Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Jun 2011 22:38 UTC
Internet & Networking Because OSNews is technically a site from the US, and because the technology industry is decidedly a US-centric industry, we often talk about US politics having adverse effects on technology - or, the other way around. That's why I've been detailing the political movements here in The Netherlands with regards to net neutrality. After a lot of positive news, I've now got some bad news - bad news that involves the largest political party trying to block net neutrality - because one of its members of parliament, Afke Schaart, is a former KPN employee. And yes, KPN is the carrier that first announced it was going to block and throttle traffic.
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Comment by Kasi
by Kasi on Wed 1st Jun 2011 23:09 UTC
Kasi
Member since:
2008-07-12

I think what you are doing is probably the best and only method for attempting change. The more attention that is drawn to these relationships, and the more the subtle manipulative tactics of large corporations are exposed to the public is the only hope for gaining a decent counter movement.

However assuming they get their way like always have before, is this something that can be manipulated by using an encrypted proxy service?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kasi
by Lennie on Wed 1st Jun 2011 23:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kasi"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think there is always a way, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kasi
by Adurbe on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 21:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kasi"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I suppose this might not be a popular view on this story, but I think its IMPORTANT to have elected officials who have worked in real industries. Certainly I vastly prefer those to 'professional politicians'.

The UK parliament is sorely lacking people who truly understand IT technology. If they did, we wouldn't have made the 'universal broadband' rollout at 2mb due to complete in 2012...

That said, one would Hope that they would use their knowledge to bring expertise to the debate and not just maintain old loyalties.

If you dont agree with how your elected official votes. Don't vote for them next time round.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kasi
by Alfman on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kasi"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Adurbe,

"I suppose this might not be a popular view on this story, but I think its IMPORTANT to have elected officials who have worked in real industries. Certainly I vastly prefer those to 'professional politicians'."

Yes, but there's also a concern in having representatives who still have active ties to the industry.

In the US I see the obama administration placing a bunch of high profile corporate CEOs in government positions with some oversight over their own companies.

Eric Schmit, Google CEO
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-court/google-ceo-for-commerce-s...

Andrew McLaughlin, Google director
http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/enterprise-architect...

Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO.
http://www.freepress.net/news/2011/5/27/twitter-ceo-named-president...

Jeffrey Immelt, GE CEO
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/21/obama-picks-jeffrey-immel-...

I haven't been keeping track, but the list of corporate directors actually pretty long, these are just the ones I remember recently.

Facebook, like the rest, are buying their way into politics.
http://www.npr.org/2011/05/30/135783156/facebook-has-powerful-frien...


I know it's a tough balancing act, but having all the corporate bigwigs appointed to oversee government policy over their own industries is becoming hard to stomach. Is there anybody in government representing "joe the plumber" (or joe the STEM worker for that matter)?

Edited 2011-06-03 02:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kasi
by Neolander on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 07:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kasi"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Does STEM really mean what I think it means ? (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope)

Anyway, I agree that a government cannot represent all jobs areas, and will often end up only representing management, which is harmful. Therefore, members of the "core" government should stick with politics, and handle scientific questions to separate scientist organisms.

In many countries, this is already how public research management works. The government specifies a research budget, and then it is an institution made of research actors (researchers and engineers elected by their peers, university presidents...), that decide how the money will be distributed.

So when there's an IT debate, what the government should do is to form or contact an independent group of IT specialists who will in turn study the question, before producing a short report that is readable by people with no scientific formation, including politics and the general public.

AFAIK, this is how debates in many scientific areas work. Nuclear risks, drug selling authorizations...

Edited 2011-06-03 07:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Kasi
by anevilyak on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kasi"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

Does STEM really mean what I think it means ? (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope)


I believe in this context it expands to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Kasi
by Neolander on Fri 3rd Jun 2011 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kasi"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Thanks for the clarification !

Reply Score: 1

Do we really need regulation?
by Berend de Boer on Wed 1st Jun 2011 23:36 UTC
Berend de Boer
Member since:
2005-10-19

I think it is a core concept of property law that you can do with your own stuff what you like. If KPN wants to charge extra why not?

You just switch to another provider.

If the argument is that they are charging extra for a service they don't provide, note that certain services have a far higher cost than others. For example HTTP traffic can be cached. You can't cache voice traffic, i.e. higher charges.

And secondly, the internet routes around problems, so if the KPN does this, within no times we'll see "technical" solutions to avoid the extra charge, so it won't work.

But it's VERY BAD precedent to have nanny state step in. Or are citizens in The Netherlands already so weakened they can't do anything unless it is regulated for them?

Reply Score: 0

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You just switch to another provider.


There are only three providers. Two of them have implemented or are implementing this. The third one was thinking about it. There is no choice. Telecommunications is not a free market. It's too expensive to start in for that.

Stop thinking there's an ideal capitalist free market. It doesn't exist. It's a myth.

Reply Score: 4

AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26

I admit a lack of knowledge about Dutch politics, but I assume there are only 3 carriers less due to regulations and more due to the market only being able to support a small number of cell carriers in part due to the large start-up infrastructure costs of building a cell network. See: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Natural_monopoly

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm sure there won't a free market in the Netherlands if its citizens don't desire it. That's a given.

Amen to the Market God.

If the Dutch wanted it, there would be a 4th provider. But bet that it is illegal to start your own telecom company in The Netherlands? Probably heavily regulated, eh?

If it's like in France, where it's easy to create a landline ISP and hard to create a mobile ISP, the reason is simple : the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is used by mobile carriers is a limited resource. Free market only works well with resources which are in infinite supply.

Edited 2011-06-02 07:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jhodapp Member since:
2009-11-24

"I'm sure there won't a free market in the Netherlands if its citizens don't desire it. That's a given.

Amen to the Market God.

If the Dutch wanted it, there would be a 4th provider. But bet that it is illegal to start your own telecom company in The Netherlands? Probably heavily regulated, eh?

If it's like in France, where it's easy to create a landline ISP and hard to create a mobile ISP, the reason is simple : the part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is used by mobile carriers is a limited resource. Free market only works well with resources which are in infinite supply.
"

You are naive in your knowledge of economics and free markets. No it is not a free market is The Netherlands, nor is any utility by definition, but it's precisely in markets (all markets) where resources are not infinite that markets work well. There is no such thing as infinite supply; all goods and services are by definition scarce and limited. If goods and services were infinite, then politicians could centrally distribute these things and nobody would be worse off because of it (i.e. there would no longer be any trade-offs inherent in this situation).

From Wikipedia: "Microeconomics (from Greek prefix micro- meaning "small" + "economics") is a branch of economics that studies the behavior of how the individual modern household and firms make decisions to allocate limited resources." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-economics

Instead of fixing the results of failed regulation in creating these natural monopolies with high barriers to entry by creating more regulation, the government should be trying to lower the barriers to entry in this market to help foster increased competition. Instead, net neutrality (a terrible name, it won't be neutral, it will just be whatever the government dictates) will increase the costs of being an ISP which will get shifted to the customers. It happens in every market that a government gets involved in. Please educate yourself on the subject of economics before you go criticising a subject you clearly know very little about.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You are naive in your knowledge of economics and free markets. No it is not a free market is The Netherlands, nor is any utility by definition, but it's precisely in markets (all markets) where resources are not infinite that markets work well. There is no such thing as infinite supply; all goods and services are by definition scarce and limited. If goods and services were infinite, then politicians could centrally distribute these things and nobody would be worse off because of it (i.e. there would no longer be any trade-offs inherent in this situation).

I was talking about free markets specifically here.

Let's say that a cure for AIDS is found. But its manufacturing processes requires use of a substance called Geekium whose sole known supply is a tree that grows in the middle of M. John Smith's property.

Free market scenario, where property is still enforced through some weird black magic : John Smith keeps the number of trees equal to one and maximizes his benefit by selling the substance for an insanely high price. Only rich people will be cured.

Free market scenario, where property is not enforced : People fight for the tree endlessly until the neighbour, tired by the noise, sets the tree on fire and destroys the sole known supply of Geekium. Everyone dies.

Regulated scenario : government seizes the tree, offers a good check to Matt Smith as a compensation, and then makes sure that more trees are planted and that the drug is distributed for a fair price among the infected population. Millions of lives are saved.

Instead of fixing the results of failed regulation in creating these natural monopolies with high barriers to entry by creating more regulation, the government should be trying to lower the barriers to entry in this market to help foster increased competition.

And how is the government supposed to lower the barrier to entry without regulating, exactly ?

Fundamentally, even if the GSM spectrum was in infinite supply and thus regulation wasn't needed, there would still be the following problem : how is a new actor with a few millions of dollars in his pocket supposed to compete with established mobile operators that have an infrastructure worth billions of dollars and billions more in their pocket, without having a governmental entity make sure that other operators accept to share their infrastructure with him in the beginning ?

Instead, net neutrality (a terrible name, it won't be neutral, it will just be whatever the government dictates) will increase the costs of being an ISP which will get shifted to the customers.

Why ? Nothing prevents ISPs from putting monthly caps on full-speed downloads and reducing transfer rates afterwards. This is a perfectly neutral solution : nature of the traffic doesn't matter. In fact, many mobile operators already do this.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jhodapp,

A few comments,

"There is no such thing as infinite supply; all goods and services are by definition scarce and limited."

This isn't strictly true, especially when we start talking about virtual goods like software. People who paid real money to buy property in "second life" were buying something which is in infinite supply literally. The only scarcity is an artificial one.


"If goods and services were infinite, then politicians could centrally distribute these things and nobody would be worse off because of it"

The implication that competing corporations can manage resources better than government is an assumption. It's not necessarily wrong, but it is a weak part of the argument.


"Instead of fixing the results of failed regulation in creating these natural monopolies with high barriers to entry by creating more regulation, the government should be trying to lower the barriers to entry in this market to help foster increased competition."

Let me ask you what tools does the government have to foster competition and reduce barriers to entry?

Like you, I don't like regulation, I hate it - I hate how governments entitle themselves to strip away our rights without even asking our permission. In fact I absolutely despise it. The Orwellian laws need to be shredded to pieces.

But without any regulation, particularly over giant corporations, there is no possibility to compete fairly. A pure free market economy converges into oligopolies if they are permitted to become all powerful. Businesses cannot compete without merging and consolidating, the result is always a market dominated by too few players. Those at the top might make alot of money in the process, but most people just loose their jobs and livelihoods.

I'll ask again because I think it's an important question: what tools does the government have to stop the monopolization of our markets and improve competition?

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

This isn't strictly true, especially when we start talking about virtual goods like software. People who paid real money to buy property in "second life" were buying something which is in infinite supply literally. The only scarcity is an artificial one.

I'd say that even money, which is one of the core subjects of economics studies, can be considered an infinite resource. Modern laws allow banks to clap their hand and create money which they don't have when they make a loan.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"I'd say that even money...can be considered an infinite resource."


Well, in the old days, coins were made with valuable metals, and dollars were attached to the gold standard. Obviously today's money has no intrinsic value.

On the other hand...
http://www.usatoday.com/money/2006-12-14-melting-ban-usat_x.htm

"Soaring metals prices mean that the value of the metal in pennies and nickels exceeds the face value of the coins. Based on current metals prices, the value of the metal in a nickel is now 6.99 cents, while the penny's metal is worth 1.12 cents, according to the U.S. Mint.

That has piqued concern among government officials that people will melt the coins to sell the metal, leading to potential shortages of pennies and nickels."

Reply Score: 2

RE: Do we really need regulation?
by AnyoneEB on Wed 1st Jun 2011 23:41 UTC in reply to "Do we really need regulation?"
AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26

The argument for regulation here is that there are few enough (mobile) ISPs that simply switching to a better one is not an option because they will all charge extra for VOIP (or whatever other type of traffic).

EDIT: ... and Thom said the same thing while I was writing my comment.

Edited 2011-06-01 23:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

But why are there only a few?

And why won't there be a 4th one very quickly?

Reply Score: 0

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Infrastructure.

All these players in the mobile market (what this is probably mostly about) have their own network.

It would be hard to compete with these players without your own network. And it obviously takes time/money to build your own network.

Reply Score: 3

abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

What happens know is that people who don't use VOIP are subsidising the people who do, if VOIP simply costs more to provide. Which is not unlikely.

And who is using VOIP most? Obviously the smart and well-paid. And who isn't using VOIP? Elderly and low-income probably. So who is subsiding the habits of Tom? Yes, that's right. The poor can subsidise the rich through regulation. That's probably what's going to happen. So what we will see is not a market failure, but another regulation failure.


I have no idea what your elderly and not so high income parents do with their internet (except for mandatory porn which the whole thing is about of course), but I can tell you why mine and my wife's pay their subscription: to (video)call (yes VoIP) us and our siblings scattered around the country and the world so that they can (see) talk to their grandchildren. Along with occasional IM and e-mail, that is pretty much it.

Perhaps would be nice to tone down your political zealotry for the maximal possible extant of corporate world domination and go out have a look at some real life.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

But why are there only a few?

Because they were there first and it would be very hard for a new actor to catch up, and because the radio spectrum is a limited resource. Mobile operators own their infrastructure, in pure following of the free market philosophy, and strangely they tend to be shy about sharing it unconditionally with new actors if the government doesn't come into play.

And why won't there be a 4th one very quickly?

Describe us a plan for introducing a full-blown mobile network very quickly.
In France, we're currently trying to introduce a fourth one. It started one year ago, and early service (= only works on big cities, or through another carrier's network) should be available next year if everything goes well.

Before the project was even approved, the existing operators have done every piece of lobbying they can to kill the project. The new actor couldn't afford paying the full price for an equivalent of share of the GSM spectrum to the one which other actors had, as an example. It offered to pay in several chunks. Through intense lobbying and legal manipulation, the proposition has been rejected.

Then the government has suggested that the new actor could only receive on third of its initially planned piece of the GSM spectrum, which would effectively impair its development as soon as it starts to get lots of customers, while historical operators get two thirds of it. Well, it's better than nothing right ? But no. The three historical operators have tried, through more lobbying, to argue that having the new operator pay one third of the price was unfair competition. Thankfully, at this point, European institutions have come and enforced this solution.

Free market doesn't work well with limited resources. It's just a matter of fact.

Reply Score: 2

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Before the project was even approved, the existing operators have done every piece of lobbying they can to kill the project. The new actor couldn't afford paying the full price for an equivalent of share of the GSM spectrum to the one which other actors had, as an example. It offered to pay in several chunks. Through intense lobbying and legal manipulation, the proposition has been rejected.

Then the government has suggested that the new actor could only receive on third of its initially planned piece of the GSM spectrum, which would effectively impair its development as soon as it starts to get lots of customers, while historical operators get two thirds of it. Well, it's better than nothing right ? But no. The three historical operators have tried, through more lobbying, to argue that having the new operator pay one third of the price was unfair competition. Thankfully, at this point, European institutions have come and enforced this solution.

Free market doesn't work well with limited resources. It's just a matter of fact.


I'm sorry, am I just stupid? You described a NON-FREE market, and then say the free market doesn't work?

Lobbying the government to use its force upon others is NOT A FREE MARKET.

Sorry for shouting.

What you describe is just the situation you get when you let the government run things.

Reply Score: 0

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Before you start to shout, ask yourself how, in a free market, natural resources which are in a limited supply, like the GSM spectrum, are managed.

I can answer myself: the first company which has seen them claims to own them all, and then sells them to others for a hefty price.

So what you have created is the private equivalent of a government, except that since it is owned by a single individual who never changes and has landed there arbitrarily (unlike governments, which are elected), it will be significantly easier for existing operators to corrupt it.

Everything which had happened with the fourth french operator could have happened in such a "free" market, save for one thing: the intervention of European institutions, forcing existing actors to tolerate the presence of the new operator. Because, you know, government intervention is so bad.

Why some people would prefer plutocracy over democracy to rule such situations is really beyond me.

Edited 2011-06-02 09:47 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Before you start to shout, ask yourself how, in a free market, natural resources which are in a limited supply, like the GSM spectrum, are managed.


The first thing you should realise is that the GSM spectrum is not a single thing. The owners of 1G networks could not have built 3G networks.

I can answer myself: the first company which has seen them claims to own them all, and then sells them to others for a hefty price.


Nonsense. The move to 3G was an entirely different spectrum for example. Technology moves quickly and unpredictably.


So what you have created is the private equivalent of a government, except that since it is owned by a single individual who never changes and has landed there arbitrarily (unlike governments, which are elected), it will be significantly easier for existing operators to corrupt it.


Sigh. I guess that's why North Korea was the first to built a 5G network isn't it? No pesky competition. Just focusing on the needs of customers.


Everything which had happened with the fourth french operator could have happened in such a "free" market, save for one thing: the intervention of European institutions, forcing existing actors to tolerate the presence of the new operator. Because, you know, government intervention is so bad.

Why some people would prefer plutocracy over democracy to rule such situations is really beyond me.


You just claimed the 4th operator was stopped because of the actions of government. Sorry. "Democracy" not working.

"Democracy" is just the nice word for the biggest lobbyist gets to outlaw the competition in a lot of instances.

Reply Score: 0

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The first thing you should realise is that the GSM spectrum is not a single thing. The owners of 1G networks could not have built 3G networks.

The GSM spectrum exists, it is what all 2G networks are based on.

If you cannot interoperate with 2G networks, then you have to put 3G antennas in all covered areas, and have everyone use 3G-compatible cellphones. Good luck with that, as a new operator which does not nearly have the money of existing ones.

Nonsense. The move to 3G was an entirely different spectrum for example. Technology moves quickly and unpredictably.

Except that there's this thing called compatibility/interoperability which frequently comes into play. A new communication network which only allows new users to communicate with each other is not going very far if it tries to compete with existing communication networks.

Sigh. I guess that's why North Korea was the first to built a 5G network isn't it? No pesky competition. Just focusing on the needs of customers.

North Korea is a dictatorship, the kind of things which you get on a "free" market as soon as monopolies appear.

You just claimed the 4th operator was stopped because of the actions of government. Sorry. "Democracy" not working.

Yes, it works, because in the end it is the action of the European government (that is sufficiently large not to give a shit about what french mobile operators have to say) that saved the day. Democratic governments work well as long as they remain significantly more powerful than the actors which they're supposed to govern.

"Democracy" is just the nice word for the biggest lobbyist gets to outlaw the competition in a lot of instances.

It's also a word for people who choose who they give power to, without the wallet size of a small number of individuals being the sole driving force. Each human being counts as one human being in a vote-based system, no matter how rich he is.

Edited 2011-06-02 10:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, give me a real-world example of your so-called "free market" actually working out the best for the people.

In case you haven't noticed, the countries with the highest standards of living, the least amount of poverty, and the happiest people are all countries where governments keep close watch on all markets, stepping in when necessary. The Nordic countries and The Netherlands, basically.

The notion that the free market will take care of everything is simplistic, and not based on reality. Just as the pure form of communism* cannot exist because it doesn't take reality into account (i.e., people are egocentric dicks), nor can a unregulated free market exist.

* contrary to popular belief, there has never been a communist state. Just a bunch of totalitarian dictatorships.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Do we really need regulation?
by Hypnos on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 01:34 UTC in reply to "Do we really need regulation?"
Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

1) Generally you can't do what you like with your property if doing so hurts other people.

2) You can ask the question whether what's more profitable for the telecoms hurts the economy as a whole, i.e. a deadweight loss. Infrastructure costs are huge, and having to duplicate it just to get net neutrality is very wasteful.

Reply Score: 2

Hypnos Member since:
2008-11-19

1) "Violation" is a weak standard for "hurt" because it drops context. That's why we have legislative deliberation, laws and due process.

2) The gov't as a rule *does* use force -- for example to enforce property rights -- because the governed consider it useful. The issue is in deciding what is useful, and what might come back to haunt you.

3) It does not follow that if a lot of regulation leads to North Korea, a little regulation is proportionately bad. It could be much better, even than the present unregulated situation.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Do we really need regulation?
by Alfman on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 03:21 UTC in reply to "Do we really need regulation?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Berend de Boaer,

"And secondly, the internet routes around problems, so if the KPN does this, within no times we'll see 'technical' solutions to avoid the extra charge, so it won't work."

What exactly do you mean by this?

Are you talking about encrypted VPNs to a country without the filters? Technically feasible, sure, but not without it's own costs.

There's a popular quote "The internet sees censorship as damage, and automatically routes around it", unfortunately it's not true.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I think it is a core concept of property law that you can do with your own stuff what you like.


Oh,? So I can do whatever I want with my PS3 then? Like, I dunno, hack it.

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Oh,? So I can do whatever I want with my PS3 then? Like, I dunno, hack it.


Yes you can.

Oh, you actually can't? And who made that illegal? And what kind of laws are being used to take that right away from you?

A very good example that laws cut both ways, and they're usually not in favour of consumers.

Reply Score: 1

PRaabjerg Member since:
2006-09-23

Er. Are you actually arguing against laws and government in general?
If so, did you have a look at Somalia recently?

Laws are, by definition, the (nanny?) "state stepping in", referring to the root post.

Laws cut both ways, yes. But laws being good or bad depends entirely on the government. There are always stupid laws, and stupid lobbyists. And the system could be better equipped to avoid these lobbyists from interfering with democracy. You have to constantly poke stupid politicians to at least avoid the introduction of the very worst laws. But mostly it works out in favour of "the average guy/gal". The relatively few bad laws you know of are almost certainly outnumbered by the many good laws that keep society stable.

Well. At least here in Sweden. I don't know where you live, so...

Anyway. In my opinion, this particular case falls under "good" regulation that benefits the customer in the apparent absence of competition. And this absence of competition is not purely caused by government stupidity. Do you really think it would be a good idea to let the spectrum be completely unregulated?
Because then I have a unicorn I want to sell you. The mileage is good and it's only been flown by an old lady.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Do we really need regulation?
by daedalus on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 07:48 UTC in reply to "Do we really need regulation?"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14


If the argument is that they are charging extra for a service they don't provide, note that certain services have a far higher cost than others. For example HTTP traffic can be cached. You can't cache voice traffic, i.e. higher charges.


Well, yes, things like VOIP can't be cached, but data is data, and if you're sending and receiving a lot of it, then you get billed for it (all-inclusive packages excepted). It shouldn't matter *what* the data is, after all, the carrier is just passing the data to and from the internet at large - how could it possibly cost them more to transfer data to and from facebook.com, than it does to and from osnews.com?

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

daedalus,

"how could it possibly cost them more to transfer data to and from facebook.com, than it does to and from osnews.com?"

I'd have the opposite concern though. A higher price for facebook would generate too much negative publicity and undermine the ISPs multi-tiered plans. A more realistic scenario is for ISPs to set a precedent by demoting obscure websites like osnews (oh did I say that :-).

In the end, the big guys will be able to negotiate deals to stay in the upper tier, and it's the small developers who will become second class netzens.

As you illustrated, bytes are similar in cost regardless of the services we use. It's all about coercing customers onto business models with new fees.

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

As you illustrated, bytes are similar in cost regardless of the services we use. It's all about coercing customers onto business models with new fees.


No one is coerced. No one is using force.

You just don't like what your ISP or Telecom is doing, and you want to use the full power of the government to stop it.

You won't like a world where you cannot vote with your feet my friend.

Really, how easy would it be to whip up a social media campaign against an ISP who does these kinds of things?

Or start a collective bargaining company?

If 100,000 people switch their provider under the proviso the new provider gives them for example net neutrality, that sends a very powerful message.

But NO, can't do that. The government must step in!! Else it won't happen.

You might be right on that, but it's a sad indictment on the Dutch.

Reply Score: 0

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Or start a collective bargaining company?

If 100,000 people switch their provider under the proviso the new provider gives them for example net neutrality, that sends a very powerful message.

But NO, can't do that. The government must step in!! Else it won't happen.


Erm... That is what governments are supposed to do. Step in for the people.

How can people vote with their feet if all they are doing is jumping from the frying pan into another frying pan?

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Erm... That is what governments are supposed to do. Step in for the people.


Yes, rescuing bank after bank. All for the common man!

Reply Score: 1

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Well, yes, things like VOIP can't be cached, but data is data, and if you're sending and receiving a lot of it, then you get billed for it (all-inclusive packages excepted). It shouldn't matter *what* the data is, after all, the carrier is just passing the data to and from the internet at large - how could it possibly cost them more to transfer data to and from facebook.com, than it does to and from osnews.com?


Clearly the issue at hand is distinguishing between VOIP and other kinds of traffic. So you're muddling the waters.

But I should perhaps expand on the caching: because carriers cache, a byte isn't a byte. For HTTP traffic perhaps only 50% (random number) arrives from outside their network. I.e. they safe a lot on their bills. So they charge you for 1MB, but it cost them only 512KB.

For VOIP that's not true. So there is a true cost.

And obviously the other thing is that VOIP eats into their very profitable call costs. So yes, they don't like it. But asking the government to step in, is a very, very bad idea, with extremely unpredictable outcomes.

As I said above, the poor will be subsidising the rich for starters.

Secondly, through social media it is quite easy to gather support for a carrier that seeks its profit by serving VOIP clients.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Except you have forgotten that in what you're advocating, social media would be something for "the rich", not for large groups of people. Because, you know, not all internet traffic is equal...

Edited 2011-06-02 09:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Because, you know, not all internet traffic is equal...


It isn't. QoS, caching, all have different qualities.

Traffic isn't equal. You really care your email arrives as fast as your VOIP packet?

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I do really care if ISPs spy on my packets in order to determine if it's an email or a VOIP packet, instead of just taking care of transmitting data to and from my house.

When you send paper mail, does the post office ask you to open your letter and charges you double the price if you have put content which they don't like in it? Is that a future you want?

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Berend de Boer,

"For VOIP that's not true. So there is a true cost."

If their advertised bandwidth prices cannot cover the costs of bandwidth, then they are clearly overselling their services - that's their own fault for listening the the marketing geniuses over the engineers.

"And obviously the other thing is that VOIP eats into their very profitable call costs. So yes, they don't like it. But asking the government to step in, is a very, very bad idea, with extremely unpredictable outcomes."


True, VOIP is more competitive than paying for a similar service from your local phone company. However governments do have a responsibility to step in if competitors are being excluded from the market.

As ineffective as governments may be, allowing corporate monopolies to run everything is even worse.

"As I said above, the poor will be subsidising the rich for starters."

Yes, smaller publisher and developers will be paying higher rates than the big corps, that's the way it goes. Unless of course you support net neutrality.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Do we really need regulation?
by abcxyz on Thu 2nd Jun 2011 12:21 UTC in reply to "Do we really need regulation?"
abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

I think it is a core concept of property law that you can do with your own stuff what you like.


I see what you're saying and where the business is generally heading. And I do not like it. Why should corporations own property and be free to do what with it as they please, while we the people are gracefully allowed to license services and be dictated by "market" owners what we can do with "our" stuff?

Locusts might not realize that, but it's in their own long term interest to control their greed. Or the end will be ugly for them and us alike.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

+1. Just because you own a knife doesn't mean that you can use it to stab people in a public place, so why should the rules be different for businesses ?

Reply Score: 1

Afke Schaart
by Lennie on Wed 1st Jun 2011 23:50 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

I did some quick searching, she was 31st on the list of candidates and VVD has 31 seats in lower house. So almost she didn't even get in.

It just sounds like voters fraud if they go through with this.

Reply Score: 2

DHofmann
Member since:
2005-08-19

If charging more for certain kinds of traffic means the carrier doesn't have to raise prices across the board, why is that a bad thing?

You may not like a la carte pricing, but some people do. Please don't take away the freedom and ability of those less wealthy than you to economize.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

DHofmann,

"If charging more for certain kinds of traffic means the carrier doesn't have to raise prices across the board, why is that a bad thing?"

I personally don't mind paying for what I use, my phone bill currently works out that way. I also don't mind non-discriminatory QOS controls which give low bandwidth customers priority over high bandwidth customers on an hourly or daily basis (as long as it's fairly advertised).


What I do object is the ISP deciding to discriminate against customers using their bandwidth to do X in favor of customers using their bandwidth to do Y. It's none of their business what I do with my fair share of bandwidth. One might even go so far as to say they shouldn't even have the legal right to wiretap it at all, and shouldn't even know which protocols I'm running.

Reply Score: 5

DHofmann Member since:
2005-08-19

It's none of their business what I do with my fair share of bandwidth.


Unless, of course, you allow them to, in exchange for a lower bill. Why would you restrict people's freedoms and force them to pay higher bills?

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Unless, of course, you allow them to, in exchange for a lower bill. Why would you restrict people's freedoms and force them to pay higher bills?"

We both know that's just word play.

I'm not forcing anybody to pay higher bills. Nor am I forcing anybody to subsidies anyone else.

I stated up front that I'm willing to pay for the bandwidth that I use, however it's none of their business if I want to use my bandwidth for service X instead of service Y.

What would you say if your ISP had a corporate deal with Bing, and charged a premium for accessing Google?

Would it give you any dilemma to stick with your logic and say "If charging more for certain kinds of traffic means the carrier doesn't have to raise prices across the board, why is that a bad thing?"?

Edited 2011-06-02 04:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

DHofmann Member since:
2005-08-19

What would you say if your ISP had a corporate deal with Bing, and charged a premium for accessing Google?


So, I can either pay more to access Google in exchange for lower Internet access fees, or I can pay more for the Internet in order to save money accessing Google.

I like having choices like that. Don't you?

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

DHofmann,

"So, I can either pay more to access Google in exchange for lower Internet access fees, or I can pay more for the Internet in order to save money accessing Google.

I like having choices like that. Don't you?"

Honestly no, and I'm a little skeptical that you're speaking as a consumer at all. But if that's your preference so be it.

However, everyone here should be smart enough to see that your "lower Internet fees" is nothing but marketing spin. It's equivalent to applying a surcharge for doing business with the competition - in effect, google users would be subsidizing bing users through the ISP.

In the hypothetical arrangement above, are there any restrictions at all to the amount the ISP could charge users for using competitor services?

Should amazon be allowed to enter into an agreement with an ISP to charge customers higher prices to access other bookstore websites?

Here, the local cable internet company (OOL) is a monopoly, they also own a news station and newspaper. Should they be able to charge a premium for accessing competing websites? Is that considered censorship?


Now answer this honestly, if you needed to pay your ISP an extra $10/month to access osnews (because OSNews refused to enter into a contract with your ISP), would that not bother you? Would you still be here?

If we don't tread very carefully now, we could easily end up with a fragmented internet where people are blocked off from one another because of greed and corruption.

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Should amazon be allowed to enter into an agreement with an ISP to charge customers higher prices to access other bookstore websites?


Bad example: Amazon has entered into examples with ISPs to give customers "free" access to the Amazon site, i.e. Whispernet.

Unfair!!!! Should be forbidden! The government should step in with its heavy boots and send people to jail for this.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Berend de Boer,

"Bad example: Amazon has entered into examples with ISPs to give customers 'free' access to the Amazon site, i.e. Whispernet."

You're talking about the amazon kindle, right?

It's an interesting business model.

"Magazines, newspapers and blogs via RSS are provided by Amazon per a monthly subscription fee or a free trial period. Newspaper subscriptions cost from US$1.99 to $27.99 per month; magazines charge between $1.25 and $10.99 per month, and blogs charge from $0.99 to $1.99 per month."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle

They do charge owners a per megabyte fee for transfer of personal documents to the kindle over 3G.

Of course you mention amazon's own site being free for users. Should they be allowed to do that?

I would argue "no" unless competitor's services are also available for the same price (aka "free").

The reasoning is that if this approach were scaled up to more and more providers such that it became the norm, the web would become fragmented. Users would have to use the services endorsed by their ISPs instead of the services which best suit them. ISP customers would be for sale to the highest bidder. Small publishers/developers would be excluded from the market and users would ultimately end up with fewer choices, less innovation, and stronger monopolies.

Reply Score: 3

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

DHofmann,

"So, I can either pay more to access Google in exchange for lower Internet access fees, or I can pay more for the Internet in order to save money accessing Google.

I like having choices like that. Don't you?"

Honestly no, and I'm a little skeptical that you're speaking as a consumer at all. But if that's your preference so be it.


Sarcasm detector broken much?

I believe the entire concept is so ridiculous that nobody can be happy with this (barring ISPs and Politicians).

Reply Score: 2

Damnshock Member since:
2006-09-15

"What would you say if your ISP had a corporate deal with Bing, and charged a premium for accessing Google?


So, I can either pay more to access Google in exchange for lower Internet access fees, or I can pay more for the Internet in order to save money accessing Google.

I like having choices like that. Don't you?
"

What you say would be ok in theory. The real world is another thing though.

That situation would allow the "big fish" to control everything as others have already commented in this thread.

My personal opinion (and the offical one in Spain) is that I'm paying for *bandwidth* and the ISP cannot know what I'm doing with that bandwidth as it is a communication and I'm protected by our constitution: privacy of the communications.

So were the ISP blocking some kind of traffic they would be violating my constitutional rights.

The sad thing is that some ISP are already doing this (like ONO or most of the cell providers) blocking p2p traffic.

I wish I had money to hire a lawyer and take them to justice...

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

No, you're options are:
- pay $50/mth for Internet access with only the ability to use Bing for searching, or
- pay $50/mth for Internet access + $10/mth to be able to search with Google.

I really wonder how many people on here actually read the comments they are replying to. It's really starting to look like everyone is talking over, under, around each other.

Reply Score: 3

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Alfman: What I do object is the ISP deciding to discriminate against customers using their bandwidth to do X in favor of customers using their bandwidth to do Y. It's none of their business what I do with my fair share of bandwidth

Alfman, what I object to is car companies selling my only cars with radios that play mp3, not ogg. I think the government should step in and regulate this. I feel hurt!

Edited 2011-06-02 05:20 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Berend de Boer,

"Alfman, what I object to is car companies selling my only cars with radios that play mp3, not ogg. I think the government should step in and regulate this. I feel hurt!"


Interesting, I'm not sure if your being sarcastic or serious though?

If you are being sarcastic (and your message is that I should not expect my ISP to provide me with connectivity to services of my choosing). then I will point out that it's not the same thing. The car radio is a format centric piece of hardware - it's not possible to play ogg on a radio which only supports mp3 (or only AM for that matter). With ISPs, IP packets can carry traffic for any protocol or web site at all. It takes deliberate action to block/filter it.


If you were actually being serious, well I'm a proponent of open formats too. With a little searching you can find ogg vorbis radios. I would think you should be able to find a dealer who'll sell you a car and let you swap your radio.

http://www.vdodayton.com/default2_and_fz_menu=product_documents_and...

Edited 2011-06-02 05:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'd mod you up but since I already posted in this thread I'm not entrusted such divine powers.
1+

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"I'd mod you up but since I already posted in this thread I'm not entrusted such divine powers."

I don't really get it. It should be open to all, otherwise what's the point?

Somehow or other I picked up the divine power of +2.

Reply Score: 2

abcxyz Member since:
2009-07-30

One might even go so far as to say they shouldn't even have the legal right to wiretap it at all, and shouldn't even know which protocols I'm running.


Interesting question. I wonder if back in the days our "free market" proponents would suggest it's OK to have their letters casually scanned... so that service provider (and trucks owner) can charge accordingly for love, business letters, birthday cards, condolences...

Reply Score: 4