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  1.  (2451.1)
    According to the folks at I Power the major ISPs are joining forces to change the way we access the internet (i.e. make it more profitable for themselves) with a plan to all switch around 2012.

    Here's the video

    This is obviously in planning stage, but how likely do you think it will be allowed to happen? Sure they control our access to the wub, but can they control the content and value of it? I don't see this being allowed to happen , as long as people know about it.
  2.  (2451.2)
    I'm sharing this with everyone I can get to listen. They're totally right, if the ISPs try to go ahead with this we should take our internet and pay someone who cares what we want for our access.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    Um...isn't 2012 the year everything ends?
  3.  (2451.4)
    If what they're saying is really true (which I'm dubious about), surely what will happen is that the ISPs that use this model will find the vast majority of their customers pissing off and going with an ISP that still uses the old model? And then it would be a miracle if the customers that remained wouldn't quickly realise what a scam they're paying for. I can't see how it would be anything but a suicide move for any ISP.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited
    Bloody hell! No way. I mean what about small businesses and so forth? They run tiny little individual sites listing their services and more importantly their CONTACT DETAILS, and you can sure as hell bet their sites wouldn't be included in anything less than the premium access packages... No way that could be allowed to go ahead. The Australian Government, for one, is always making noise about all the work it does to Protect Small Business.

    Another thing -- I don't see the Pornography industry going for this at all. And Porn makes the world go round, or at least the money it generates does. And the big money net-based companies make that money by having an entire galaxy of sites all funneling into the one bank account. Endless variety IS their product. Limiting the number of sites they can reasonably offer into a package deal just won't fly ith them.
  4.  (2451.6)
    They have "multiple sources" this will happen "probably in the next four years" that ISPs are involved in a pricing/product anti-trust violation.

    I have to agree with Paul, I am highly dubious of this report, its jousting phantoms just like the last few times similar claims were made. Without specific evidence I think it amounts to net clap-trap.
  5.  (2451.7)
    Truly shocking news, I'm glad it was delivered with so much cleavage.

    It helped to soften the blow a little.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    I'm currently on a computer without sound so all I could work out from the vid was:

    hippies and cleavage
  6.  (2451.9)
    I thought this was bullshit until I listened more closely to the ominous, background music loop. Now I'm unnerved.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    @moali: Close! It's actually about paranoid hippies and cleavage.
  7.  (2451.11)
    Not sure if their threat is really four years away, but net neutrality's a real fight. Without government support some of the stuff they're talking about here will happen, and it will blow for the little peoples of the online world. The major telecommunications companies are the gatekeepers, the line-layers, and the parties with enough money to afford a lobby. If they get to insure net neutrality gets no legislative backing, it's a scary thought.

    Which is why I always laughed at the Ron Paul acolytes parading across the Internets. That dude's strictly anti-net neutrality.
  8.  (2451.12)
    Net neutrality is much different from what they're talking about here... which is something I can't really see working, honestly. Even if there were collusion between EVERY broadband internet provider currently extant, the demand for a provider who ignores these price-point systems and gives unfiltered access to all content on the web would be so high that anyone with enough startup capital could create a new service provider and have an instant huge customer base. I would think that there'd be room for several people to do this, actually, were this whole doomsday scenario to come to pass. There's no way to prevent it, either.
  9.  (2451.13)
    The entire video's about net neutrality.
    • CommentAuthorbuzzorhowl
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited
    Well, I didn't watch the video (no sound on my work comp), but I'm commenting on the link from the video to a webpage, which goes to a webpage that supposedly outlines what's in the video. And what they were talking about there was a price-point system in which customers who paid different amounts of money per month would be given access to different websites. The way net neutrality works is that it causes all servers that are accessed to be loaded in the order they're requested (I think I'm describing that correctly, but I may be mangling the vocabulary in some way... I'm definitely a layman where this stuff is concerned). The revocation of net neutrality would allow websites to pay service providers to make their sites load first, and it would create a hierarchy such that a request for information from your friend's independent domain name wouldn't be acknowledged by your service provider until everything in the queue from say Google, Yahoo, etc. was already acknowledged. So you could get Google hits instantly, but it would take 5 minutes to post to this message board--and it would be because Google has a deal with your ISP.

    Structuring the internet as a tier system in which your ISP blocks all content except that which comes from specific websites--unless, of course, you pay more money--is a system that could function whether or not net neutrality is in place, and actually would work better if net neutrality IS in place, as at least then the people who paid the premium price and got access to the entire net would be able to load the websites they were going to pretty quickly. If a system like this were put in place at the same time that net neutrality were removed, even the people who paid the premium would still have really slow response time on all the "premium sites" they were given access to.

    Unless, of course, there were a way to make the "this server's requests go through first" protocol only operate on the accounts of the users who are on the basic plan, but not on the users who are paying the premium prices. I'm not aware enough of how internet programming works to know if such a thing would be possible.

    I don't know, the whole thing still seems a bit suspect to me, since as I said, other service providers could just spring up who are willing to give access that the bigger ISPs aren't.
  10.  (2451.15)
    The general idea of net neutrality is that the major telecommunications companies, ISPs, etc., collude together to secure better service for their own affiliated sites and worse service for anything else. There's a couple different variations on this theme, one of them being what you described as what you think net neutrality only refers to. What they're talking about, you also adequately describe, and it pretty much fits the definition of what net neutrality tries to keep from happening: the big companies controlling internet access. They're variations on the exact same problem.

    And the big problem isn't solved by other service providers offering better access: you have to own the infrastructure itself to circumvent what they're talking about here. Which is why they actually suggest maybe two-thirds into the clip a somewhat crazy solution whereby someone with boatloads of money sets up their own internet infrastructure and THEN provides a service counter to the price-fixing. The big companies that provide our internet service are often the same big companies (or are working with or for the same big companies) that own the physical infrastructure of the internet, the wires, the satellites, the frequencies, etc.
    • CommentAuthorPablo
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    I can't really listen to the video at the moment, but that's a nice shirt that lady is wearing.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    @buzzorhowl: You're talking about packet traffic. My understanding (also a layman) is that under internet protocol, packets are to be processed in the order they're received, and of course there's no 'caste system' in place for who the packets 'belong to'. What some ISPs (allegedly) want to do is set up a faster, less cluttered backbone that processes packets (and requests for packets) originating with customers who pay for a higher tier of service. While there is some concern about device-specific restrictions (e.g. the Amazon Kindle only provides links to a handful of pre-chosen sites), these are trivial and I haven't heard anyone serious proclaim a grand conspiracy to deny people internet access.

    I don't have a problem with tiered pricing. If we start prohibiting ISPs and telecom companies from innovating their product offerings, we'll shut down a lot of capital investment and retard the rate of improvement in service. And when an ISP screws up by restricting what their customers can do online, the market will correct the error by driving business to ISPs that haven't screwed up.

    Perhaps most importantly, there's been enormous investment by businesses all over the world that is predicated on free access to any IP address. If this were to be somehow shut down, the economic fallout would be immense - credit card readers and POS terminals would stop working, VOIP networks would fail, distributed corporate WANs and LANs would die screaming, etc. This kind of magical conspiracy theory just doesn't conform to what the net is really used for.
  11.  (2451.18)
    Perhaps most importantly, there's been enormous investment by businesses all over the world that is predicated on free access to any IP address. If this were to be somehow shut down, the economic fallout would be immense - credit card readers and POS terminals would stop working, VOIP networks would fail, distributed corporate WANs and LANs would die screaming, etc. This kind of magical conspiracy theory just doesn't conform to what the net is really used for.

    Not really true. Nothing would be shut down in the first place, thus no WANs or LANs dying screaming, no credit card readers or POS terminals not working, no VoIP networks failing. Everything would continue to function, only the expense of use in this scenario would go up.

    And yes, that would be absolutely devastating for some parties. But for the vast majority of businesses that have invested heavily, they did so because they could, and will continue to do so. Even your local non-franchise restaurant, who're already paying a fee every single time a card is used to pay for something. That fee will theoretically just go up more now.

    Edit: not that I'm actually afraid of this conspiracy happening. I imagine the weight of Google alone defeats any true threat to net neutrality.
  12.  (2451.19)
    My question is if all this is true will the hackers allow it?
  13.  (2451.20)
    Hmmm... since this thread is fast filling up with conflicting layman's opinions from people who generally agree about the topic of the thread, does anyone know of a good article or site that transparently explains the process by which ISPs can provide a service, and exactly what net neutrality is, so anyone commenting can read up to a decent level of knowledge before debating?