FCC Chairman To Smack Down ISPs That Throttle Data

rated by 0 users
This post has 6 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 25,861
Points 1,171,930
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Sat, Sep 19 2009 9:14 AM
While healthcare may be the hottest topic of all right now, it's hardto argue that net neutrality isn't one of the hottest, longest lastingtopics as related to the Internet. Ever since this series of tubes wasfirst put into place, pundits and supporters alike have debated abouthow much regulation was needed. Some argued that ISPs knew better thanthe average joe and deserved to be able to control certain aspects ofthe Internet experience, while others maintained that the Internet wasgreat because of the freedom it gave the creative minds of the world.

Now, all of those arguments are coming back to life once more, but thistime a whole host of network carriers will be chiming in. And wealready know what they'll say. On Monday, the new chairman of theFederal Communications Commission, Mr. Julius Genachowski, willreportedly address those who matter in an effort to push a new set ofguidelines surrounding net neutrality. It's the first major move to bemade by the newly appointed chair, who only took office a few monthsago after being appointed by President Obama.


FCC Chairman Julias Genachowski - Stepping up to the plate...

First, a little backstory. Last year, a small cadre of Comcast usersbegan to suspect that the company was actually throttling data used inP2P applications. Granted, BitTorrent and P2P stays in the news mostlyfor illicit acts of downloading media that has not been legallypurchased, but we don't need to convince you that P2P has a great dealof power on the legal side as well. It's a fantastic way to share legalmedia without placing a huge burden on one single CDN (content deliverynetwork), but clearly Comcast felt it was easier to simply throttle allP2P traffic in an effort to make sure that the rest of its subscribershad an enjoyable Internet experience. At issue here is whether or not ahuge company, which provides Internet access to tens of thousands ofindividuals in America, has the right to say what traffic deserves tobe slowed and/or what applications can or cannot run on its network. Toa consumer, the answer seems shockingly clear: "No way they have theright to control the access I'm paying for!"

To a Comcast executive, it's a bit less clear. These for-profitcompanies are in business for one reason: to please shareholders.Naturally, it's a lot easier to please shareholders when you're notletting certain users download terabytes upon terabytes of data as theyplease each month. But, is that right? That scenario is at the heart ofthe new guidelines, but honestly, it's just the tip of the iceberg.AT&T also made the negative nightly news a few months back when itdecided to not let the iPhone's SlingPlayer app stream video over 3G,while the same app on Windows Mobile and BlackBerry OS have been (andstill are) streaming over its 3G network for quite some time. AT&Tsimply decided that iPhone users would use too much data, and thatwould in turn harm the experience of other users simply trying to makea phone call, send a text or do a small Google search. We appreciateAT&T looking out for some consumers, but simultaneously detest themfor flat-out throttling others.

The new FCC chairman has clearly had enough of these games. In just afew hours, he'll spark up a speech at The Brookings Institute, where hewill "propose a new so-called net neutrality rule Monday that couldpreventtelecommunications, cable and wireless companies from blocking Internetapplications." He isn't expected to really dig into many details, butthe message is clear: he wants the power to be re-adjusted from the ISPto the consumer, and he wants all that "unlimited access" that we'repaying for to really be "unlimited access." Specifically, the newguidelines will act to "prevent the operators from discriminating, oract as gatekeepers, of Web content and services."

We can only imagine that suits at major cable companies andtelecommunications firms are scrambling over the weekend to come upwith some sort of rebuttal. In AT&T's eyes, for example, ifeveryone is suddenly allowed to use SlingPlayer and Google Voice, theystand to lose a lot of revenue and could see their networks gethammered. The latter is even bad for the consumer. Do you really wantAT&T's network quality to become even worse? But it begs thequestion: with all these new users that AT&T has been picking upsince the launch of the iPhone, where has that money been going? Ratherthan using new subscriber fees to re-invest in its network, it seems asif the company has been pocketing the difference while expectingconsumers to simply "live with" their legacy network infrastructure that is not meeting demand as it exists today. Hopefully the FCC can change all of that, but you can bet thesecarriers won't go down without a long, vocal fight.
  • | Post Points: 65
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,053
Points 60,700
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
Moderator
3vi1 replied on Sat, Sep 19 2009 9:44 AM

This is great news. Many ISPs have been quick to oversell bandwidth and then throttle what you can use on your "unlimited" connections.

It shouldn't matter if the traffic is P2P. P2P can be anything, not just illegal content. The ISPs should not be able to arbitrarily say that my download of the latest Kubuntu CD via Bittorrent, or your WoW client updates, or any other P2P content is any less important than the HTTP traffic of your neighbor... who's probably just watching Mantis on Hulu again.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,543
Points 54,460
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: United States, Massachusetts
ForumsAdministrator
MembershipAdministrator
Dave_HH replied on Sat, Sep 19 2009 10:59 PM

Well said Evil1 :)

Editor In Chief
http://hothardware.com


  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,654
Points 29,000
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: United States, Texas
Drago replied on Sun, Sep 20 2009 12:04 AM

How about forcing these phone and cable companies to freaking expand and at the minimum offer some sort of broadband everywhere. As it is if you dont live in a big city you are screwed.

A+ Certified PC Repair Technician
Associates Degree in Computer Science
Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems

DFI Lanparty UT NF3 250GB Dead.......Replacement  Abit KV-85
Learn more about Comp TIA A+ Certification.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,821
Points 45,685
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Sun, Sep 20 2009 4:21 AM

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

3vil you are right on target with that. I pay for fast internet for one reason (and this is becoming more so now that even TV/movies/etc. are hitting the net in a big way) that is unlimited internet. I personally have never been throttled. However; if I decide to download a few complete movies, and my incessant forum as well as school (I have gone back to school over the net) usage, I spend a lot of time on the net. I also game almost exclusively on the net. Either way the bandwidth in an out of my house is not small, I just have not hit any caps yet. If I do and they throttle me when I am having finals, or even regular assignment/discussion work etc, that could cost me a considerable amount of money.

OS:Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MB:ASUS Z87C
CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4770 ***
GPU:Geforce GTX 770 4GB
Mem:***ingston 16384MB RAM
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,053
Points 60,700
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
Moderator
3vi1 replied on Sun, Sep 20 2009 9:01 AM

I wish they would too, Drago! Where I grew up, and my parents still live, neither DSL nor cable broadband are available.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 29
Points 175
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Rugby ND
starwhite replied on Mon, Sep 21 2009 12:12 AM

ISps shouldn't be allowed to advertise 'unlimited bandwidth' if they can't deliver. Hopefully they get sued!

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (7 items) | RSS