to the service provider to cough up cash is probably one of the dumbest ones imaginable.

    Imagine you're running a fast-food restaurant and you're offering free drink refills for $2. Everything is fine, it brings in just enough people to keep them seated, and most of them have only one or two drinks so you generally profit on that.

    Suddenly PepsiCo invents a new flavor of soda and it's really good, so you put it on tap. That brings in more people than you can handle to your restaurant, though, and they drink the stuff by the gallons. You're losing money. What do you do?

    There are a lot of answers to that - raise the prices, limit the free refills, even limit the refill on that particular soda - but "go to PepsiCo and demand they pay for another 300sqm of the restaurant or you'll stop serving the drinks" isn't really a valid one.



  • @boomzilla said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @maciejasjmj said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

    My reaction to the factual bits of this paragraph are to laugh in the face of the guy editorializing there. Seriously, though, what's wrong with that? People were using the devices and the network in vastly inefficient ways for the network. Why shouldn't I laugh at you when you can't get something for free?

    If I'm a taxi driver, and you want to drive to a car salon to buy a car, it would be ridiculous for me to refuse you on the grounds of me not being able to profit from you anymore. Especially if I'm the only taxi driver in the city. Especially if you're already in the taxi.



  • @maciejasjmj said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @boomzilla said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @maciejasjmj said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

    My reaction to the factual bits of this paragraph are to laugh in the face of the guy editorializing there. Seriously, though, what's wrong with that? People were using the devices and the network in vastly inefficient ways for the network. Why shouldn't I laugh at you when you can't get something for free?

    If I'm a taxi driver, and you want to drive to a car salon to buy a car, it would be ridiculous for me to refuse you on the grounds of me not being able to profit from you anymore. Especially if I'm the only taxi driver in the city. Especially if you're already in the taxi.

    Yes, that makes sense. But I don't see how that's in any way analogous to the facetime thing which would be more like charging extra for heavy baggage that you want to put in the trunk of the taxi.



  • @boomzilla said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    But I don't see how that's in any way analogous to the facetime thing which would be more like charging extra for heavy baggage that you want to put in the trunk of the taxi.

    ...not really? They charge you extra for the heavy baggage because it makes the cost of driving you around higher due to increased fuel use, etc. AT&T didn't want to disable FaceTime because it was costly to handle the traffic, they wanted to disable it because it provided a competing service for free.

    The "heavy baggage" could be Netflix, except that analogy doesn't really work either, since there's nothing "additional" about it. It's more like the taxi driver charging you extra because you're overweight.



  • @maciejasjmj said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    ...not really? They charge you extra for the heavy baggage because it makes the cost of driving you around higher due to increased fuel use, etc. AT&T didn't want to disable FaceTime because it was costly to handle the traffic, they wanted to disable it because it provided a competing service for free.

    Did they explicitly say that or something? Because it just makes too much sense that they'd prefer people to use the voice / text channels instead of streaming video along the lines of those bandwidth hypotheticals posted above.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @maciejasjmj
    Completely true, and I agree with the premise 100%.

    But the ISP world didn't grow in a vaccum...

    • Pre-1980s: Telephony. If you have a phone line, you pay a certain monthly charge just for the line, plus usage for time you actually are connecting to other carriers. The carriers are paying each other settlement charges - if you call a customer on another carrier, your carrier pays that other carrier for access to their customer.

    • 1980s: Dial-up becomes a thing. ISPs sell X hours a month for $Y, buying phone access from their carrier to provide that service.

    • 1990s: ISPs realize they've got a bunch of lines they're paying access for to service their customers, but some of the lines are always idle. They create "unlimited time" packages, based on the premise that they can get paid more, and having almost all of the lines in use all of the time is better since they're not paying for a line that never gets used. People with unlimited dial-up just leave it connected all the time, so ISPs start forcibly disconnecting people who leave their idle dial-up connected, so people start finding programs to make their dial-up look not idle, just in case they really need it.

    • late 1990s: Before the unlimited dialup disconnection wars become a big problem, technology solves the problem! Broadband internet arrives! Major carriers build out broadband internet networks with similar interconnection policies as they already used for their telephony service, but they figure "hey, it's not really worth tracking all this data if we're reasonably close together; lots of administrative overhead to send checks each way that cancel each other out", and settlement-free peering happens. The unlimited dial-up model, which was ubiquitous as the dial-up billing method by this point, transfers to the broadband model - you get an "up to" rate, but no usage or peak hours surcharges.

    • 2000s: Mobile phones. Text messages as an add-on service to help defray the costs of all the management traffic the phone has to send to maintain connection to the network anyway. Data over the mobile network too, on a very limited basis at first, but eventually the size of the data plan becomes a competition point, and unlimited data plans abound. Initial wireless networks are so crappy you can't do any more than basic browsing and e-mail on them anyway, so minimal congestion.

    • late 2000s: Wired broadband has advanced to the point that it can carry video, phone, and lots of other high bandwidth and/or low latency/low jitter service reliably. Netflix is born. Mobile phone & other wireless networks start to creep into service levels that can also support video streaming services, but quickly hit a technological cap; just a couple customers streaming video from a single access point can overwhelm the entire access point, cutting everyone's connection off. Data caps are re-introduced, to much angst and gnashing of teeth. The mobile unlimited plan goes the way of the dodo.

    • 2010s: Many more wired broadband customers realize paying $50+ for cable instead of $10 for Netflix service is silly. Internet traffic is growing at a rate of 100% every 9 months (compounding). ISPs are pinched by having to upgrade their interconnection equipment, backbone networks, and access point service equipment every 2-3 years, while they expected it to have a service life of 5+ years. Twitch, Youtube become things. Online gaming (and its extreme low-jitter low-latency requirements) becomes a major thing. Data caps get even more outrage and angst than they did with mobile phone data plans. "Net Neutrality" is born.

    Certainly, the ISPs weren't paragons of virtue in the whole process, either. But a lot of the problems stem from the extreme (by telco standards) rate of technological change and how much the telco mentality pervades the ISP world. Imposing Title II classification as telephony providers (which is what the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order did) isn't going to solve the problem.

    And, as we've seen in the mobile data plan world (where technology has, by and large, lifted the constraints that caused unlimited plans to be put down to begin with), technology has done a reasonable job so far of solving the problems it causes in the Internet world. It's just not always as smooth, painless, and quick as we would like. But if we can keep the government friction to a minimum, and use it more for fixing the monopoly problems that exist on both sides of the content provider & ISP divide, I expect we'll get much better results.



  • I never expected that net neutrality would do anything about monopolies. I also did not expect Title II classification to fix that problem either. What I expected was a literal interpretation of net neutrality whereby the content, purpose, source, and destination of our data packets did not affect the price or quality of the service we were provided. That is all I am asking for. Monopolies are a whole different issue that would certainly be nice to solve but are not relevant to the net neutrality discussion in my eyes.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @lb_
    But why should your high bandwidth, consistent bandwidth, low jitter (Netflix) connection be the same cost to you as traffic that doesn't care if it has consistent bandwidth or low jitter (browsing WTDWTF)? Netflix traffic (and VOIP traffic and online gaming traffic) requires a more premium quality of service than Internet browsing or remote backup sync, it should be fair and acceptable for that service to cost more.



  • @anotherusername I made the point to distinguish between sales tax and profit tax because the behavior of them is different. Notice how in the diagram you posted, it uses the example of a $1 per gallon tax. That's a sales tax, and as I said, that does shift the equilibrium price, and might even make something economically nonviable.

    A profit tax, however, won't move the supply curve because the price that maximizes profit without the tax is the same price that maximizes profit with the tax. The amount of the tax is calculated AFTER determining what the profit was, not when the sale is made. Since the goal of the business is to maximize profit, there's no reason for the business to move the price. Any deviation from equilibrium would only lower their profit.

    Of course, supply and demand graphs assume perfect knowledge on the part of everyone involved, and "all things being equal" comparisons are not something that can be applied to the real world, but the point I was making is that while the effect of a sales tax is obvious in even a simple model, profit taxes have far subtler effects. And if you disagree, feel free to show it with numbers. You showed the effect of a sales tax, which I also agreed with, not the effect of a profit tax.



  • @kian said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    A profit tax, however, won't move the supply curve because the price that maximizes profit without the tax is the same price that maximizes profit with the tax. The amount of the tax is calculated AFTER determining what the profit was, not when the sale is made. Since the goal of the business is to maximize profit, there's no reason for the business to move the price. Any deviation from equilibrium would only lower their profit.

    It may still affect the price because the investors are looking for a particular return on their investment and the profit tax reduces that. Obviously that's a complicated calculation that relies on a variety of elasticities, etc. They may also decide that it's just not worth it and do something completely different with their money.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Kian

    That's not necessarily true in all cases either, though. If a company is in a market where their profit margins are highly variable (e.g. retail), they're relying on the profit margin from good times to offset the risk of bad quarters; if you shrink that profit margin then the retailer will pass almost all of the tax through just the same as a sales tax; they need the original good quarter profit margin to survive, and the government isn't going to give them a refund when they lose money (at best, they'll allow them to "store" the losses and claim some/all of them in future quarters to reduce the tax liability then, but the retailer might be bankrupt by that point).



  • @izzion said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    @lb_
    But why should your high bandwidth, consistent bandwidth, low jitter (Netflix) connection be the same cost to you as traffic that doesn't care if it has consistent bandwidth or low jitter (browsing WTDWTF)? Netflix traffic (and VOIP traffic and online gaming traffic) requires a more premium quality of service than Internet browsing or remote backup sync, it should be fair and acceptable for that service to cost more.

    No one says it should. What I don't see is why this model of pricing requires the ISPs to be allowed to shape traffic per service.

    It's perfectly fine to charge for better connection quality, what's not fine is charging to access a particular service class (eg. video streaming sites), or even particular services (eg. Netflix specifically).

    So an offer that - say - for $15 offers you 10Mbps on paper with potential jitter or speed drop problems, and for $25 also offers you 10Mbps but makes it guaranteed and stable is perfectly fine. There's no need to repeal net neutrality just to allow providers to vary link quality, and it opens a gateway for some very seedy things, like abusing the monopoly in one service area to cut competition off in the other.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @maciejasjmj
    When I worked at an ISP, if we tried to count the number of customers paying for our "residential grade" service who called in and complained that they were "relying on this connection to run a business", we could have taken off all of the socks in our system admin department and still run out of fingers and toes1. And every single one of those customers refused (with varying levels of vulgarity) to upgrade to the business grade service, and accused us of trying to charge them more for the same service as their neighbor. Eventually, we gave up on having residential and business service at different prices, and focused more on selling dedicated links and premium tier service contracts as a way to get value for the differential in service requirements.

    The reality is, within current market expectations, the only way an ISP is going to be able to charge those discriminatory rates based on the requirements of the traffic is to actually shape traffic per service.

    1There were three of us, and the network had about 7000 customers in total. About 50 of the "residential" customers were on our shitlist for the described stunts, though another 10 or so did actually upgrade from residential to business and in some cases even higher/dedicated bandwidth circuits on our advice. But it literally didn't matter how many traffic graphs and other facts you presented; the ones who refused to upgrade on our first recommendation would refuse to upgrade no matter how many times they called in and had a one day wait (or more, in busy seasons, but we almost never were slow enough to do same day service calls for residential service) for a service call.



  • @boomzilla Yes, sure, but determining the effect requires making the model a lot more complex. You can no longer rely just on supply/demand curves, you need to get actor expectations into the mix. And you might want to compare it to other ways the government has to finance itself, for example, what other options for investment are available, etc. Lower taxes are better, but no taxes are worse since that means no government and as corrupt as they can be, they do provide some necessary services. In particular, property rights don't exist without a government to define and enforce them.

    @izzion said in Net neutrality non-neutrality:

    if you shrink that profit margin then the retailer will pass almost all of the tax through just the same as a sales tax

    Again, it can't pass the tax along without sacrificing profit. Granted, the shape the profit tax takes will have effects, but those effect require far more complex models to predict. Nothing you do in an economy has isolated effects, that's pretty obvious. If you limit the analysis to demand and supply, it doesn't affect the price, if you start adding more conditions, you make the model more complex. But if you want to make a more complex model, then you have to put the work in to make a consistent model. Extending the model in the specific way that contradicts the point of the simple model is not an argument. It is just showing that yes, the simple model is simple.


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