Why The GOP Should Embrace Net Neutrality

The politics of Net Neutrality (ie preventing the creation of fast lanes and slow lanes on the Internet) in Washington is pretty simple. Democrats are largely for Net Neutrality. Republicans are against it. The reason is simple. Net Neutrality has been sold to Washington by the telecommunications lobby as a regulatory overreach. And in that context, the politics are simple.

But if one thinks of the way the commercial Internet has operated for roughly 20 years, it has operated as a level playing field where everyone’s bits are treated the same. So Net Neutrality is just embracing the way it has always been.

Another way to look at this debate is that big corporate interests (Verizon, ATT, Comcast, etc) have been lobbying for the right to build fast lanes on the commercial Internet for almost as long as the Internet has been around and that investment is finally paying off. They have effectively bought their way into the halls of government and are now looking for their payday.

And the GOP, particularly its Tea Party wing, should find that abhorrent. As Dave Brat, who beat Eric Cantor, said:

I’m an economist. I’m pro-business. I’m pro-big business making profits. But what I’m absolutely against is big business in bed with big government. And that’s the problem.

I am headed to DC today to meet a few people and make this point. Wish me luck.


Comments (Archived):

  1. balbanna

    Nothing sensible will ever get done in DC until the money is taken out of politics. Even if the politicians knew deep down in their hearts that its the wrong thing to implement, as long as it keep the bank ready for the elections, they’ll implement it. And this applies to all be it Net Neutrality or else.

  2. JimHirshfield

    Mr. Wilson Goes to Washington. Let us know how it goes. Enjoying the Amtrak fast lane or slow lane?

    1. fredwilson

      Jet Blue

      1. JimHirshfield

        No Wifi or slow Wifi?Anywho, good luck with the pols.

      2. aminTorres

        Even more legroom? 🙂

  3. Tom Labus

    GO FOR IT!!!

  4. aminTorres

    Fred, best of luck…. thanks for doing this. I think VCs should come together in a much more united way than they have to date and air their voices because the voices of VCs are the voices of entrepreneurs.

    1. fredwilson

      Yupppp. I totally agree. Our bread and butter is entrepreneurship and innovation. We have a strong interest in protecting both

  5. Cam MacRae

    Good luck. To butcher a quote from America’s favourite socialist (quelle horreur): It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his retirement plan depends upon his not understanding it.

  6. John Best

    Good luck!

  7. LIAD

    are they lobbying for the right to make fast lanes, or the right to shunt certain traffic to slow lanes.framing it as creating slow lanes is easier to comprehend as anti-competitive & discriminatory than framing it as them wanting to create fast lanes.No one complains about normal/priority boarding. You pay some cash you get better service. However, if you got ‘delayed’ boarding by not paying a fee that would be different. Need to frame it like that.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Don’t quite get the analogy ?As priority-boarding demand increases reality will translates that into longer normal-boarding delays, no ?AlsoWith the train “boarding time” and “transit time” are separate issues with “transit times” being anchored in physical reality to be equal for all passengers.With digital passengers “boarding-time/latency” and “transit time/bandwidth” are much more fungible/opaque bait and switch targets ?

  8. William Mougayar

    Politics is a complicated thing. It’s almost never logical from the outside because things get easily distorted on the inside.Is there a model government on earth that strikes a perfect balance between business involvement and non-involvement?Good luck with it. And let us know what you learned after that visit.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > Is there a model government on earth that strikes a perfect balance between business involvement and non-involvement?I believe so: Just take the US government and add a lot more Internet to better inform the citizens and let the citizens give better feedback to government.Then, of course, each citizen will need ‘streams’ of information they are interested in (working on it).E.g., remember SOPA and PIPA: Fred and others raised hell, and many people, including me, wrote DC. I wrote directly from a copy of Adobe Acrobat through my FAX modem, right, no paper.Also, the FCC created a stink; the Internet spread the smell around at the speed of light, and the next day the Web site of the FCC went down from overloading.Likely if Cheney were still VP and said that there was “no doubt” that the US should go back to Iraq and ‘save a unified, democratic Iraq’, then in just a few hours the Internet would light up like a supernova.

      1. William Mougayar

        So are you saying that the US government is that model government?

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Basically, yes, as in my> I believe so: Just take the US government and add a lot more Internet to better inform the citizens and let the citizens give better feedback to government.Sure, we can do more to get money out of politics so that the DC Gucci vendors start eating at McDonald’s instead of ‘San Souci’ or ‘La Rive Gauche’ (if they are still there).We’ve got a lot of progress recently: ‘Newsweek’ was sold for, what, $1? Too much! ‘Time’ is nearly gone. NYT no longer tells the three major network news departments what to say, and those news departments are nearly irrelevant now anyway. The old situation of one town with two newspapers, one morning, one afternoon, and both partisan, is largely gone. That old MSM just jerked people around for their own purposes and just did NOT emphasize keeping citizens informed.The Internet has revolutionized news and also information with much closer scrutiny of government.

  9. pointsnfigures

    Good luck, but I don’t think you can make party generalizations on this one. http://freebeacon.com/blog/… Of course, there are Republicans that are in bed with the big guys too. It’s worth noting that the Democrats control the FCC.As a Republican, I am loving the election of Brat. We are having a massive fight in our party between big government Republicans and free market small government Republicans. Lines do get blurred, but Brat will be interesting since he is a PhD classical economist. He will ruffle feathers in both parties.And, if you have time to go to Arlington National Cemetery. I love the monuments of Washington, the history, but that one beats all.

    1. awaldstein

      The Vietnam memorial touches me each and every time I go.Maybe it’s my generation. Maybe it’s a testament to something everyone wanted to forget except those who generationally participated.Our relationship toward the structures we create to govern us is amazingly complex both nuanced and just so blatent at the same time.

      1. pointsnfigures

        My uncle was in Naval Intelligence during Vietnam. He was on a four person boat that worked the brown waters of the Mekong River on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia. One day I called him from the wall to see if he wanted me to look up anyone. He couldn’t bear to think about a name as all that stuff was shoveled deep down inside him.At the museum in New Orleans (http://www.nationalww2museu…) we find that too. Vets don’t talk about it, then come out of their shell when they come to the museum.It is an amazingly complex relationship. But when I see the graves of Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers alongside soldiers from Iraq/Afghanistan, it moves me.

        1. awaldstein

          War and serving in it are complex by nature.

          1. JLM

            .War is a mind fuck and the stupidest idea ever promulgated by mankind. It is failure writ large.Funny thing — the way to avoid war is to be strong as possible, so strong nobody wants to mess with you.If we are forced to wage war it should be violent beyond belief, short and quick. We should never rebuild an enemy after we destroy them. Ever.JLM.

          2. awaldstein

            i don’t know that I agree completely but I really appreciate your sharing around this.You are a student of this and bring a point of view that honestly, I get nowhere else.

          3. JLM

            .In Iraq, we are ending up with a tribal civil war which is what we started with. Only Saddam Hussein was ruthless enough to let his tribe subdue the others.Iraq should be subdivided into three tribal areas.In A’stan, we are ending up with a narco terror state which is what we started with.In both instances, it cost us a lot of money and good men to get back to where we started.If we had simply gone in and violently killed all the terrorists we could have for a couple of months, we would be in the same end game position particularly when we were unwilling or unable to negotiate a SOFA agreement.Look at Germany. They wanted to dominate Europe with tanks. Now they dominate Europe with banks. In the interim, the US underwrote and paid for their protection from Russia. A resurgent Russia calls us a fool.This is why we should engage in quick, uber violent wars — kill those who are a direct threat to our strategic interests even if we are simply putting them to death for a generation.It is a cyclical thing but it is way, way, way cheaper.JLM.

          4. LE

            and the stupidest idea ever promulgated by mankindIf men didn’t care about winning and war they probably wouldn’t care about many things that have given the world the progress that we have. Not like gentle monks in monasteries, or John Lennon, are filled with testosterone and bloddying themselves to give me a car that can stop itself on a highway when danger is ahead or building the 747. It’s men (and now women) who are filled with passion. I don’t think you can separate these things I think it’s like good and bad cholesterol.By the way highly recommended the Smithsonian “747 The Jumbo Revolution”:http://www.smithsonianchann…Interviews with members of the original team.I got into trouble with my wife with a comment I made. I said this is back in the day when men weren’t being dragged home having to be at the kids soccer games they were working all the time. Hence this was done in a very short time with a full staff and tremendous dedication. And rudimentary computers, if any.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Sounds like Gulf War I should have resulted in grand, round Lake Baghdad, with a glass lined, hemispherical bottom, glowing in the dark. There’s a point to that.~4500 US lives. ~$2T so far with maybe $7 T total. And we didn’t even get the oil. All for WTF! No, I’m not pissed. I’ve been pissed. This is way beyond pissed.If Cheney wants to go back, I warmly urge him to do just that.It’s simple: The only ‘culture’ or ‘institution’ they have over there is their religion; it comes in two varieties, and the two fight to the death. Europe did that, Roman Catholics versus Protestants, and had the rivers of Europe running red for some hundreds of years before they got some simple, basic, good, common sense.Good common sense level 2: Separation of church and state. Of course, don’t really have to do that and, instead, can just have the streets running red with blood every few years. Egypt? Was there ever any chance for something else? Also, in addition to the red streets, get some really wacko content in the schools, an economy based on donkey carts, cutting off body parts, stoning women, etc.Uh, good, common sense level 3: No cruel or unusual punishment.Level 4? Okay, constitution, democracy, courts, and rule of law.Yup, they’ve got a way to go over there.For a solution, either we can do it as you outlined or we can just wait for Darwin; he’s a really busy guy but will get around to those countries eventually.

    2. ShanaC

      people thought the phd topic was bunk though – (claiming economics is a a product of protestantism…)

      1. pointsnfigures

        Meh, that’s a straw man reason. The American Constitution is based on the founding docs of the Presbyterian Church. Coase Theorem works. Our govt (big govt Republicans and Union Dems) are consistently trying to take away our freedom. Their move to regulate the internet in the fashion they are is just one more step.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Ah, so that’s why! When I grew up, we were members of a Presbyterian church, and on Sunday the area around the church looked like the parking lot of a local Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile dealer! Lots of black cars!It was a big church, and new. They built a gorgeous sanctuary with a 20 year loan and paid it off in 1 year. Some people in that town were making money.

          1. LE

            When I moved to a new area a few years ago a new synagogue moved into a brand new building that was truly state of the art and kick ass in every way. I marveled at it and wondered how they could have afforded to build this nice building.The rabbi who married us said smugly “I have people that when I need something I can call and they take care of it”.Well it turns out one of those people was Lewis Katz who was just killed in the Gulfsteam jet crash last month. The rabbi sent out a email about it and my thought was “this sounds like you are sad because your sugar daddy died”.Remember that Fleetwood Brougham eh?

          2. sigmaalgebra

            > Fleetwood BroughamSure: As my brother said, GM, especially Fleetwood Brougham, especially in red, had the best looking New Orleans bordello interiors!

    3. JLM

      .Having more than a passing interest in Virginia politics, I can say with some authority that Brat won because of his position on immigration and not a lot more.Immigration is a funny issue.The “big cheesmos” seem to think they know what the little guys want. Big mistake.When a guy collecting a paycheck goes into the voting booth and is asked to support someone who is going to allow 20MM illegal aliens crowd him out of a job, lower wages, cheat on the rules — he votes his pocket book.That is all that happened here. Virginians did not want to allow illegal aliens to take their jobs, lower their wages and jump the line.This is a huge issue for the 2016 elections and if the Republicans are smart they resist amnesty. The Democrats are shredding the law, ruining the economy and will pay a price for it.How big?Cantor supposedly polls +30% the day before and loses by 10%. Someone got it wrong, very wrong.JLM.

      1. pointsnfigures

        I might disagree with you JLM. I think you are correct, that immigration was the final straw that broke the camel’s back, but there were other things at work. Brat has been very active in the district, and Cantor never paid attention to it since it is a reliably gerrymandered Republican district. Brat articulated his position, and then got pundits behind him.

        1. JLM

          .You are absolutely correct as it relates to the organizational approach but the messaging was about immigration.Immigration is a huge issue and recent events — wholesale disregard for the law, executive orders, dumping criminals, Dream Child abuses, etc. all inure to those who are thoughtful and dedicated to the rule of law.This has now become a pocketbook issue. As well it should.JLM.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        The usual explanation was that the Democrats wanted the immigrants to vote but not work, and the Republicans wanted the immigrants to work but not vote. Both wanted a new exploited lower class, and that’s a big bummer. Are we learning yet?

      3. LE

        When a guy collecting a paycheck goes into the voting booth and is asked to support someone who is going to allow 20MM illegal aliens crowd him out of a job, lower wages, cheat on the rules — he votes his pocket book.But only if he has be told that fact by marketing or in the media assuming he reads and understands. Otherwise he wouldn’t think that.

        1. JLM

          .I could agree but I think the pocketbook issues are way more understood than people think.Anyone swinging a hammer understands immigration at a granular level.JLM.

  10. nwwells

    This post just inspired me to write my congressman and urge him to lead out in the Republican party for net neutrality.Thanks for fighting, Fred.

  11. John Revay

    Good Luck Fred!I am surprised more people are not up in arms over this. Seems so simple that most people would want to keep it the way it is.

  12. William Mougayar

    In Canada, we call that Crown Corporations. Such an old way of thinking and operating:”Crown corporations have a long standing presence in the country and have been instrumental in the formation of the state. They can provide services required by the public that otherwise would not be economically viable as a private enterprise, or don’t fit exactly within the scope of any ministry. They are involved in everything from the distribution, use, and price of certain goods and services to energy development, resource extraction, public transportation, cultural promotion, and property management.”Luckily, they are going away, but not fast enough.

    1. vruz

      They also used to call them robber barons.

    2. awaldstein

      I have no understanding of Canadian politics. When I read things like this it makes me think of some Island country that is disconnected from the industrialized world.Such weird vestiges of colonialism.If there is politics there, it certainly doesn’t end up in media we read down here.

  13. Salt Shaker

    Dave Brat seems fairly pragmatic, but he’ll quickly discover that Washington isn’t. As Deep Throat once (allegedly) said, “follow the money,” a mantra that is far too prevalent within the Beltway.

  14. takingpitches

    In the late 1990s, both the US and EU paid close attention to the competitiveness of the internet backbone market in reviews of telecom mergers. It was a big priority. The guiding principle was that the Internet relied on a fragile mix of competition, cooperation and negotiation to preserve its character and if a provider got too strong, it could secede from that ecosystem and start setting its own rules for interconnection (peering or transit arrangements and obligations) to degrade certain content and block and favor other content in order to get more content to home on the network directly. In other words, the Internet would need the dominant backbone more than that backbone would need the rest of the Internet.Today’s issues are a close cousin of those concerns. Since the broadband market is much more concentrated than the ISP market was back then, the access guys are trying to change the rules on peering, which could destroy that fine balance of competition, cooperation, and negotiation which has nurtured permission-less innovation for the last 20 years. For me, this is the issue around both net neutrality and some of the current mergers on the table.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Tutorial 101 please: Say, e.g., end to end, how would a ‘fast lane’ work, maybe Hulu, Vimeo, Google YouTube to MAE West (it is still exists), peering there, to long haul run by ?, to the MAE East (if it still exists), to peering, to long haul run by ? to the NY area, maybe more peering at some ‘hotel’, to my ISP (Cablevision), to their ‘tree’, to me? Key enabling technologies would be, say, IP router ‘class of service’ (CoS) or ‘quality of service (QoS), i.e., jitter, out of order packets, dropped packets or some other technology? Thanks.

      1. takingpitches

        I *think* “fast lane” is envisioned more as Youtube or Netflix paying transit fees directly to ISP, making QOS issues much more manageable on a single owned network versus traversing multiple networks and potentially public interconnection points.In terms of latest and greatest on QOS, I found this blog post (http://potsandpansbyccg.com… and I highlight one excerpt from it below:Today any ISP delivering their own VoIP product already discriminates in favor of voice. Customers don’t want their phone call disconnected when another family member starts watching a movie or downloading a large data file. And so we give the voice packets first priority using techniques that are called Quality of Service (QoS).QoS is the combination of a number of techniques that can give some packets better treatment than they would get using only best effort delivery. For example, QoS uses traffic shaping techniques like packet prioritization, application classification and queuing at congestion points to give priority to preferred bits. QoS also can use the Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) at gateways to fine tune the level of packet prioritization.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          Its one thing for ISPs to provide QoS for audio calls yet another to provide QoS for large amounts of VOD without seriously cuttings to the bandwidth service they can maintain for other digital traffic.BTW that link is broken.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          For a simple description, some Web site X pays their local ISP Y and sends the bits for my video stream to ISP Y. That Web site X has paid ISP Y for some data rate, quality of service, total bits sent per month, etc. I pay my ISP Z for download bandwidth, say, 25 million bits per second (Mbps). Then I should be able to get the video, say, at 22 Mbps, I requested from Web site X; else it looks like fraud. Right?And in this scenario, why should anyone pay more for a ‘fast lane’? What would a ‘fast lane’ even be?Uh, my local ISP Z has a local monopoly, so I want them to act as a ‘common carrier’ and, thus, send me any and all bits I request within my 25 Mbps. Else, hello FCC and Congress. Right?

          1. CJ

            Here’s how it would work. Netflix would put a device inside Comcast’s network or at the very edge of Comcast’s network to serve content. They would do this but they wouldn’t necessarily have to, it just makes sense to get the content as close to the user as possible for maximum speed.Comcast would then set the priority level for Netflix traffic to 1 and everything else to 2. Now anything Netflix sends to your house gets to jump ahead of everything else 2 or above on Comcast’s lines. Imagine you’re at a theme park and you buy the speed pass thing and get to bypass the main line. You might still have to stand in line with other people who have the speed pass but you’re definitely going faster than the people in the main line. That’s what happens if you kill net neutrality. You create the speed pass line where companies can pay to bypass the regular traffic and if you don’t pay, you wait in the regular line while the paying folk go first.On the surface this is fine, only a few people in this line and they paid for the privilege. But what happens when everyone is paying for the privilege? Where do you think the ISP is going to put their resources? Do you think they’ll maintain the regular line which is making X or the Speed Pass line that’s making X + Y? We both know the answer to this. So eventually the regular line becomes the slow line and the Speed Pass line is no longer an advantage but a necessity. . Startups who can’t afford to pay? Well their content gets to wait behind everyone in the speed pass line and by then me, as the customer, has probably moved on to a different website.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            For the business funny business, I have to suspect that there can be a lot of it. I just can’t forget that it seems that long some of the main work of AT&T was legal, hiring lawyers to negotiate this and that with DC. Then after the breakup, Verizon and the new AT&T, now along with Comcast, look like they are trying to do much the same — be in the lawyering business instead of the communications business.On your description: For a small quibble, suppose Netflix puts a box in a Comcast network operations center and sends the Netflix traffic for Comcast end users to that box. Then in effect Comcast has become the ISP for both Netflix and the Comcast end users. Since no doubt Comcast is the ISP for many companies with Web servers and, then, again, the ISP for both the Web server and some end users of that Web server, that Netflix box doesn’t look so strange.Another quibble: Comcast is a big company that covers a lot of geography. So, with just one box from Netflix, the Netflix traffic would have to go on a network, maybe Comcast in-house, to all the geographic locations of Comcast network operations centers which would be from clumsy to questionable, that is, would have Comcast internally replicating the purpose and functionality of the backbone of the Internet itself.So, one box from Netflix wouldn’t do much good. Really, Netflix would need to place such boxes in maybe some dozens of Comcast locations. Then, to feed all those boxes, Netflix, similarly, would need something like the Internet backbone. So, just use the darned Internet backbone that exists and to heck with the boxes.More seriously, with your 1 and 2 ‘classes of service’ (CoS), I don’t see how an ISP could do what you explained without committing fraud. Looks like fraud to me.That is, if I pay my ISP for 25 million bits per second (Mbps) download speed, and I’m trying to get data from two Web sites at the same time where the total data rate is less than the 25 Mbps I paid for, then I should get all the data, with good quality of service (QoS) and not just the class 1 data. But if I’m requesting, say, 30 Mbps and am being sent only 25 Mbps, then, sure, it’s not clear now or then just how much data I would be getting from the two sites.If I want a ‘fast lane’, then I can get that from my ISP now: They will sell me 101 Mbps download data rate.Maybe this is how a ‘fast lane’ rip off would work: Suppose I am requesting data from Web site X. Then that Web site sends my data to ISP Y which via traditional peering sends my data to my ISP Z.Now suppose I’ve paid my ISP Z for download speed of 25 Mbps, and suppose from Web site X I am requesting a data rate of only 15 Mbps.Then, without my knowing it, dirt bag ISP Z tells Web site X that, due to the policy of ISP Z, they will send from Web site X to me data at a rate of only 5 Mbps. Or, I could get 25 Mbps download speed but only if I was downloading from at least five Web sites at the same time!I complain to Web site X that their site is too slow, and they investigate and get told the policy of ISP Z and, then, get told that ISP Z has a ‘fast lane’ option that, since I’m paying ISP Z for 25 Mbps download speed, will let ISP Z send the full 15 Mbps from Web site X to me. And Web site X can get the ISP Z ‘fast lane’ option for a monthly payment of only $W dollars. Why am I reminded of the scene early in ‘Godfather II’ where the senator says “you can have the license” but wants “a monthly payment of 5% of the gross of all four hotels, Mr. Corleone.”?I would call this hidden 5 Mbps data rate limitation fraud. Nasty word fraud.Or for something else, the ‘fast lane’ option might be for latency. With enough latency, a Web page, that gets many, say, images from various URLs around the world, could end up with a painfully slow loading time even though running a speed test shows the 25 Mbps I’m paying ISP Z for.So, I’d get torqued. It’s simple: Web site X paid ISP Y to take the full 15 Mbps to be sent to me. The Internet backbone can handle 15 Mbps with no strain at all. I’ve paid my ISP Z for 25 Mbps download speed. Then ISP Z darned better well actually send me the data from Web site X at the full 15 Mbps with no funny stuff, or “Hello FCC and Congress”.So, net, ‘fast lane’, since I don’t know what it is that isn’t what I can pay for and get now or some funny stuff that amounts to fraud, I want the FCC to mash it like a cockroach headed for the Caesar salad and do so on the grounds that when I pay for 25 Mbps I should darned well get 25 Mbps when I’m requesting it without Web site X having to ‘pay to play’, shakedown, extortion, rip offs, etc. ISP Z wants to impose.Ah, get something good like the Internet, really good, much better than could have been guessed early on, and then there is some unlimited number of ways some lawyers in bed with the FCC could mess it up. Or, “Since it’s really worth much more than people are paying, we should be able to get people to pay more.”.

  15. Alex Wolf

    Investment in web, and internet things, made it soar. Now they want to charge more.Just like Union Square Cafe revitalized Union Square and the farmers market there, and now the storied Danny Meyer says the rent’s too high.Good Luck, in earnest.

    1. LE

      Yeah there is a story behind that for sure.Canary in the coal mine was about a year ago when I was trying to sell them something for a trivially small price that they really needed. They hemmed and hawed and had a really hard time parting with the $$ necessary to purchase what I was selling. In the end they did but it was a really difficult transaction because they didn’t appear to be swimming in the money that you would think they were swimming in. Same thing happened with another famous restaurant (chain) in the city run by a celebrity chef. They literally said “we don’t have the money”. Took them 6 or 9 months to come up with it which they finally did.Anyway bottom line is Danny is bored with this restaurant. Makes no sense that even at the rent he is being quoted $650k (and by the way we don’t know what his old rent was just that he was paying 48k in the 80’s but so what that was the 80’s)This is total BS by the way:Mr. Ellis, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose father was Mr. Meyer’s original landlord, said the closing of Union Square Cafe would be painful for him, for the area and for Mr. Meyer, but a small, independent fine-dining restaurant could no longer operate in one of New York’s busiest crossroads.”Busiest” means “lots of traffic”. If there is “lots of traffic” why does it matter if the restaurant is “small and independent fine-dining”? Especially by an operator who knows the market, has a name and a reputation? Makes no sense.Also this:City restaurateurs say that a workable formula for rent is about 5 to 10 percent of gross revenueA workable formula is also not locating where he did back when he did. Bottom line is a workable formula is making money after paying rent, no matter what the rent is in % amount. I hate when people try to make business decisions by framing things in numbers and percentages.Danny could also, if he wanted to, make a deal to cut the landlord into the action as well giving him upside for success and based on his reputation. Malls do a version of that with stores and their gross sales.Anyway Meyer is going to go for door number two it seems.

      1. awaldstein

        don’t understand.the rearrangement of retail in NYC has always followed the expiration of long term leases and the cost increases.it’s completely logical as restaurants especially are built on the intersection of core gross margin and volume tempered by the cost of diner acquisition.you are saying that that is not true?

        1. LE

          You are cloaking your point in way to difficult language:restaurants especially are built on the intersection of core gross margin and volume tempered by the cost of diner acquisitionSeems like what you are saying is just “can I make money given my total costs at the end of the day and by the way how much $$ are needed for me to acquire and keep a diner”? [1]As far as NYC real estate my assumption is that he is a) well known already b) there is a boatload of customers within walking distance c) he is probably listed in a zillion directories all over d) seems like the reviews are good for this place (for sure) e) He will take a hit if he moves to a new location if it’s not geographically close and definitely with a new name and concept.So the question to me is “what does $650k in rent buy you?” Or more importantly the delta in what he will pay $650k and what he thinks he should pay. Let’s say he thinks he should pay 300k. So is staying put worth $350k more per year? Or whatever the number is? Or should he move and lose the momentum he has in that location. I’m also assuming there is not a spot across the street that will take him for less (I mean why would they?)Of course there could be other reasons perhaps he doesn’t want to pay the high wages of long term employees and by closing and relocating they will move on (not that he would admit that). I don’t necessarily think that is the case but there could be many dynamic going on here. I think the rent $$ is a red herring.Or he’s bored. Like me buying a new car. Nothing wrong with old car just want something new to obsess over. USC is no fun anymore. [2][1] Separately, I’m sure when Danny opened this restaurant none of that was going through his mind. I’m sure when many people open a business that language isn’t going through their mind (my guess is that Luli didn’t think that in any way shape or form when she “built” her product). She probably just did some envelope math in her head and set out. Of course for sure a restaurant is more difficult obviously. But I’ve seen countless restaurants fail by known operators (Danny among them watch the netflix on him) as well.[2] Business gets boring when you know what to expect year after year. You’ll see it will happen with Luli if it doesn’t continue to grow. If it stays at the same place or maybe grows slightly and you know what you will make in a year after a while it won’t hold the same allure that it does in startup and grow phase.

        2. JLM

          .I have had lots of fine dining restaurants as tenants and would carefully study their income statements which they were required to supply as a condition of the lease.The financial algorithm is clear, precise and immutable.A restaurant can only afford up to 7% of gross revenue for its real estate expenses.The profitable ones pay less. The unprofitable ones pay more.The profitable ones survive. The unprofitable ones fail.I have seen it hundreds of times. Hundreds.You cannot eat newspaper and defecate money even if you are Danny Meyer.JLM.

          1. awaldstein

            Thank you JLMThe other piece of this is that commercial leases here for restaurants are 10+ years. Huge commitment.

          2. JLM

            .It is not just the lease terms, it is the renewal provision.If the renewal provision were written — “the lesser of market or 7% of gross revenue” then the restaurant would survive.Some of the best restaurants are on the ground floor of big buildings and hotel ground floors because they become an attraction and their finances can be spread out over the office leases or hotel pricing.I have had big buildings succeed because they had good restaurants or clubs in them and used that USA as a leasing tool.JLM.

  16. Jon Smirl

    This should not be a partisan issue. It is the people vs big businesses. I would hope that politicians understand that is it political suicide to mess with the Internet. The Internet is a great platform for rallying voters to throw out anyone who is being bought off by big telecom to support fast lanes.

  17. Salt Shaker

    I’d start by reframing this whole issue as Net Exploitation and not Net Neutrality. The whole issue is improperly positioned.

  18. Zach Stevens

    Good luck. Not many people better suited to make this argument than you!

  19. vruz

    Best of luck.

  20. ShanaC

    a) good luckb) explain it like knowledge electricity – and we don’t say some people get different amperage…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Voltage! We DO get different amperage, say, one house has a 100 A circuit breaker box and another has a 200 A circuit breaker box! Why 200 A? Electric stove, washer (maybe more than one) clothes dryer, dish washer, with a lot of heating for having really hot water and then drying the dishes, on demand water heater, with kitchen and 3 baths (big house), lots of A/C, well pump, pool circulating pump, reverse osmosis water filtration pump, flat iron, toaster oven, and maybe even heating for the winter. Uh, high living can use a lot of amperage!Charge an electric car? Would you believe might want 500 A?Ah, voltage, amperage, it’s a ‘boy thing’!

  21. Aaron Klein

    There may be some corporate Republicans who still believe in the unholy alliance of big government and big business, but they are becoming a rare breed. I think most Republicans are uneducated on tech issues, and the elevation of McCarthy as Majority Leader may help on that.My representative is a more libertarian-leaning Republican but appreciated it quite a bit when I reached out with perspective on the SOPA discussion. Never underestimate the willingness of congressional reps to get educated on technical issues by business leaders in their districts.

  22. andyswan

    Always entertained when people tell their ideological opponents what they “should” embrace.

    1. Robin S

      yeah, this is a screwy one. Screwing themselves, that is 😀

  23. ErikSchwartz

    The single biggest problem I see in the net neutrality discussion is most people have no idea what the architecture of the internet actually looks like. Their mental model is wrong.http://www.wired.com/wp-con…In the left hand model net neutral is easy.In right hand model is an ISP forced to take edge servers or directly peer with EVERY content provider no matter the size at no charge? Does it go the other way around too? If I am a small ISP in Caribou Maine can I force Netflix and Google to peer directly with me?

    1. Morgan Warstler

      This is exactly right. I don’t think Fred is admitting the far greater importance of CDN’s in the discussion.

      1. kidmercury


      2. SubstrateUndertow

        Surely there is more than one way to skin the Peer-Connection/CDM distributive-bandwidth problem other than capitulating to the inevitability of large last-mile vertical-monopoly ISPs ?Isn’t the necessity of wiring up such solutions inside large monopoly ISPs itself someway of a myopic straw man argument ?

        1. Morgan Warstler

          No. Google is sitting on massive cash hoards. Cities are dragging feet on rolling out out another wireline provider.Those are the relevant factors. Turning on the cable company’s is as dumb as suing MSFT over the IE browser.

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            OK!So the possible solutions as implemented in other nation jurisdictions seems to be so far left of America’s rigid ideological sensibilities/assumptions as to be dismissed out of hand.That rigidity simply handicaps America’s infrastructure choices.Others nations will continue to innovate with more ideological freely to accommodate the emerging technical/commercial interdependencies attendant to a network/collaborative based economic reality.Maybe those 19th century ideological sensibilities/constraints indeed turn out to be timelessly resistant to the relentless march of technological change but history suggests otherwise.”push an ideological process to far into a changing environmental reality and it will flip from being a useful tool into being an obsolete impediment”Will the networked age continue to pivot aroundpolitical-economy by ideology or will it be anevidence-base stakeholder-driven political-economyI’m kinda hoping for the latter !

          2. Morgan Warstler

            That is REDUNKULOUS.Google and Facebook are building Global free Internet for everyone BUT US, using HAV (blimps and drones). I prefer this model.But Google, Apple, MSFT are also able to lay Fiber. City Governments are able to BEND OVER and let low cost pullers come in and get the job done, but they do not want too!OUR PROBLEM is one created by government. Our country ROCKS because historically we have had small government.We aren’t going to give up what made us kick everyone else’s ass, bc you flip cause and effect and look longingly as foreign lands where either: 1) they have no regulations and get things done FAST. or 2) ARE DYING on the vine.

          3. SubstrateUndertow

            OKSo your doubling down on your ideological rigid view point.”what made us kick everyone else’s ass”Just a little dab of hubris perhaps ?Sure a perfect storm of era appropriate ideological forces and many other complex historical variables made America into a truly exceptional nation tour-de-force.But that does not come with a lifetime Midas warranty.Things are changing look around and smell the reality!

          4. Morgan Warstler

            You are an idiot.Things don’t change.One thing works. One thing doesn’t.You are the weakest link, get over it.

          5. SubstrateUndertow

            Ok if you say so !

          6. CJ

            We have never had small government in an era where the country was connected by anything faster than a horse.

          7. ErikSchwartz

            No one who needs to make a profit or even break even is going to overbuild anyone. We did this with telephony and cable in the early 90s. The cost to lay fiber or copper in the street you can count on $~1000/home passed. A small city with 100,000 households will run $100M in cap-ex just to get the data in the street. Then count on another few hundred bucks to go from the vault to the house (assuming you can go aerial, if you have to trench it will be more). Wiring a big city will be billions.The reason there are monopolies is that no one is willing to front that kind of money if they are only going to be able to sign up half or a third of the households because they have three competitors. Investing $100M to get 80K subs? you can make an argument for. Investing $100M to get 30K subs? Not so much. You can’t slice that pie much and still have a viable business.Google Fiber is a different case because ISP is a loss leader for Google.

          8. Morgan Warstler

            It’s a loss leader for Apple and MSFT as well. Those cash piles? I favor a Cable entity bound and determined to suck them dry. Literally 50% of Apple MSFT and Google profits going to try and compete with Cable, bc of how abusive cable is to them. I want MSFT to have to give away windows with home based ad server in it, to try and get past the Cable CDN and starve out Google.Again, I favor HAV for non urban areas and the cost of pulling cable into the best zipcodes with city bound and determined to give up the their $ from cable, will be enough to foothold fiber and force price breaks and build out by cable.Tearing up streets gets a lot cheaper when they aren’t union jobs and cities are green-lighting everything in two days time.I’m not prepared to let our past mistakes breed new ones.

          9. ErikSchwartz

            I don’t anticipate Apple spending cash to solve this. It doesn’t help them sell more hardware. The problems don’t hurt their brand. I’d expect a dividend from my AAPL first. I don’t know about MSFT, I’m not actually sure what business they are in anymore.

          10. Morgan Warstler

            I’d let Cable and Telecom slow shit down on Apple unless they paid the price. The whole thing should be a battlefield, that is how consumer benefits. That is how the govt. optimizes it’s regulatory stance.We have to stop having such a narrow field of view.Let me go even further, there is far far less productivity gain in large firms than we assume in our MBA classrooms.Big Biz generates a massive amount of negative externality, it generates a massive amount of pollution called Big Government.Literally, the only cause of Big Govt. is Big Biz.There’s no reason we can’t have 100 last mile providers, but to have that, we need laws not built to limit Cable, we need laws to favor SMBs over Fortune 1000.The advantage to 100 SMB providers is that collectively they will NEVER appeal to DC for anything. And in the macro, that system will grow far far faster than the one we have today.Think of p2p as law. The ONLY way to build a p2p network, even Bitcoin is to LIMIT the size of any node, of any collective of nodes.Distributed systems do not actually take advantage of all resources, they limit network dependence on any one player NO MATTER what.

        2. ErikSchwartz

          Last mile requires major cap-ex, it politically a huge PITA due to NIMBYism and local pols, and has major ongoing operations costs (squirrel chew).

          1. JLM

            .It is the ultimate local power trip that makes municipal gov’t the man.Nobody is giving that kind of graft and corruption up easily.JLM.

      3. ErikSchwartz

        When I crank out the math I don’t see how peering can ever solve the VOD problem. it’s really an problem only solved with edge servers. Peering is great for live streaming because you can multicast. But you are never going to get on demand streaming to replace broadcast with peering solutions.Let’s say on a Tuesday night in a random 1M population midwest city 75,000 people want to be watching Netflix in HD, say 3mbps streams. If you are peering you need a pipe in at 225,000 mbps (say you want 50% overhead so call it 337,000 mbps). That’s about half the design capacity (and more than the lit capacity) of one of Level 3’s transatlantic cables. That is only 75,000 concurrent viewers.

        1. Morgan Warstler

          You are looking at the problem incorrectly.I know this stuff like back of my hand. I’ve been doing it as long as anyone online. So indulge the lesson:Mike Robertson is a good friend. When we first met my only argument with mp3 was that there weren’t any bands that weren’t already worth it that A&R didn’t discover without the Internet.The universe of video is even smaller, bc people will only watch it once, maybe twice.Humans have a need to consume all the same media, it’s literally network theory, the more who see it, the more it is worth to you. You have a limited # of minutes to consume video / music, times 9B, there’s an absolute limit in the number of minutes and movies we can watch since we all need everyone else to see the same ones.Ok, so now you get that anybody with a library of video, well they know the 1000 files that sate 80% of the viewers. 1000 files in x # of resolutions – and well it’s really just about caching. This stuff was all figured out in 2002.I sat in room and watched when Niklas and Janus turn of Morpheus, I know exactly how many common files were needed to make sure that 90% of flood call requests never left a cable headend.The point is that for Netflix, and even for YouTube, F*CK the long tail.Just like mp3.com, the ones who get pissed off are the unpopular producers. Consumers don’t suffer.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            We are saying the same thing. The 75,000 viewers are only watching 1000 discrete pieces of content. If those 1000 are all cached on 100 colo’ed edge servers within the ISPs network great, no problem. If those are not cached locally then they need to be delivered as 75000 streams over the peer connection.That is why I said that edge servers are the solution not peering relationships.

          2. Morgan Warstler

            I’m sorry! It wasn’t apparent.What’s nuts is that we keep increasing the amount of storage we can get in same size cable head ends, and a rack etc. BUT the # of video files that are needed to satisfy 80% of user demand isn’t growing near that rate.What’s more, once you say well then only long tail will be peering and it will be noisy, you move to UDP with 3 or 4% overhang and live off the ever increase chip power for LDPC codes.It’s funny because if you wanted to “nationalize” the cable companies, you’d really just have to demand 50% of their headend space and then run a basic caching system, for most requested small guy content. Doing NN is like the worst idea.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          > 225,000 mbps? 225,000 mbps = 225 Gbps < 1/4 Tbpswhich, as I recall, at least in some tests, can be on one long haul fiber in one cable with maybe 144 fibers, and ‘dense wavelength division multiplexing’ and more in tricky multiplexing may be able to do more on one fiber!Movies? Let’s see. For some simple arithmetic, suppose it is a 60 minute movie and each user has a start time ‘latency’ of, say, 5 seconds. Then for that movie need only 3600 / 5 = 720 stream servers and different streams, forever!Uh, movies are, right, read only data. So, SSDs are terrific for that!And we already have CDNs without ‘fast lanes’.

    2. LE

      You remember the line from American Beauty? “I just want to look good naked”.”Most People” don’t even come close to understanding at all how the internet works on any level anymore than they understand how cable tv works and that their local cable company has satellite dishes to pick up signals. Or how a car works. [1] They know things like “hmm air in tire must be low – because tire looks low! Fill tire with air!” etc.They type in a web address and expect to see something. They don’t really ever think about what goes on behind the scenes. And if you tell them they will glaze over. Out of sight, out of mind.[1] My mom: “Maybe it needs a “hot shot”?” in response to her car, which cranks fine, but won’t start. Doesn’t understand a “hot shot” helps it crank. If it’s already cranking no need for a “hot shot” to the battery.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        As far as the general public is concerned you are right.Most of the tech media (who should know) who are writing about net neutrality have no clue either. They just crib from Reed Hasting’s PR about how Netflix is oppressed by the evil ISPs.

        1. LE

          Most of the tech media (who should know)That’s not a media fault. That’s a problem with the people trying to convince the media of not being able to convey their information in simple enough terms.Not being able to sell in language that can convince the people they are trying to convince. Once again, in simple terms. With a simple message and collateral material. Failed job at selling. Assumes other side isn’t cheating of course.What are the hot buttons? What are the sound bites? Where is the supporting evidence so that the media feels they are backing the right horse? Where is the “if the glove does not fit you must acquit?”Many people in the tech industry are not from the school of having to try and sell at least not in the way needed here. They are more from the school of better mousetrap and the world beats a path to your door.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            We’ll agree to disagree. I think the media has more responsibility than to just parrot talking points from trendy tech companies.The lack of skepticism of PR claims by companies like Netflix and Uber is appalling. But that is a longer and different conversation.

          2. kidmercury

            seriously. notice how nflx backed down immediately from the verizon cease and desist. because deep down they know they don’t have a leg to stand on with their arguments.

          3. Robin S

            Yeah, but it’s more like Netflix (et, al) are in the hands of a serial killer. You do what they say or you get throttled! There is no one to hear them scream and help them in that pit in the ground.

          4. ErikSchwartz

            Netflix VOD is not a viable product without “internet fast lanes”. Netflix is welcome to connect themselves to the backbone, host their own streaming servers, stream out their own connection and let those packets find their way to their viewers. That is net neutrality. But in that case streaming video is back to pixelated small windows and frequent freezes.I find Netflix’s incessant bitching and moaning about what should be a basic cost of operating their business to be really tiresome.

          5. Morgan Warstler

            This is incorrect.Netflix could easily adopt a torrent model, and moreover, move to a fountain / raptor code approach.And I say this as someone who’s on cable’s side.There are MANY MANY cards not being played, I want to see all them played.

          6. kidmercury

            i understand that is the story nflx likes to tell people, but the facts tell a different story. http://blog.streamingmedia….



        1. CJ

          And that’s why I work in IT. 🙂

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          FOR all HUMANS, most things are MAGIC.even for the WIZARD.

      3. Cynthia Schames

        The least boring part of this discussion, by far.Well played.

    3. TimKarr

      You can add the author of this Wired piece to the list of those who don’t understand what the network looks like. His assessment of peering gets the argument all wrong. A corrective: http://www.savetheinternet….

      1. ErikSchwartz

        I did not think the Wired article was particularly good. I think the graphic is useful.If Netflix has the right to insist on a direct peering relationship with big ISPs so does Porntube. So does ANY content provider. I’m not sure how that scales.

    4. CJ

      I don’t think you have to peer, you just can’t slow down the data. Comcast and Verizon have been slowing down the data and calling it congestion to extort payment for peering and lobby for fast lanes. That’s BS and wrong and what we need to be rid of.

      1. ErikSchwartz

        If they don’t peer the data is slowed down LONG before it ever hits the consumer’s ISP. Without peering and edge servers there is no internet based VOD.I would not take Netflix’s PR as gospel.

        1. CJ

          I don’t mean peering as in ‘peering’ but peering as in Netflix and Comcast don’t need to peer directly. Netflix peering with a CDN should be more than enough. Cogent has insane amounts of bandwidth at their disposal and they aren’t even the best out there.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            The problem started when NFLX switched away from Akamai and Limelight and went to Cogent (because they were cheaper.) You’re right, there are much better CDNs than Cogent out there, NFLX used to use them. Now NFLX is just unwilling to pay for them. So they went bargain rate, service started to suck, and they started a woe-is-me PR campaign.But NFLX issues have nothing to do with net neutrality. They are just glomming on because it makes a good story.

  24. jason wright

    so what are these corporations trying to do exactly?are they proposing to build their very own private internet, or build a speed switch on the existing internet and sell the faster setting to the wealthiest electrons?

  25. iggyfanlo

    Thanks for fighting the good fight… for all of us

  26. Morgan Warstler

    Fred, it’s still not clear to me that you aren’t stepping on Sponsored Bandwidth, which is the future. Poor people shouldn’t have the full internet and a monthly bill if they don’t want it.

    1. kidmercury

      they are absolutely stepping on sponsored bandwidth, as well all the potential benefits of an end to end system. this is about getting everyone in the slow lane rather than getting everyone in the fast lane.

    2. CJ

      With proper competition everyone can afford full bandwidth and Sponsored Bandwidth wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone but our system has eliminated competition so…

  27. christopolis

    Property rights. Learn about it. People own stuff. That means as long as they are not violating your right to life they can do what they want with it. What right is someone that creates a fast lane or slow lane violating? If you go to Washington you are the one that is attempting to use government force to get what you desire. That is wrong.

  28. JLM

    .Huh? Let’s deal with some facts here, y’all.First, the entire Net Neutrality debate is a creation of the staff of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The FCC is appointed by the President and is subject to Senatorial approval.The FCC is composed of THREE Democrats (Jessica Rosenworcel, Mignon Clyburn, Tom Wheeler) and TWO Republicans. Tom Wheeler is the Chairman. ALL THREE ARE OBAMA NOMINEES AND WERE CONFIRMED BY A DEMOCRATIC SENATE.Jessica Rosenworcel is the former chief counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, etc, headed by Sen Rockefeller (D-WVA)..Mignon Clyburn is the daughter of Rep Clyburn notorious Democrat Rep from SC and is an Obama lackey. Yes, LACKEY!Tom Wheeler is an old line cable and new cellular association professional. He is a pretty solid industry pro but clearly a Dem. His party affiliation on the FCC is listed as Democrat.The notion that somehow the Republicans are the ones who have brought this subject to the fore is PURE BULLSHIT!The FCC is headed by a Democrat. The FCC is controlled by Democrat appointees — all Obama appointees — and at least two of them are pure D Democratic lackey/operatives taking their orders from the White House and Valerie Jarrett (President in fact).Please spare me the histrionics and inaccuracies that somehow this is a Republican cabal. It is not and the facts speak for themselves.Net Neutrality is a notion dreamed up by the FCC which is controlled by the Democrats. PERIOD.Let’s fight fair here.The canard that somehow this is a policy promulgated by the Republicans, in particular, the so called “Tea Party” is a lie. The Tea Party is frankly not that interested in the issue.The Tea Party is embroiled in such radical ideas as a balanced budget, expense reduction, entitlement reform, deficit reduction and smaller government. I don’t find them to be too interested in technology.All of this is from memory, so I am willing to be found wrong but I dug into it some time ago and I think my memory is sound on this.Steak to anyone who can make me see otherwise.JLM.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      I think Fred is saying Net Neutrality is Democrat. Hence the name of today’s post.

    2. CJ

      The argument is that the GOP are for big business and killing Net Neutrality is a big business motivation. However, you have a great point. If Obama – a Democrat – wanted this killed, he’d simply order HIS FCC chief to drop it. He’d fire him (can you do that?) or he simply wouldn’t have appointed him at all.I lean more left than right but I’ve never agreed with this particular appointment nor policy direction by the Administration. Your point on this is well made, if difficult to hear.

      1. JLM

        .This is all rooted in Obama’s big dust up with the American Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is “big bidness” and turned on Obama. He has Valerie Jarrett working overtime to woo them back.He is now trying to wiggle back in by supporting Big Business.He wants it all ways.The Obama administration has essentially abandoned the SBA (Small Business Administration). If he simply funded the SBA (which is loan guaranties not “real” money) like the Solyndras, job creation would explode.The Chamber does not want the SBA to succeed. Why? Because they want really cheap labor and if the job market explodes — boom — there go wages and unemployment. Who profits the most from cheap labor? Big business.If Obama wanted to change this, all he has to do is wink. This is a funny thing about him, in some ways he does not know how to wield power and in others he is a Mafia don.JLM.

        1. CJ

          Interesting perspective. I don’t know nearly enough about any of that to say anything other than thanks for the education. 🙂 I will look into though, sounds like something I should know.Regarding wielding power, Obama is a master. I’m convinced that he gets the things that he wants the most and allows fake victories to the other side on issues he’s willing to concede. I’m not sure of his over end game but he’s way too smart – and from Illinois – to not know how to play politics and use power to his benefit.

  29. Emily Merkle

    Knock’em dead, Fred.

  30. marktech211

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito Mussolini.

  31. Roger Ellman

    Mr. Wilson goes to Washington and they’d be well advised to listen. Good luck – you can do it.

  32. willfprice

    To portray Net Neutrality as something Republicans don’t support is absurd. Seems like a strawman argument likely to contribute further to the confusion around this topic. Just look at Darrell Issa’s tweets early this week or many other examples of Republicans supporting Net Neutrality. What Republicans of course do not support is the FCC doing a Title 2 takeover of the Internet which is what the liberals actually want. The fast lane issue can be resolved by act of congress writ narrowly, the proper way.

    1. Mark Able Jones

      Many republicans and verbally spoken against net neutrality. And they introduced bills in the house and senate to end net neutrality. Your argument is factually wrong.

  33. bfeld

    Well said. And luck wished!

  34. Jazzduck

    “They have effectively bought their way into the halls of government and are now looking for their payday. … I am headed to DC today to meet a few people and make this point. Wish me luck.”I’m quite certain that any GOP politician you might be meeting with in DC today (a) already knows this, and (b) intended for it to be this way.What exactly will “making the point” achieve when they’re already fully aware of it? What do you expect them to say? “Ohhh, so you mean… those lobbyists, who gave me stuff in exchange for me promising them a favor… actually expect the favor I promised them? How surprising! Well, I certainly won’t do that! I’m sure I’ll be fine if I just renege on that deal!” I can’t imagine any politician of either party ever saying that, can you?The people who you’re meeting with are the people that sold big business their way into the halls of government and offered them a payday. You’re essentially trying to convince them that they should take action against their own actions.

  35. Robin S

    “Net Neutrality has been sold to Washington by the telecommunications lobby as a regulatory overreach. And in that context, the politics are simple.”This is the way the money always wins. Unfortunately it’s the Cable/Phone/ISP companies who are backing it out of greed and non-competitiveness. So it’s stupider than usual.

  36. Robin S

    The good news is that my company can move media files faster and less expensively. So I’m in the right place at the right time 😉

  37. Kevin Hill

    I was just at the USIgnite conference last week, where some of the leaders in internet research go to discuss translational projects. One issue that is sorely missing in the net neutrality discussion is that one of the largest areas of interest we are seeing in the advanced internet community is about software defined networking. SDN is probably a societal good, as it enables a host of very powerful advantages, from remote medical procedures to cheaper cloud services. However, it is inherently an unequal process that divides up the network bandwidth.In thinking about this I believe there needs to be a middle way on net neutrality. The real scary thing is not multiple levels of service at multiple prices, but rather internet gatekeepers. To prevent this, ISPs could publicize all deals they make for different services, and offer anyone the same deal. I’m not sure that the FCC currently has the authority to enforce such a regulatory regime, but if you have the ear of any lawmakers, I’d love for you to propose this as a workable solution.

  38. pointsnfigures

    I think the net neut people out to reframe, and rephrase it. Initially as proposed several years ago net neut wasn’t a good idea. But encouraging competition over the last mile, deregulating to allow new competitors and new technology is a good idea.

  39. jason wright

    and wipe your feet on the way out.

  40. LE

    You need to make that into a song.”member to wash yo hands….pluto is crawling with dealmakrs…”

  41. Dave Pinsen

    Why don’t you consider Fred to be part of the plutocracy? He’s wealthy and politically active.

  42. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, I just read that.It starts with a red herring that is poorly described: They claim that Google sends data directly, does not use the Internet backbone, pass GO, collect $100, to, say, Comcast. Oops! Comcast isn’t just some one geographic location! So, any ‘direct’ connection from Google to Comcast is at least one to several and likely several to many in which case likely the usual Internet backbone, with a lot of routing, e.g., maybe multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), border gateway protocol (BGP — right, Juniper), etc. is still involved. The red herring part is that the article uses such a Google ‘direct’ connection as an excuse to claim that the Internet is not ‘neutral’ now. They also use content delivery networks (CDNs), e.g., Akamai, as another such excuse. Nonsense and not what ‘neutrality’ is really about.Near the end the article gets to the main point, which is essentially abuse of peering. That is an ISP will deliberately let their routers, say, from the backbone to end users, become overloaded. Then? Right: Dropped packets, out of order packets. So, for an end user, YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix might become “choppy”. So, the usual ‘peering’ is that both sides of the connection are supposed to carry the load. If the ISPs are taking big pipes from the backbone and connecting them, as ‘peering’, to a small pipe deliberately to drop packets, etc., then maybe the FCC should step in.Why? Because that ISP has essentially exclusive access to ‘the last mile’ to the users and, thus, has a monopoly that must be regulated. And any such regulation should specify some ‘fairness’, i.e., ‘neutrality’. I.e., treat packets from, say, Netflix, like those of, say, AVC.The article did not mention the bandwidth the user has paid for, say, 25 million bits per second (Mbps) download speed. Drop too many packets, and the user will not be getting the speed they paid for. That’s, uh, ‘not nice’ business practice. So, if a Netflix movie takes, say, 22 Mbps and the user has paid for 25 Mbps and Netflix is successfully putting all 22 Mbps on the Internet, then the ISP darned better well deliver the full 22 Mbps with decent quality of service (QoS). Else, “Wake up FCC!”.Or, if I stream a movie from Netflix at, say, 22 Mbps, Netflix has paid their ISP to take the bits of the stream, their ISP has done peering with the backbone to handle the bits to my ISP, and I’ve paid my ISP for 25 Mbps download speed, then I should get my movie without anyone paying more. ‘Fast lane’? Nonsense.The article didn’t explain how a user could pay for, say, 25 Mbps but still suffer poor service getting 22 Mbps download unless someone paid more for a ‘fast lane’.Net, so far from the article, ‘fast lane’ looks close to fraud, i.e., one end or the other of the connection is not getting what they paid for.

  43. SubstrateUndertow


  44. Dave Pinsen

    If the US were truly a plutocracy, Fred (and Mike Bloomberg, etc.) would get the policies they want (e.g., stricter gun control, unlimited legal immigration) more often. But this is still a democracy: you need votes as well as money. That’s what makes the immigration issue so politically dangerous: it’s a way for the wealthy to import the votes they don’t have.

  45. JLM

    .What a clever retort. It is almost embarrassing to engage with someone as obviously clever and thoughtful as you, Robin, dear.JLM.

  46. Dave Pinsen

    Who are the plutocrats in favor of restricting immigration?

  47. Emily Merkle

    <dude you=”” just=”” engaged=””>

  48. JLM

    .Yes, indeed, but that Robin S is a very clever person, no?So classy.Hard not to engage such a thoughtful and classy person, no?JLM.

  49. CJ

    Exactly. You want a pay line? Cool. You will open your lines to everyone who wants to use them. No charge. Monopoly at the local level? Gone. Now that we are assured of competition, go ahead and charge whatever you want.

  50. Peter Beddows

    Plutocracy; Moronocracy:I am still wondering just how much longer it will be before our national sensibilities wake up to the reality that we – subtly, insidiously, just like the rise of the Third Reich when no one stepped up to prevent that coming into being – now actually live in an oligarchy?Our political system is no longer a true democracy: It has been hijacked and trending towards management solely in favour of the best interests of richest 1% for quite some time now. Obama, Boehner, Cantor, Mitchel, et al are just front people as part of a charade to keep us distracted and hide the reality from the majority..Remember the tale of the Emperor’s Magic Suit of Clothes; how all the subjects were in awe even though the Emperor was actually parading around naked but no one would dare say a word. Then, one day, a little boy asked out loud, why does the Emperor actually have no clothes on?