Next Wednesday Is The Internet Slowdown

We’ve talked a lot here at AVC about Net Neutrality. I hate that term because it’s got so much baggage now that it is essentially meaningless to me. What I want to see is a framework that everyone agrees to (application developers, bandwidth providers, last mile access providers, and the regulators) that says you can’t prioritize one bit over another in the last mile access network and you can’t charge application developers to deliver their bits to the end user.

This issue is coming to a head at the FCC as the comment period is ending and some sort of decision will be made this fall. So next Wednesday, September 10th, is the Internet’s opportunity to stand up and be heard.

If you are with me on this issue, please consider joining the Internet Slowdown campaign next Wednesday. There are all sorts of ways you can do this. You can change your avatars on your social media profiles, you can send push notifications if you operate a mobile app, you can put a slow loading graphic on your blog or website (there are WordPress widgets if you are on WordPress like I am).

And if you still aren’t convinced, please read Chad Dickerson’s piece in Wired this week on why this issue is important to businesses and everyone who uses the Internet to reach their customers and/or audience.

#entrepreneurship#hacking government#law#policy#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    (i would like to see the date at the top of the post)i was just reading about this;…twitter could do something?btw, Motorola will today publicly announce that it’s releasing the Moto G (2nd generation) handset to the UK (and i assume other European countries?) with dual sim functionality. perfect for home country sim and local country sim usage. how are you handling your smartphone comms at the moment?p.s. buying a dual sim handset has been nigh on impossible in the UK until now. networks hate them.

  2. aminTorres

    Side question: Does anyone else also gets random audio/videos playing and taken off to random sites when the click on things here at USV?

    1. jason wright

      i don’t.

      1. aminTorres

        Umm, I re-enabled adblock on this page and they are now all gone but there is definitely something crawling ’round avc.

        1. jason wright

          “…there is definitely something crawling ’round avc.”when the cat’s away…..

          1. aminTorres


        2. Russell

          I see one ad blocked, and ghostery reports three trackers – Diqus, google analytics and scorecard. Much smaller on both fronts than your average site.

          1. JimHirshfield

            That’s Disqus (pronounced Discuss), not Diqus, which I don’t want to pronounce. K.thanks.bai.

          2. Russell

            Indeed, keeping this family friendly!!

        3. JimHirshfield

          Specifics? Links within the post? Links within the comments? What are you getting…pop-ups? leaving this page and arriving at another page?

          1. aminTorres

            For example, a typical link style here is the AVC blue but when Adblock is turned off the site slows down dramatically, the links turn green with underline and when you roll over them, they display these ads. I also get a small video window in the bottom right corner sometimes but I am not able to reproduce that from my work computer right now.

          2. JimHirshfield

            Sounds like you have some sort of misbehaving browser plugin.

          3. William Mougayar

            it looks like you have some rogue browser plugin that auto-installed after you downloaded something somewhere. go to your plugin list and see if you can disable or delete what you don’t recognize.

          4. JimHirshfield

            Or launch another browser as a quick test.

          5. aminTorres

            Tried with Safari, no ads so far.

          6. JimHirshfield

            Good sign

          7. aminTorres

            Checked, nothing unfamiliar. Will keep an eye out.It happens both at home and at work, I will try to see what extensions are in common with the two computers but it looks like am the one with the bug.

          8. William Mougayar

            what browser / pc are you using?

          9. aminTorres

            Chrome, latest. / Mac.

          10. aminTorres

            Also, oddly enough, it only happens on AVC.

    2. JamesHRH


  3. pointsnfigures

    Stupid tagline on the Internet Slowdown site: “Cable companies want to slow down (and break!) your favorite sites, for profit.” Heaven to mergatroid are we against profits?I empathize with the piece that Chad Dickerson wrote, but is Etsy giving away any of it’s profit to anyone. Where is that line? Is any company that is trying to create shareholder value giving away free money I can get? The comment stream on Chad’s piece is mostly pretty good.I am not sure how cut and dried the outcome will be for Etsy, or companies like Etsy. Losing one millisecond or two milliseconds on a download won’t matter. If losing one or two milliseconds kills their business, then they didn’t have a good business to start with. Speed like that only matters for High Frequency traders. However, losing hundreds of milliseconds will definitely impact Etsy’s business-and I am very worried about that.Brad Feld said he has a meter and never gets the speed he is paying for. I don’t know if that is because he is in Boulder or not. I have noticed when I travel, smaller towns don’t have as fast an internet connection as large cities like Chicago or New York. But, if I were Brad I would be ticked because I am paying up for good internet and not getting it. Someone is getting free rent somewhere. I am not sure technologically how to make sure you get what you pay for when it comes to the internet. I do know HFT firms spend thousands of dollars to connectivity firms that make sure they are getting the fastest service physically possible.Ideally, we would use Coase Theorem to break this all down. Maybe it would be economically efficient for Etsy to pay Netflix (and large bandwidth companies) not to stream so much? Or to stream in a different way? Unfortunately, the government feels it has to regulate everything-so we are stuck with a centrally planned bureaucratic solution that will suck no matter how it comes out.The only good news is that I believe in the power of innovation and individuals to find a solution to the problem outside of the regulated monopoly that we have today.

    1. JamesHRH

      I agree with your post a lot.5000 years of history says that a fast lane will show up, somehow, because wealthy people will pay for it.The question is, does a toll info highway ruin the public info highway? No one really knows, I think.Maybe a portion of those toll fees get used to build out the core internet backbone to make things a little faster for everyone?

      1. JimHirshfield

        Suppose you had an awesome video streaming product you wanted to launch. How could you possibly compete if Netflix and YouTube paid to have preferential treatment over your offering?(And forget about arguing whether it makes sense to take on competition like Netflix and YouTube, that’s another issue…so for sake of the net neutrality issue, assume your idea/approach is SO unique that you actually DO have a fighting chance against these big competitors).

        1. JamesHRH

          That’s an anti-trust issue.Me paying to get a dedicated pipe to watch Netflix s not.

        2. pointsnfigures

          If we assume that the only way ever to get to the consumer is through the pipes we have today-then I am on the side of the net neut folks. But, the way I read their future vision, internet is a public good-and my thought immediately turns to the delivery of a lot of public goods-it doesn’t work.On the other hand, can’t someone invent a better technology to deliver internet? I know in trading they are using laser tech to stream data. It’s faster than pipes. Not always secure, and not always stable-but faster.What I don’t want the internet to become is our rail system. One track, dominated by bureaucratic federal regulation with shitty service. Competition is good.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Lasers….line-of-sight, right? That’s hard to scale, I think.But I get your point. Which is why I mentioned electric company delivery of Internet elsewhere. Same goes for gas companies and water companies. They have infrastructure in place to everyone’s home (almost). I’ve read of gas companies feeding fiber optic cable through gas pipelines – think I read about that 20 years ago.

          2. pointsnfigures

   is the company I know of. Not sure about line of sight etc. I know the founder of this, and the founder of Spread Networks.

        3. sigmaalgebra

          See my post above — net, nearly all your users would get to your servers via the standard download bandwidth they were getting from their ISP, maybe 15 Mbps. You can deliver fairly good video for 15 Mbps. For HD video, you will want more, say, 25 Mbps.So, with your scenario, Netflix or some such would be getting to their users with, say, 25 Mbps but you would have to make do with, say, 15 Mbps. Still, if you had something really good, you should still be able to get into your target market.I suspect I’m missing something important here, but so far I’m not quite seeing it. Uh, maybe some of the danger would be for, say, Time-Warner to make their video content flow nicely to the customers of the Time-Warner ISP service and basically block anything competitive. As I recall, there are anti-trust laws forbidding such things as tying or some such.Sure, the Internet is a very valuable thing, and some businesses will be tempted to corner the thing in some way if they can.Maybe the argument just now for network neutrality is mostly just over the currently proposed rule change at the FCC. Okay, let’s try to block that.But more generally, how can we describe clearly just what we do and do not want from our ISPs and in network neutrality? Looks like doing so in general will not be so easy.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        I doubt if the backbone is a bottleneck. Yes, there are facilities for knowing class of service (COS) and quality of service (QOS), but I have to doubt that these get used on the backbone, say, on long-haul optical links or where border gateway protocol (BGP) is important. As I recall, COS and QOS were important for voice where the delays for dropped packets, out of order packets, jitter, latency, etc, made voice conversations a pain.First-cut, for video, given just good download bandwidth, say, 25 million bits per second (Mbps), after a second or two there should be enough video in an input buffer at the user’s Web browser so that COS and QOS don’t matter.Instead, it seems that the risk is that a publisher, maybe Netflix, will go to my Internet service provider (ISP) and cut a deal: I pay my ISP for 15 Mbps download bandwidth and go to and confirm that I’m actually getting the 15 Mbps I’m paying for. But when I play a movie from Netflix, my ISP gives me download bandwidth of 25 Mbps with the extra paid for to the ISP directly from Netflix.. So, my video from Netflix looks good but maybe from Vice doesn’t look so good.Or, maybe my ISP is sitting there thinking: Mostly 15 Mbpsdownload bandwidth is fine, for Web browsing, blogs, e-mail, etc. Maybe also for Skype. But for high quality high definition (HD) TV, could use download bandwidth of , say, 25 Mbps. So, (A) sell everyone 25 Mbps download bandwidth, charge everyone for it although only a small fraction of users make much use of it, and hear nearly all the users scream at the high prices or (B) sell nearly everyone 15 Mbps download bandwidth, charge less, have less screaming, and for the cases when a user needs 25 Mbps have the publisher pay the difference. Then a user who doesn’t want high quality HD video is not paying for the bandwidth it needs, and users who do want such video pay for the bandwidth via their payments to the particular publisher of each instance of such video. Then there could be a third user variety who pays for 25 Mbps download bandwidth all the time and, thus, can get high quality HD video from any publisher, whether the publisher is paying the ISP or not.I’m getting the cheapest option for Internet connectivity my ISP offers, and confirms that I’m getting 5 Mbps upload bandwidth and 15 Mbps download bandwidth. With that 15 Mbps, an old movie from YouTube looks pretty good. When I go for a static IP address, I may get 25 Mbps upload bandwidth and 101 Mbps download bandwidth, at which time I could be watching three HD videos at the same time.Maybe the difference between 15 Mbps download and 25 Mbps download will not be much worth squabbling about for very long. That is, my ISP should be able to give me 25 Mbps download for only a little more per month, and then all HD video from anywhere (from servers with enough capacity), not just from some publisher who pays my ISP, should look good. Also there would be less hassle for the ISP — just offer 25 Mbps, charge for it (likely not much more), and f’get about all the screaming and squabbling.My description here looks too simple, like I’mmissing something important. What am I missing here?

        1. JamesHRH

          I think you have it right.Its an anti-trust issue. Cable companies should not be allowed to strike deals with suppliers that restrain other suppliers from accessing the market

    2. JimHirshfield

      Hold the phone.Some of what you’re pointing out is you (the consumer) paying for your access bandwidth to the Internet. This is different than the services on the Internet paying for preferential treatment on that bandwidth.Obviously the speed with which you access the Internet will vary as you move from home to office to hotel to client’s office to Starbucks. That’s a function of the owner of those locations choosing how much to make available, the quality of access providers, and such. That’s not what’s at stake – altho I’d agree with you that it’s friggin’ embarrassing that the USA has such low bandwidth access as compared to many other developed countries.

    3. LE

      but is Etsy giving away any of it’s profit to anyone.Of course things like this are always self serving obviously.Chad pulled at a few heartstrings of course.Things like “young company” “leading 600 employees” “managing growth” and further mentioning “One seller, Beth in Oregon” I mean who could be against “Beth” in “Oregon”. (This was written with professional help.)Best line in the whole piece (don’t have time to comment on the rest) was this though:and met with the FCC chairman to explain the potential harm to our business and our one million sellers, 88 percent of whom are womenI mean why stop there? Why not tell us how many of those women are single mothers just trying to make ends meet? Why the fuck should it matter if they are women by the way?And then this (less annoying but still relevant):and 18 percent of whom make their entire living selling on Etsy. Define “making their entire living”. Enough to pay for health care? They have kids? Husband works? Living in what state? Any in Manhattan on Etsy “making their entire living”? My guess is the answer is “no”.My point is this is just heart pulling drivel. (Which means “nice job” in my book by the way).Brad Feld said he has a meter and never gets the speed he is paying for. I don’t know if that is because he is in Boulder or not. Speed depends on who is serving the data. And just because you use doesn’t mean that that is actually calibrated and is accurate. It could be but nobody is certifying that like scales at the butcher or gas station (little cert tags).Likewise if I run a server (I do) assumption is my server can output and keep up with your net connection sucking data and simultaneous connections. Guess what? It might not be able to. There are many parts to this machine.At my office for example rates vary with the time of day. When the complex empties out (say at 5 or 6 pm) speeds increase greatly. No surprise there, right?

    4. Guest

      So we’re against profits? Or are we against a monopoly who has all of its customers at its mercy, gauging them with no alternative to leave, even when their service is worse than any other service for which they pay each month?

  4. William Mougayar

    Hmm. And apparently 99% of the 1.1 million comments to the FCC proposal were pro-neutrality. If that’s not a strong NO, I’m not sure what is.

    1. Corbett Morgan


    2. awaldstein

      A million comments on something that impacts what–90% of all the people on the planet is a non #.A cute kitten video does 10X that.This is a marketing problem.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        From what I understand, that’s huge response in gov terms, and they have a metric they use to determine what % of the total population it represents.Not that they give damn, tho.

      2. Chimpwithcans

        I hope you meant ‘cute’ 😉

      3. William Mougayar

        You know, the White House only requires 100,000 names on a petition before it has to officially respond to an issue.So, I think this is a relative number that indicates some strength in public opinion. Statistically, it’s very significant because you just need to look at how that segment is voting. This means that if you were to gather another 10 Million comments, chances are very strong that you’d be pretty close to the same opinion ratios.

        1. Gregory Magarshak

          Speaking of, maybe there should be a petition?

          1. awaldstein

            You obviously have more knowledge of how the white house thinks than I do;)You are a numbers guy. I’m a market maker and considering the vast #s of people who could participate, the # is paltry.This is a marketing fail regardless of the stats you cite.Market momentum means something to me. Stats are invariably just BS used by every side of the argument to prove a different point.

      4. LE

        A cute kitten video does 10X that.Point taken but a comment on a cute kitten video or a pass along is low hanging fruit all people say is “this is cute” or equivalent. They don’t do anything and they don’t’ say anything intelligent.And personally I get annoyed by people who simply see something and decide to support it just because others are doing so. (Like with the ICE Bucket Challenge).I don’t think we should confuse people’s tendency to be lemmings with the fact that they truly understand the issues at hand.This is one of the reasons why it would be terrible to just allow people to vote on everything. Because people aren’t smart enough or motivated enough to make an informed decision. They just follow the lead of others or they are to simplistic in their understanding to make the right choice.That said yes it is a marketing problem.

        1. awaldstein

          Truly understanding anything is aspirational as an idea in relation to the market.I consider the market and the consumer smart.I consider it my job to put things of value in front of them so they can absorb them in their own language.Supporting and completely understanding and usually exclusive.I seriously loved the ice bucket challenge.It’s a rare disease that buddy died of that fights for attention and funding and raising over $50M and having fun is just as good as it gets.

          1. LE

            My ex wife’s grandmother died from ALS I remember it very well.Until you said “rare” above I never knew how rare it actually was. I always knew of it (because of Lou Gehrig and the grandmother) so I had actually assumed it was more widespread than this:Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.What I didn’t like about the ICE Bucket challenge didn’t have to do with a) people parting with their money b) people having fun c) helping a rare disease or any disease. Although I’m sure there are people that parted with money that live paycheck to paycheck and aren’t you or I. (And that bothers me a bit not that it impacts me of course).It was more a reaction to people using social pressure to rope people into doing something. Same behavior in a way that causes kids to try drugs or people to drink. Or kids in the ghetto to commit crime. Or young kids smoking. I don’t like peer pressure. (Welcome to the world, I know…)So the idea of someone “nominating” someone and then that person in a way being obligated to go along and/or be thought of as a “poor sport” just bothers me. Like in the old days someone saying “mind if I smoke” and pulling out a cigarette at the same time. Or someone saying “can you drive my aunt with you up to Boston”. Obligation is on you to say “no I want to blast my music not listen to your aunt”. I hate shit like that.I mean look if you sent me a personal email and said “LE will you donate $50 to ALS” or some cause you are raising money for I would do so because you took the time to send me a personal email and ask for the money. Even though that might be in some ways to some people the same to me it’s not. (And of course I would note it so then when I want a favor I know where to go, right?) Or the way Fred does it. He just posts something and it’s up to blog readers to decide what they want to do or not. He doesn’t say “Arnold I want you to do this” or “I want all of these commenters to streak naked through Manhattan or donate to XYZ”.

          2. awaldstein

            Social pressure is ingrained into socialization.It’s simply life, now with a global social net wiring it together.Fine not to like it but its simply what makes the world what it is and what makes Facebook especially so brilliant.

  5. Conrad Ross Schulman

    leyygoo! #Community

  6. JamesHRH

    It seems a little Chicken Little to a non-techie.Chad sites research that show a 0.2% drop rate and claims his business is at stake.And the article is from 2009.

    1. Leapy

      Which article is 2009? Chad’s article is from yesterday….

      1. JamesHRH

        the research article he sites is not from yesterday –…

        1. Leapy

          Ah – thanks…..

    2. JimHirshfield

      Article is from yesterday, bro…

      1. JamesHRH

        the research article he sites is not from yesterday –…

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ah, sorry, I misunderstood which article you were referring to.

  7. laurie kalmanson

    related: att vs. public wifi…they’re usually not quite so obviousIn 20 states, legislators have protected Internet service providers from competition by passing laws that make it difficult or impossible for cities and towns to offer Internet service to residents.AT&T wants to keep it that way. With the Federal Communications Commission considering whether these state laws should be invalidated, the company says that municipalities should simply never create their own broadband networks unless there’s virtually no chance that private ISPs will ever offer service to their residents.“GONs [government-owned networks] should not be utilized where the private sector already is providing broadband or can be expected to do so in a reasonable timeframe,” AT&T attorneys wrote in a filing with the FCC on Friday. “Although many GONs have failed, or at least failed to live up to expectations, GONs can nonetheless discourage private sector investment because of understandable concerns by private sector entities of a non-level playing field. And any policy that risks diminishing private sector investment would be short-sighted and unwise.

    1. pointsnfigures

      given a choice, I’d take private companies administering wifi over free public wifi.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Do you feel the same about electricity and water?I have a hard time imagining my electrical utility wouldn’t do a better job providing Internet access than my cable company.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I think that we have never tried to privatize electricity the way we have cars for example. Maybe it would be better? The internet is also different than things like water, while life would be much tougher without it-the species can survive without it.

          1. LE

            I think that we have never tried to privatize electricity the way we have cars for example. Maybe it would be better?They have a version of that going in some states already. The problem is you have electricity generation and you have supply and maintenance and delivery. [1] At scale it’s much more cost effective. If it wasn’t I’m sure you would have people trying to build a power plant for a small neighborhood to deliver power.The cost for electricity compared to the value and reliability is not something to mess with. That’s a well oiled machine. And you need it to be profitable (widow and orphan money) in order to keep it the well oiled machine it is. So that they can do everything ritually perfect. Because they know they can get approved and pass along reasonable costs to the end users. They don’t have to worry about where the next buck is coming from and then not do maintenance on the entire system (down to the trucks that have fresh tires and all the appropriate rigging).The minute you start to put economic pressure on utilities you end up with the clusterfuck that is air travel. Fights over reclining seats as the latest example.[1] Here’s one for you. I have currently two vacant commercial rental units. And I’m being billed every month for a charge based on what the tenant used even though the lights and HVAC are only on during showings. (That’s reflected as “electricity used” line item). The other charge is fixed and based on the last years average usage. So they charge you because they need to maintain the system even though you aren’t using any electricity. If the unit stays vacant long enough they re-evaluate every 6 months so it will go down. But for now the charge is there every month and it is considerable. If I had more time I guess I could run it up a flagpoll and see if I could fight it but I don’t. So pay I do every month.

    2. Guest

      Why isn’t any of that legislation being challenged in court? We’re the most litigious country in the world and ONE lawyer can’t get a suit going?

  8. JimHirshfield

    Slowdown Showdown…

    1. JamesHRH

      that’s a saucy clip……wait for it………

  9. PhilipSugar

    I really believe people are going about this all wrong. It should be something like:Edit: “Net Freedom”Its not about the companies its about the consumer.When companies with multi-billion dollar valuations start whining this is going to hurt my business people don’t really care. (I know they are not really whining but that is the perception)Instead if you said look what the ISP’s are doing is taking the Freedom away from you on what you can consume at what speed, people would realize that is total bullshit.I buy the bandwidth and possibly the download amount from the ISP. Pricing etc, on that is a separate topic. But what I do with the speed and bandwidth is my business, not the ISP’s. No different than water or electricity.

    1. William Mougayar

      I agree. The term itself “Net Neutrality” is geeky and confusing to most consumers. There are better ways to characterize what it means in layman’s terms.

      1. LE

        Agree with your agreement.Fails most tests of obvious the point they are trying to make.But you have it coming from an industry that was brought up on speaking a language that normal people don’t understand in order to further their control and power. [1] [2] [3] By that I mean “in the biz” you make money off what other people don’t know and can’t do. Along with the fact that the brain of people in this business really doesn’t understand simplification of points.Exhibit “A”. They think “Android” is a good consumer name to label a consumer product.[1] Same as lawyers might have served a purpose at some point but now it’s just obfuscates things in a way that make it hard for anyone not trained legally to understand what is going on.[2] An objection to the PC (70’s/80’s at the start) was that it would make the people who ran the corporate IT departments (and mainframes) less relevant and less needed consequently “bad for us”.[3] Computer people like things to be difficult it allows them to make money off things others don’t know. I’m in the business I am in simply because at the start I was able to figure out how to arbitrage knowledge I had that others didn’t know specfically regarding domain registration. Something I could have taught anyone to do in about 5 minutes. The early registration procedure contained words and actions that kept most pain in the ass bystanders out it wasn’t a simple process to the average person (god knows today some people still don’t understand it..)

    2. Aaron Klein

      Yessssss. Because that, after all, is the issue. I’m 100% opposed to price controls. I’m 100% in favor of not allowing monopolists to dictate what I can use my bits, electrons and H2O molecules for.

      1. PhilipSugar

        You know thinking about it should be Net Freedom.Liberal? How do you like it when HuffPo is slowConservative? How about when Drudge is throttledIntellectual? Independent movies crushedPervert? Well I won’t go thereBut the point I make is that if these sites are throttled they are taking away your freedom to view them which you paid for by buying a monopoly providers internet service.

        1. Aaron Klein


    3. LE

      I agree with most of what you are saying however this:But what I do with the speed and bandwidth is my business, not the ISP’s. No different than water or electricity.It is different because you pay for electricity and water by what you use. You don’t pay a flat rate. And in places you do pay a flat rate (say in a condo not metered separately) you do have residents that will overuse and abuse.Or take communal trash pickup at a condo. The condo is going to enforce what you can put in the trash to make sure nobody takes advantage and causes others expenses to go up (example might be requiring contractors of a unit owner to not use the dumpsters).

      1. PhilipSugar

        Look how the ISP’s price their access is their problem not mine. I put in download amount. The reason they don’t cap bandwidth is because consumers hate it and will switch.

        1. LE

          The reason they don’t cap bandwidth is because consumers hate it and will switch.Not true. The reason they cap it is because a competitor drew first blood and they all kind of fall into place (like what happens with airlines). If business still met in the Poconos to fix prices (steel) this would never happen. You can only be as honest as your competition principle. I mean people hate bag fees as well. But as long as all airlines or most charge bag fees what happens? Same with banks.There are many things that consumers hate that business still “get away with” simply because it’s a practice shared by competitors.In general I’m usually in favor of shifting costs to those that use more. I mean if I bring more bags on a airplane then I should pay for that. If you want to stuff everything into an overnight and do a carry on then that’s fine with me.

          1. Nathan Gantz

            When are AVC users going to learn how to cite historical statistics?

          2. LE

            Probably around the same time that people decide to leave more than 1 sentence comments.

          3. Donald E. Foss

            People with faster access rates do pay more. People with slower access rates pay less. It’s like paying for being able to board the airplane earlier or having the cheapest seat and being in the last boarding group.

      2. lance

        I worked for an ISP (the one that Tom Wheeler was on board of directors for 10 years) at an executive level for seven years and it actually is not different in the way you describe. Say for example I pay Comcast $55 a month to be able download at a speed of 25 Mbps. I should be able to do whatever I want with that speed regardless of what service I am requesting. If the ISP thinks I am being abusive by downloading torrents or whatever they consider to be abuse they can throttle me. But to go to an app provider and make them pay to ensure the level of service that I am already paying is nothing more than selling the same bandwidth twice. It’s backward monopolistic/regulatory thinking that is not good for the consumer, technology startups, or the development of our national technology infrastructure.

        1. LE

          But to go to an app provider and make them pay to ensure the level of service that I am already paying is nothing more than selling the same bandwidth twice.You are not paying so that everyone can suck as much bandwidth that they want, all the time. Because it’s not infinite.I guess it all depends on what is considered “reasonable”.Taking the dumpster example you could argue that making the contractor pay to dump construction refuse is somehow unfair to unit owners that pay for trash service. (As opposed to putting a cap on the unit owner).But there is always an implied “reasonable” in things.If I go to the local Wawa (like a 7/11 on the east coast) they allow me to take my own plastic silverware. There is no sign that says “you can only take 3”. (And there is a reason for that btw.). However that doesn’t give someone the right to take 200 plastic forks.So I guess the point is that Netflix (as one example) is killing the goose that laid the golden egg. They are sucking down so much bandwidth that it’s really impacting what can be done by others. Reminds me of the saying “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered”.My opinion is that it’s totally reasonable for a service that is sucking so much bandwidth to spread the cheer around rather than cable companies having to raise rates on everyone. I don’t think that’s the same as saying the cable companies are going to start to restrict all these mom and pop users either.

          1. lance

            The reasonableness in such things is generally defined in the ISP terms of service with the consumer. To use your analogy they ask users to stop taking forks or stop putting them out. The entire ISP model is based on overselling bandwidth to users. To deliver what they have sold requires more infrastructure which would reduce their earnings. At its core that what their entire argument is about. Profits. In the world of IP content and carriage are being separated which is not good for a company that is used to providing both. Carriage is a commodity and in the future companies that provide it will only earn commodity type profits. They can fight it, and will do everything that they can to do so including discriminatory practices, but it is going to happen.

          2. PhilipSugar

            The best paper written on this is 17 years old by an AT&T researcher:The rise of the Stupid Network:

          3. Donald E. Foss

            To continue your analogy of the trash bins or the plastic forks at WaWa, we the consumer are paying for that ability to dump trash or take a fork at a maximum rate. People who want to dump a lot of trash cannot do it very quickly if they only have very small trash bins that they can use. People who want to have large trash bins have to pay more to use them.I know I’m ignoring the content of the trash and that is not directly congruous with bits on the internet. All bits on the Internet cost roughly the same to deliver (I’m ignoring packet sizes and packet switching rates). Trash could be toxic or hazardous. We do not need to factor that into the cost model on the Internet. Data is data and trash is trash.Netflix didn’t goose–they simply exposed the problem of overprovisioning and the ISPs charging people for more than they are delivering. It’s like you buying a dozen eggs at the market and the market complaining that you actually wanted a dozen eggs in the package. He really doesn’t have enough eggs to sell to everyone, so he shorts everyone and hopes that they won’t notice and won’t complain. The market owner is selling more quantity than he actually has.Remember that Netflix does pay for outgoing bandwidth on the server side. They also pay extra for premium peering to get better routing to the end user. Now the last mile players want in on the action. Overcharging by oversubscribing their system isn’t enough–when it gets shown, they want to charge the goose laying the golden egg, especially when a lot of people are primarily paying the ISPs to get that golden egg in the first place.

        2. Prokofy

          Why should app makers be relieved of business costs? Because it’s not paying twice, it’s making those who already paid, keep paying, and not make those not paying, pay.

          1. lance

            There is no free lunch or in this case bit transmission. The app makers generally either pay for the cost of transmitting their services over the backbone of the Internet to local ISP points of demarcation, (the point where a consumer starts paying for carriage) or enter into what are known as peering arrangements to do the same.

        1. LE

          That was interesting thanks for passing alongWhat’s also interesting is that Ars did the following in 2009 after being sold to Conde Nast:The website generated controversy in 2009 when it experimentally prevented users who used advertisement blocking software from viewing the site.and further (all from wikipedia):… blocking ads can be devastating to the sites you love. I am not making an argument that blocking ads is a form of stealing, or is immoral, or unethical … It can result in people losing their jobs, it can result in less content on any given site, and it definitely can affect the quality of content. It can also put sites into a real advertising death spin.What I also found interesting is that the writer of the article , Ken Fisher, who founded Ars did this:At present, Ken is on leave from a Ph. D. program at Harvard University, where he has completed two Masters degrees relating to Western philosophy and religion in antiquity.Exactly the type of writer that would make a statement like this:Whiteacre’s sleight of hand is cute—almost endearing. He tries so hard to make this about cost and competition, but he leaves out the most important part: their customers.Hey, welcome to the business world Ken Fisher. People are in business to make money. Just like the people you sold your company to that paid you for it.You see people always want to tell someone else they should suffer but aren’t willing to suffer themselves. Fisher got his ass out of dodge but apparently the people who bought the company from him still need to make money.Separately, what kind of up in the clouds fucking degree is this anyway “Western philosophy and religion in antiquity”? Like a degree that a person with a trust fund gets who just wants to be a professional student.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Do your analysis on Ed, think if he was the CEO of a company you owned. See my post above this he hated.

  10. Barry Nolan

    Mel Brooks had it right. Net Netrality is framed all wrong.Start with name. Net Neutrality – makes it sound like a UN summer barbecue in Switzerland. (Same can be said for Global Warming. I live in Ireland – we’d do anything for more warming.)Net Neutraily is positioned as a corporate cat-fight between the fatcats of the net. And as everybody knows, there’s nothing like a discussion of IP-Peering to get consumers all excited. Sure, in the pubs of Dublin, IP peering is all we talk about. That and the weather. And would you be able to look up the weather on your mobile tomorrow if “the interconnection of administratively separate Internet networks for the purpose of exchanging traffic” is suddenly a stickup?It should be framed simply for what it is. Consumers getting f**ked. You pay $50 for 50megs of download. That’s it. There is no *aestrix. There is no small print (*50 meg offer excludes Youtube, Netflix, AppleTV, Amazon Prime and that porn site you are on too frequently, God bless and preserve you, until these sites, and any others we can hustle, are Soprano’d up).Mel Brooks?

    1. PhilipSugar

      And my point would be this crosses all sides. How would you like HuffPo slow or Drudge slow? How would you like that French TV your kids watch to learn French slow or as you state with Irish humor some alternative sites? We agree.

      1. Barry Nolan

        Absolutely. Although your pursuits are far more noble.

        1. PhilipSugar

          I would say nobody on the net is truly “noble”Funny story: I am at this 1,600 room convention hotel in Dallas:…I get in at 9pm with a colleague and we want a burger and beer. The huge atrium lobby bar is closed? WTF? I don’t want a fancy meal.The GM comes over says you can sit over in the corner and get a burger and I can’t sell you a beer but I will give you one in a non clear mug, I have to have the bar closed we have a Conservative Christian convention.Knowing he gets paid on the profitability of his hotel, I said that must really hurt your profitability. GM: Nope, Our minibar an adult movie sales go off the charts.

          1. Barry Nolan

            I was once talking with a barman in County Kerry. Rural Ireland. He pointed to the toilet and the condom machine.- See that machine in there?* yea.- 100% pure profit. No costs.* Huh?- Yup.* (Drinks beer) Hows that? You’ve to pay for the Jonnies (condoms’ friendly nickname in Ireland), No?- Nope. * No?- Nope, Never stocked it. Funny thing is the fella’s still put the money in, but they’re too embarrassed to every come up to the bar, complain and get a refundA simile to net neutrality

          2. LE

            I like that story and I remember when you told it before. You are a way nicer guy than I am for sure.Myself, I would have extracted a greater pound of flesh for that type of thing.The reason he gave was prima facie evidence that you had been wronged. As opposed to “guy running the place had a car accident” or something generally out of their control. Where they deserve compassion.It’s not reasonable to go somewhere and have the bar closed because “there is a Christian Convention at the hotel”. Period. Normally when hotels do renovations they note it when you make the reservation, right?So they are trying to handle it on a case by case basis and/or take their chances with client satisfaction. A little wiggle room like that I would have driven wide open, if just for sport. And fun. Same way others play video games (which I don’t). Noting to lose and entertaining to boot.I hate lameness like that. GM: Nope, Our minibar an adult movie sales go off the charts.Further evidence of something that can put money in your pocket. They are making money on both ends. And laughing about it as well.At the point the GM told me he couldn’t do any more for me than give me a burger I would have indirectly implied that I would contact higher ups. Not by saying it of course. Who would have thought it was stupid that he said what he said. Knowing this, if the guy had half a brain, he would have taken care of the problem and given me something much better than a free beer.

          3. PhilipSugar

            I received what I wanted and got two free beers. There is nothing that says they have to have a bar. Paid for the room and it was fine. Life is too short. I watched somebody be an asshole in front of me to a gate agent due to T-Storm delays. I came up and said please just help me out, I am not going to be an a-hole like that guy. She smiled and said no issue, I just send that guy on a goose chase that is going to take him two days to get out of.

          4. LE

            There is nothing that says they have to have a bar. I don’t know, you said this, I didn’t, noting the “WTF?” in particular:I get in at 9pm with a colleague and we want a burger and beer. The huge atrium lobby bar is closed? WTF?9pm is a reasonable time for it to be open. And you didn’t say “3am” for that matter.And they do have a bar, they just decided to close it for a convention. This isn’t the small Motel 6 in Newark, De it’s a major venue holding a convention. So yes you expect the bar to be open and it would be open if not for the convention, right? I came up and said please just help me out, I am not going to be an a-hole like that guy. You seem to be thinking that my modus operandi is to be an asshole. That’s not the case. I am always nice until I get bullshit or the run around or don’t like the remedy. I had a flight cancelled and had to book a flight on Jet Blue. I was really nice to the gate agent and they definitely got me a ticket and bent a rule here or there. Different situation. But then they opened my suitcase and tried to give me the run around. So I filed a claim. Didn’t have to yell or get mad either. I don’t have to not file a claim because a different end of the “animal” cut me a break. And I don’t consider that being an asshole either. Otoh if I was dealing with a small biz I would. Each case is different. To me large organizations (or even hotels run by small corps) are not the same. I had a painter who screwed up a job once and I paid him to do it over again because he was just a painter scraping by.I just send that guy on a goose chase that is going to take him two days to get out of.Kind of shows why that is the station she has achieved in life, doesn’t it? I mean maybe that isn’t the case and it is the result of unfortunate circumstances but that isn’t appropriate behavior for a service employee. What would you do if one of your employees did that?Separately from my observation being angry tends to work more than it doesn’t. That’s why people do that.Yesterday I had to call my daughters doctor because “the office frau” told her she had to come in and sign a hipaa form or they wouldn’t fax me her test results (so I could show my wife). Problem is she is in NY State and the doctor is in PA. But no they wouldn’t listen. “You have to come in”. So I call them and the women literally buckles when I say “let me speak to the office manager”. And faxes me the hipaa form (which *I* sign) and then faxes me the test results. Just like that.

      2. Prokofy

        They can all go slow, while my son downloads a WoW patch or a Game of Thrones episode, ok? We’ll wait. Oh….

      1. Barry Nolan

        13.17 minutes of pitch perfect satire.

      2. Dave W Baldwin

        Thank you so much.

      3. Prokofy

        Because…Monty Python types invoking the culture of British socialism are always SOOOO successful for American audiences.

    2. Prokofy

      I agree that the name is all wrong, but that’s the fault of the socialist Tim Wu who thought up this gambit so it could be framed falsely as some kind of First Amendment issue and invoke notions of “unfairness” or “bias” like air time issues at the FCC. Cunning, but ultimately viciously stupid.I think it should be called net congestion, and the public debate is about scarce resources and how they should be allocated. Stop pretending it’s not a debate about communism and capitalism.

  11. sigmaalgebra

    Yesterday did see and read the Chad Dickerson’s piece in Wired. Also yesterday called myCongressman Chris Gibson, Ph.D.and left a message with his staff mentioning that (1) my business needs network neutrality and (2) so far in the FCC comment period > 99% of the comments are supporting network neutrality and (3) asking the Congressman to support network neutrality.Also onTuesday, May 6th, 2014wrote the Congressman a letter, which was sent and received via FAX, with strong, detailed support of network neutrality.

  12. JLM

    .Pragmatically this is going to turn out to be much ado about nothing regardless of how it is resolved.I have 1gig Internet service in Austin, Texas and it takes care of almost any complaints about the speed of the Internet. I “only” get 650m on one of my computers because of an internal design issue with the computer bus itself. No big deal. On my docking station laptop I get the full monte. It is awesome.It costs LESS than the prior 60meg service which was pretty damn good in its own right.Funny thing when talking to the the nerds at Grande Communication (my cable and Internet service provider, not ATT or Google) they seem to think there is 4-6gig service waiting in the wings.Before you begin the lesson on where the “slow lane” is going to exist, I recognize this is a bit of an oversimplification but it shows that speed kills some problems. Speed kills.JLM.

  13. JLM

    .Take a look at the composition of the FCC and research from whence this initiative has come.Say “thank you” President Obama. This is pure Democratic politics at work here. This came from the FCC itself. The Democratic dominated FCC.Who is being served by this? Those who fund the Democratic political machine.JLM.

  14. pointsnfigures…Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today stated what is obvious to US Internet users: for broadband speeds fast enough to serve modern homes, competition simply does not exist in most of the country.

  15. ShanaC

    tail wagging dog.very few companies run on all of their own services. why should they make themselves worse off

  16. Prokofy

    In other words, you want the public or other businesses to pay your business costs. Other companies don’t demand that, you shouldn’t. Last mile? Please. That’s also a completely ridiculous term when the heavy download of a YouTube isn’t merely a last mile problem.But I’m relieved to see that you’re at least not stumping for that Internet cultist Tim Wu. Scary, how these Internet cults I’ve been warning about for 10 years *could actually get into government*. Be careful what you wish for.

  17. PhilipSugar

    Exactly. You start arguing the finer points of network topology and you’ve lost. Say why do you want to make Drudge slower than HuffPo??? Or make Jon Stewart un-streamable? Now you have something.

  18. Guest

    They don’t hate “freedom,” per se…just the “free” part in “freedom.”