I really hope this stays isolated to the US.
Check up on Portugal, they’ve already got a system in place that allows ISPs to charge for data and individual app/site usage on top of that. In countries where internet providers are largely monopolies already overcharging customers, this is a terrifying prospect.
I’m not so sure. I reckon 90% of the internet’s available bandwidth is absorbed by high-def porn, so bits of the internet which refuse to carry it will be able to offer far superior service to more pedestrian content.
I’d also assert that an owner of any sort of private transport infrastructure has every right to decide what gets carried upon it. The Internet is not tax-funded government property: it’s a network of private networks. Consider, for example, a link to some rural community that (for whatever reason) was unreachable by fiber and had to use a microwave link instead. The available bandwidth is heavily constrained. Whoever owned the link could deliberately throttle certain kinds of traffic to ensure maximum benefit for the majority.
Remember people will be able to vote with their wallets. If they don’t like the service that company A provides, they can switch to company B and pay accordingly.
This. Internet providers will start to play around with the bandwidth, customers will react accordingly and so on.
I know that some will go:“HURRR THE PROVIDERS WILL BAN ALL THE MEDIA THEY DON’T LIKE”, but that’s just nonsense.
That is where the “monopoly” part becomes the issue. Weird you both missed that in my post.
It’s really quite simple, though: By all means, sell me a 200MB/50MB service but don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with it. ISPs have already been known to throttle Netflix, for example, and when those same ISPs sell television packages (or own networks/studios, in some cases) you can’t possibly be blind to what the end-game is here.
And I assume both of you actually looked at the kind of thing Portugal ISPs are doing with their plans. If you’re okay with that, more power to you.
I don’t find the:“Ultimate monopoly of doom” to be a compelling argument because it never takes place, unless everything starts to be controlled by the state itself.
If some/many/most ISPs start to throttle data in a way you don’t like, you can use an ISP that doesn’t and/or that doesn’t have an impact on your daily use of the internet. Eventually, if enough people ask for an internet service with no throttling, an ISP that does so will collect more and more customers.
Of course it would be better to have everything available with no throttling whatsoever, but with full HD and 4k streaming services being used more and more often, I can see technical issues handling all that data for vast amounts of customers. Let’s say an ISP told me:“You do anything you want, unlimited data, 20$ a month”, and another one told me:"Streaming and videos are capped at 1080p, 12$ a month: I’d pick the latter IN A HEARTBEAT. Having more options in not usually a bad thing.
I’m of course assuming the ISPs will not shoot themselves in the feet by abusing this, because it wouldn’t make much sense to anger a vast amount of customers with something that the government could change back in no time.
I’m confused, did you skip the word ‘monopoly’ again? I may be completely wrong but a lot of areas in the US still only have a single ISP.
Your scenario about the 1080p streaming doesn’t work. When you pay for your internet, you’re paying for a certain bandwidth. 1080p video only takes 5-8 Mbps, which the cheapest plans here in Taiwan are more than capable of handling. My plan is only 100MB download but handles 4K Netflix without issue. I think that only needs about 25 Mbps. It’s just that I think what I do with the 100MB is of no concern to anybody. If their infrastructure can’t handle it, they shouldn’t offer the plan. Why should an ISP be deciding that Netflix traffic is less important the CNN traffic or internet traffic to xhamster is of less important than pornhub?
But to your point, my company also provides my TV package (which I am still paying for despite not using it), if they started throttling Netflix, I’d probably drop them for everything and just use my phone’s internet.
and if enough people felt compelled to do so, the company would either lower the prices considerably, or roll back to un-throttled service.
I don’t really see it as a problem as long as the throttling on data is done based on technical reasons and well represented by the offering. If the throttling start to follow the FB/Twitter/Google trend of hiding “problematic” websites then yes, it becomes a problem.
I wouldn’t bet on enough people bailing for it to make a difference. Like most things, people just roll over and take it when corporations try to screw them.
Oh, you guys!
If the throttling start to follow the FB/Twitter/Google trend of hiding “problematic” websites then yes, it becomes a problem.
if enough people felt compelled to do so, the company would either lower the prices considerably, or roll back to un-throttled service.
So you think that reducing bandwidth to websites that move large amounts of data is the same as hiding the content from websites that produce content you disagree with?
I just pointed out an instance of what some call cognitive dissonance. I thought you were a fan of that.
Outside of Taiwan you aren’t going to start using your phone as your main access point to the Internet - you’d go broke. And in many areas there simply isn’t much choice in service, if the 2 service providers both throttle or package the internet into channels, there is no other provider to jump to. Let the customer decide doesn’t work in this case because access to the internet is already monopolized in many areas.
Nice try, but no. Throttling data is not an issue as long as customers are aware of it, which is why Verizon had a huge fine just a few years back, and I think T-Mobile had one last year as well.
Banning content for political/economical reasons is completely different. Customers shouldn’t have to make a choice based on:“Well, this company applies a bit less censorship, so I’ll go with them…”, because companies should not be allowed to ban content they don’t like.
There are two somewhat unrelated issues here.
You’re talking about last-mile bandwidth, which as you correctly point out is essentially a private point-to-point link and you should, therefore, be allowed to use that bandwidth exactly as you see fit.
However, your starred node has a bandwidth-limited pipe onto the rest of the internet, and that pipe connects to other pipes, and so ad infinitum. The ISP can offer a lower cost to a majority of subscribers if he throttles high-bandwidth demand at certain times. Even if that ISP is a monopoly, his optimum profit-seeking behaviour would be to offer different packages (throttled or non-throttled) at different price points. People who want to watch lots of porn can pay a premium for it, while people who don’t will get a much better deal.
If you look at it from the other end of the link - the servers connecting onto large backbones - it makes a great deal of sense for the backbone providers to apportion their bandwidth with regard to content.
I agree with kelake that it’s likely to result in a complicated array of packages that you have to choose from. However, notice that the prices shown on his screengrab are very reasonable. For people who just want to bugger around on Facebook, those limited packages are likely to be just what they want. My mum, who refuses to get broadband because she’d only ever use it for Skype and shopping, would be happy with a cheap, low-performance package. Example from the Philippines: Facebook-only packages are an incredibly popular option because they’re virtually free, and nobody there uses the Internet for anything except posting selfies or links to jihadi beheadings on Facebook. Everybody wins. Especially Facebook.
Your idea of the internet is terrifying. I prefer the plan I’m getting.
The private sector knows best! Because it’s democratically controlled by the people! All hail the private sector!
The state knows worst! Because it’s tyrannically controlled by the Illuminati! Down with the state!
Big tech knows worst! Because it’s tyrannically controlled by the Illuminati! Down with big tech!
Um, but that’s the private sec–
That’s not the real private sector!
(Oops, missed the heavy breathing cue. )
You seem to have missed the possibility that neither the state nor the private sector knows best. Most of what happens in life has no right answer.
However, you probably wouldn’t like it if the government started telling you what you’re allowed to do with your private property and what you’re not. If network companies are going to be treated as persons - which seems to be a hallowed concept in US law - then I can’t see what’s wrong with allowing them to decide the best use of the equipment they invest in.
Still waiting for an explanation on how anyone could compare a change in the offering of a service (data throttling) to censorship in current year, but I’ll take the smileys as the answer