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Thread: US backing for two-tier internet

  1. #1
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Jun 2002
    Over here!
    US backing for two-tier internet

    The US Justice Department has said that internet service providers should be allowed to charge for priority traffic.

    The agency said it was opposed to "network neutrality", the idea that all data on the net is treated equally.

    The comments put the agency at odds with companies such as Microsoft and Google, who have called for legislation to guarantee equal access to the net.

    The agency submitted its comments to the Federal Communications Commission, which is investigating net access.

    Several US internet service providers (ISPs), including AT&T and Verizon, have previously said that they want to charge some users more money for certain content.

    This has particularly become an issue with the rise of TV and film download services.

    A similar debate is ongoing in the UK.

    One web

    The Justice Department said imposing net neutrality regulations could hinder development of the internet and prevent ISPs from upgrading networks.

    The agency said it could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers".

    "Regulators should be careful not to impose regulations that could limit consumer choice and investment in broadband facilities," said Thomas Barnett, the department's antitrust chief.

    The agency's stance is contrary to much of the internet community that believes in an open model for the internet.

    Net neutrality advocates argue that a two-tier internet would allow broadband providers to become gatekeepers to the web's content.

    Providers that can pay will be able to get a commercial advantage over those that cannot, they say.

    In particular, there is a fear that institutions like universities and charities would suffer.

    Last year, Sir Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the web rallied against the idea of a two-tier internet.

    "What's very important from my point of view is that there is one web," he said.

    "Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring."


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  3. News (Archive)   -   #2
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    Jan 2003
    The agency said it could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers".
    who do you think paid for these networks to be built? did the company magic money into exsitance and use that or did their customers pay for it? im sure a large chunk of tax payers money was also paid to the phone companies in America to build up the network but never made it that far.

    If they really want to push faster broadband in America look into local loop unbundling and making it illegal for any one company to have a monopoly in any one area which seems all too common.

    don't get me wrong im all for internet service providers treating traffic differently and net neutrality could cause plenty of problems. At the minute quite a few companies give voip and gaming priority over say p2p traffic.

    They do it because of latency, you really don't want your voip conversations not to get to the other end quickly since the audio will become choppy and make conversations difficult. people who play online games will tell you the importance of a low ping. p2p on the other hand requires high throughput rather than low latency times. so waiting a few milliseconds at a router will make no difference to your overall speed.

    what im against is them saying "hey skype you want to play in our little bit of the internet you have to pay us extra". that's extortion plain and simple.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #3
    NON TRADER BT Rep: +13BT Rep +13BT Rep +13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I see two things happening here!

    1. a two teir system would definately be a way to extort funds from the BILLIONS of people who use the net.. can someone say GREED??

    2. a system like this could very easily squeeze the life out of file sharing forever!

    and i'm sure the greedy us system would love to do the later one with a big smile... (and i'm from the us.. go figure)
    TRADING SUCKS DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. News (Archive)   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Sep 2002
    Yorkshire, England
    If we assume that this take place in a particular country, the likely upshot is that certain types of traffic to/from that country will appear degraded. Countries which don't follow such a model will have higher speeds, and as a consequence could see higher technology uptake and higher investment. Servers will therefore be located elsewhere.

    Adoption of a scheme like this sounds like an ideal way to stifle your country's growth.

    I'm surprised no-one has asked the following question yet:
    Why is the US DoJ even getting involved in this sort of debate? How is it any of their business?
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  6. News (Archive)   -   #5
    s0nuvab|tch's Avatar Poster
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    Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    I'm surprised no-one has asked the following question yet:
    Why is the US DoJ even getting involved in this sort of debate? How is it any of their business?
    Com'on that's bloody simple.

    The DoJ is the tool that big brother uses to get it's feet in the door.
    This makes the corporate world happy. (don't ya know they want a return on their 'investment' i.e. campaign contributions)
    Once the DoJ has done their dirty work, the real henchmen, the politicians, can get about the job of writing legislation.
    Legislation = LAW
    With law come the taxes. (and further revenue for lawyers)
    Corporate world has what THEY want. (and paid for)
    Government gets what THEY want.
    Average working classs bloke gets higher taxes and more onerous government regulation. sweet.
    The irony is that WE, the taxpayers, end up funding 100% of this from the start. (it's the ultimate racket) Ironic huh?....

    *Pertinent tidbit* Anything other than net neutrality will lead to a "two-tier" system. i.e. The haves and the haves not.

    Who wants to take odds on the outcome?


  7. News (Archive)   -   #6
    Racket's Avatar Retired
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    Jan 2007
    ^^ The Department of Justice has the Antitrust Division to keep U.S. companies from unfairly monopolizing the market and treating customers thereby promoting competition and the American capitalist economy. Competition begets lower prices, more choices, and better quality. The Antitrust Department is a good thing!

    edit- It seems a history lesson is in order. The U.S. government was designed on a separation of power of legislative, executive, and judicial. While Congress (legislative) and the President (executive) could influence the members of judicial parties (judges,etc), once the members were elected, they were free to make decisions without any influence as they hold their office for life and receive compensations that may not be diminished during their continuance in office.
    Last edited by Racket; 09-10-2007 at 05:32 PM.

  8. News (Archive)   -   #7
    i don't really understand what this means, can anyone shed any light, what do they mean by priority traffic etc?

  9. News (Archive)   -   #8
    Quote Originally Posted by djkemp1 View Post
    i don't really understand what this means, can anyone shed any light, what do they mean by priority traffic etc?
    Think of it like this.

    Say gets the most visitors on the net daily. Your ISP, if this goes through, can charge you more for visiting If you don't pay the premium, the content is blocked.

    Or think of it like cable in the US.

    There will be websites that will be premium websites, like HBO, Showtime, etc on cable right now. To get these premium websites, you'll have to pay an extra subscription to your ISP.

    Basically this would allow your ISP to sell packages to gain access to certain sites.

  10. News (Archive)   -   #9
    optimus_prime's Avatar Guardian BT Rep: +2
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    Feb 2007
    you have voip company called skype and your rival has company skype2. i'm isp.
    if you don't pay me 20$ your company will be granted slower traffic than his.

    [edit] duh. late

  11. News (Archive)   -   #10
    TheFoX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    It was also mentioned that the cost could be born the other way, with server operators paying more to have their servers running on the faster tier network.

    Of course, whether a bold plan will work or not is to be seen. As we know, the DoJ is only responsible for the US of A. The rest of the world is the rest of the world. This means that such a bold plan may be accepted in some countries, such as the UK, but others would not opt for it, keeping the status quo.

    Of course, a lot depends on how this tier system will be implemented. If it is done by your ISP directly, then you may find that your on a slow route for all your traffic on the budget plan, or the fast route for the premium plan. Of course, there may be issues here as well, especially if someone is on the premium plan, and not getting the throughput/latency they expect, because of lag further along the route.

    I think that this one will be hard to implement. Having Microsoft oppose it means that there is a powerful corporation already looking to put the boot in wherever possible. Along with countries/companies who cannot/will not comply with the DoJ resolution, this could mean is would die on it's feet.

    I would imagine that much of Asia and South America will not be willing to implement a two tier system, simply because of the logistics and cost of such a move would harm their business. In the US, the whole process will probably be subsidised by the taxpayers money anyway, but other countries would need to finance their own upgrades, and many would think this a needless exercise.

    Finally, the internet is the one true global commodity, that should not be tied to one country. The fact that the US DoJ is interested, alarms me, because the internet is a commercial venture, and it's future should be decided by those who actively run the net, not those who think that they run the net.

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