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  1.  (2451.21)
    Wikipedia always works:
    Net neutrality
    And how the internet really works, a series of tubes
  2.  (2451.22)
    @paul I don't think anyone really knows what's going on any more. Wikipedia didn't help me at all.

    It would help if the whole concept of Net Neutrality was easier to fathom. Wikipedia doesn't help me with this. The bill that was blocked in 2006 talked about tiered service, and mixed it with traffic shaping. Apparently there was an idea that you can't do one without the other.

    Traffic shaping is good. As long as the packets get there, I don't have a problem with BitTorrent traffic losing priority to HTTP and Mail traffic. That's network management that's apparently been happening since the net started.

    Have a look at this interview (from 2006) with an engineer that worked on TCP/IP that cleared up a little of the confusion for me.

    I can't work the US Congress site as well as I can the UK Parliament site to find out the actual wording of the Bill, but it seems to be that one of the "ways" of ensuring net neutrality is to make every packet equal (no QoS check). Which will stifle innovation and prevent people working out ways to make the transfer of information better (which is how the net evolved in the first place).

    [edit] I just read this and it sounds like I'm missing the point. Which I probably am. But what I mean is that the whole "Net Neutrality" thing seems to come from the wording of that Bill in 2006, which was I believe talking about about allowing packets priority depending on where they come from instead of the type of packet. (But even that I'm not sure of because I can't find the damn thing) That seems to be blatant anti-trust to me and open to all sorts of horrible things. But it also appears that any attempt to stop this sort of thing revolves around not prioritising packets at all. So... I believe that's arguing at cross purposes?

    I think we're basically arguing about two separate things under the umbrella term of "Net Neutrality". I don't think they're mutually exclusive (e.g. you can and should prioritise traffic in a "tiered" system so all websites get priority over other traffic without making a "tiered" system of different websites having different priorities).

    The two ideas of a "free net" and a "non-managed net" are intertwined in a way that doesn't seem to make sense.
  3.  (2451.23)
    To help clarify, I guess it's just my own subjective leanings that lead me to prefer using the term "net neutrality" to cover ALL forms and methods that the large telecoms companies might employ to effect my freedom to use the internet however I want, which includes price-fixing and tiered service. Which is also the position of the I Power people in the clip. If others want to go with a more specific definition that only applies to controlling packet traffic, that's valid.

    Edit: some other potentially useful links, Google's position and an article about Google's position.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    which was I believe talking about about allowing packets priority depending on where they come from instead of the type of packet.

    That cuts to the core of it really. I don't want Google's performance degraded because my ISP partners with Microsoft/MSN and gives them preferential treatment(full use of bandwidth vs some sliver of it, as it were), but that's what much of the attempted legislation(even towards so-called Network Neutrality) has tried to allow.

    The traffic shaping(type of packet) argument's a bit different, but related as it would be used to implement the above. I'm going to leave my thoughts on it out for the moment though as they aren't as clear in my head as above.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    My boyfriend's response: "boooooooooooooooobs!"

      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    I'm sorta iffy on Net Neutrality--I have a feeling that it's good for us to have, I just can't quite figure out what it means.

    However, I would really like more reliable proof of this thing then a bunch of, as someone else said best, "paranoid hippies and cleavage" talking about it. Also, even if what their saying is true, I really doubt it would work because there are certainly many smaller internet providers that would capitalize and NOT use this model. I don't know about you guys, but the main reason why I use the internet is because it's NOT like TV, and I'm certain that's the same for the vast majority of people who use it. Really, the market itself could potentially stop this from happening.
  4.  (2451.27)
    Yeah, see, I agree with that at the moment, but I've been shut down a couple of times on this thread by people who seem to have a much more detailed understanding of all this than the one I have. So I'm starting to wonder whether or not there's just something else to the issue that I don't understand that makes my current assumptions incorrect.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    @buzzorhowl: I didn't mean to shut you down - I was just trying to clarify what you wrote. You were essentially correct, you just didn't have the terminology.
  5.  (2451.29)
    Does this mostly concern the ISP's control over the physical infrastructure that makes up the internet?
  6.  (2451.30)
    @Lingster: Oh, I didn't mean it in a bad way. I just mean that it's pretty obvious now that I don't understand this stuff as well as I thought. Thanks for the clarification on terminology--"packet traffic" is definitely a term I was looking for and couldn't think of.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited
    @Val - That's a big part of it, basically if I wanted the new uberfast cable internet here, I have to use Comcast as my ISP and can't get that service from another cable provider on those lines. From this, I'm then bound to however Comcast decides to deliver the internet to me. Their current BitTorrent-nuking practices are the first step in them trying to decide what the internet is for me, leading eventually to my earlier Yahoo/Google scenario. However, if the cable lines were owned by someone NOT in the ISP business, someone other than Comcast could step in and sell me that fast connection I want with terms of service that don't do that sort of throttling. Physically different internet access types(cable, dsl, satellite, wireless) is really the only sort of competition in that regard right now, however its all owned by a very small group of companies that are also largely in the pockets of Big Media and that's not very promising.

    I actually work for an independent ISP that runs service over Qwest's DSL lines and so I'm a bit involved in this whole mess. Recently there was a ruling in Qwest's favor that said they don't have to allow third party ISPs(us) to use their lines, meaning at any time they could decide to yank that all away from us. There hasn't been word of them doing so yet, and I certainly hope it doesn't happen, but right now its an option for them. Fortunately we've got a very healthy hosting/colo business as well, so it isn't lights out if it does happen. AT&T out in California's been really nasty about this sort of thing as well.

    edit - small clarifications/proofing.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008 edited
    @Val A Lindsay II: Here's a 2006 map of the internet in North America that includes around 130,000 routers:

    It's surely a lot bigger now, and with a substantial chunk of the routers replaced with faster ones.

    My understanding is that the concern about net neutrality is that some portion of those routers would be repurposed to handle priority traffic, or perhaps that a new packet layer or 'flag' would be added to indicate priority traffic - similar to how a flashing light identifies an emergency vehicle on a highway. As you can see from the map, many of the routers are owned by firms like Level3 that have relatively low residential presence. However, when you access a website, email server, voip server, etc that is hosted at a data center with Level3 as its provider, you do use the Level3 network, regardless of whether you're at home or work.
  7.  (2451.33)
    Thanks guys. This clarifies what I thought this really concerns and affects. I'd say the video is probably accurate in many ways and even if it was just a meme, it can't hurt to be more proactive.

    The problem that is mostly faced is corporate/government communication is so much more prominent then citizen/government communication and the government will dictate the rules in the end. I want to see more specific info that the corporations are doing this, but I do have a good margin of faith that they will try something like what the video suggests...
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    @Val A Lindsay II: Well, I disagree. All attempts at "walled garden" interactivity have failed, and it strikes me as highly unlikely that any carrier would attempt to reinstate that model. AOL, for example, has seen its market share disappear over the last 10 years. In my opinion the video is paranoid rambling.

    I'm much more worried about creeping, incremental free speech restrictions on internet sites courtesy of authoritarian regimes and their dupes in the United Nations. It's fortunate that the root nameservers and other critical internet infrastructure are hosted in America, because the U.S. government is Constitutionally prohibited from restricting speech and the American people seem to be naturally hostile to the United Nations. Put those two factors together and the transnational do-gooders and do-badders alike will hopefully be frustrated indefinitely in their desire to tell people what they can say and read.
  8.  (2451.35)
    I see this thread going rapidly downhill in the near future...

    @pi8you Wow... I'm surprised at that ruling. Surely that's anti-competition? If third parties can't supply service, and people have to use Qwest (which is a possibility I suppose from what you say), then that's bad news for anyone other than Qwest. Consumers included.

    @val They've already tried something like that and it's been shot down by Congress (apparently because it was a large, awkward bill that I still can't find the text of). ... or at least... something was shot down by Congress. I'm not so sure myself anymore.
    • CommentAuthorpi8you
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    Ah, but there is 'competition' in the form of different types of access- cable, dsl, dialup, satellite, wireless, and in our case, wi-fi. Doesn't matter if each of them has their own large points of suck or not, its varied enough for the powers that be to say that Qwest doesn't need to share its lines if they don't want to. So far as I'm aware, California recently got a similar ruling passed through, much to AT&T's delight.