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Posts tagged ‘Net-Neutrality’

Net Neutrality – research links

Here are different research links on the subject Net Neutrality.

Reflections on Net Neutrality

BitTorrent: Shedding no tiers [BBCs] Newsnight’s ubergeek talks to BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen and finds him distinctly equivocal about fears of a two speed internet.

Tim Wus NetNeutrality FAQ Wikipedias page on Net Neutrality

Reported incidents of problematic issues

How Dare You Talk Bad About Us… AT&T & Verizon

Broadband Reports has this interesting little snippet from AT&T’s terms of service: “AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes … tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.”

AT&T Changes its ‘Terms of Service’ The email from AT&T

Harts lawsuit against Comcast (pdf) Californian Hart sues Comcast for not delivering the internet Hart has bought.

AP Tests Comcast’s File-Sharing Filter To test claims by users that Comcast Corp. was blocking some forms of file-sharing traffic, The Associated Press went to the Bible.

Verizon Rejects Text Messages From an Abortion Rights Group Saying it had the right to block ”controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.

On the legislation

Net neutrality to get new life in Congress Article on the legislation

Internet Freedom Preservation Act (Introduced in Senate) The proposed legislation paper.

Net Neutrality revisited

Is it a good idea to enforce ‘Net Neutrality’?

Some claim an actual smoking gun hasn’t been found, though Comcast seems to be under somewhat pressure from different sides as a California court and complaints to the FCC from Public Knowledge and Vuze.

In Canada the debate is intense as well, when Matt Roberts writes about VPN, Canadian law and why some management is sensible:

“Its a bit of misnomer that if your neighbour gets QoS [Quality of Service] guarantees you’re loosing bandwidth… but I digress. Lets just say how will you know if your email is ever delayed 62 ms (milli-seconds)? You won’t, thats packet prioritization, a delay of your email in microseconds just doesn’t matter. Will you notice it during a VoIP call? possibly – again depending on how you encode it and what protocols you use. but thats why packet prioritization or what Rogers is doing, makes sense to me. QoS goes beyond just shaping and raw data guarantees. I’d personally love for Rogers [an ISP] to turn off all network management on the network for 2 days… just to see what happens.”

On VPN: Hughes is the third largest provider of IP VPN, 17.9 US market percent share, close to AT&T and Verizon (25.3% and 18.4% respectively) and, “surpassing traditional telecom heavyweights such a Spring and Qwest.” source. And this mainly by Internet over satellite.

See also VoIP VPN.

Mapping who owns the internet

theinternetIn marts 2006  Ben Worthen and Bill Cheswick mapped who owned the routers in the North American network of the Internet. They found AT&T and Verizon as the biggest ones, the frontrunners against Net Neutrality.

Ben writes about and explains the map.

It could be fun to conduct the same inquiries again to see the development.

Teaser from pro-paper on Net Neutrality

Here is a slip from my Net Neutrality paper, which is due tomorrow:

“As it is described above ISPs can have different motives to discriminate content on the network. When the argument is that the ISP wants to safeguard a level of quality of service the motive seems to be in the interest of the end user, if – and this is essential – the user is interested in the content discrimination. More critical it becomes when the discrimination serves, not the interest of the user, but the ISP itself. This is when the motive is to hinder a competitor to enter the market on same level as the incumbent network provider. And this is the case when the ISP take the right to discriminate so widely as it is shown in the excerpt of AT&T’s Terms of Service above. That the story shows this discrimination has been practiced tells only the realness of the problem, and that a free market is not able to safeguard for these incidents of violating free speech and free competition. A free market does not equal free competition.”


The paper is still a (perpetual?) beta, but – or therefore (right Georgia?) – any comments are welcome.

Oh, and this is fresh from the bakery:

Net neutrality to get new life in Congress

Dividing the content and the distribution markets

With the new proposed telecommunication policy reform the EU Commission encourage Members to look at ‘functional separation’ as a tool to spur competition, this is explained in the FAQ. (the excerpt is provided below).

The separation tool raises questions about the infrastructure gatekeeper discriminating certain content on the network. Fair competition requires non-discrimination.

The opposite interest of functional separation argues that a such implementation will discourage investment in the network, but as stated below this has not been the situation in the UK, on the contrary it has helped investment!

Excerpt of the FAQ

What is functional separation?

Functional separation is an instrument to ensure fair competition leading to freedom of choice for consumers in a telecoms market dominated by one operator. It requires an incumbent operator to separate its network infrastructure from the units offering services using this infrastructure. Although operationally separate business entities are created, overall ownership remains unchanged; functional separation is therefore an instrument that needs to be distinguished from structural separation which is currently being introduced in the energy sector (see IP/07/26, IP/07/29). As telecoms markets are more dynamic, functional separation allows network access to new entrants and the incumbent’s own retail division on the same terms. It gives new entrants a fair chance to build services using the incumbent’s existing infrastructure.

Will the Commission impose functional separation on every operator in the European Union?

No. The Commission proposes to give all national regulators the possibility of imposing functional separation, if they, on the basis of a sound market analysis, deem it necessary to tackle important competition problems, taking due account of the principle of proportionality and of the effect on investments by incumbents and new market entrants. Functional separation should only be used when all other regulatory tools have proved to be inadequate. To be imposed, functional separation requires the approval of the Commission and needs to take into account the effect on investment by the incumbent as well as by new market entrants.

Will functional separation not hold back investment in competitive infrastructures?

No. First of all, the experience from countries that have already introduced functional separation shows that this remedy enhances overall investment in services and in network infrastructures. In the UK, functional separation has spurred a new wave of investment and infrastructure-based market entry as evidenced by the explosion of local loop unbundled lines in UK which has jumped from less than 100,000 in June 2005 to 3.3 million by the end of October 2007. In addition, the EU Telecoms Reform requires a thorough cost-benefit analysis by national regulators before introducing functional separation. They thereby ensure that the incentives to invest for both the largest and smallest operators are preserved. By allowing common ownership of the network and service arms, functional separation will facilitate coordination of investment decisions between the services and network elements. Efficient investment by new market entrants will be supported by the fact that with functional separation, they can rely on non-discriminatory access to all bottlenecks.

Functional separation has been successful in the UK. Should all EU Member States now follow suit?

The Commission believes that functional separation is a useful tool, which in the long run will improve freedom of choice for users in markets where, for structural reasons, competition between different infrastructures fails to evolve. This positive view on functional separation is increasingly shared around the world, with regulators in the UK, New Zealand and Australia already having had concrete experience with it, while the instrument is currently considered by regulators in Sweden[1], Italy, Poland, Ireland and Spain.

However, simply because the remedy will be available does not mean it should always be applied. National regulators will always have to take into account how competitive the markets under their responsibility are. This can vary from country to country. For example, the Dutch national regulator considered that at the moment, functional separation would be inappropriate for The Netherlands, in view of evolving infrastructure competition between DSL and cable.

With the EU Telecoms Reform, the Commission wants to make sure that those regulators that see a need for choosing functional separation do so under a stable legal framework and with the backing of the Commission, using a consistent methodology and taking into account regulatory experience made in other EU markets.”

Net Neutrality in the EU

As the debate on Net Neutrality is raised to presidential candidate level in the US, Viviane Reding, from the EU Commission, presents a broad and comprehensive telecommunications policy reform. Of course they are addressing the Net Neutrality issue:

To prevent telecom providers (often the ISP’s owning backbone material) to band (or slow down data packet transfer for) certain websites – for own commercial interest – it is to put to law, that the “internet service provider must clearly inform you [the consumer, it is all about empowering the consumer!] in advance if they impose limitations on accessing certain sites.

This information will make it easier for you to decide whether you want to switch to another provider or not. National regulators will also have powers to intervene when the quality of service for transmission (which grants access to online services such as TV, telephony, internet, etc.) could be at risk.” (reference).

In the UK this regulation will probably be enough (and not too intervening in the market), because the individual resident in the UK has the option of picking among many different internet providers in the house, he is living in. But in the US, the situation is a bit different. In many areas you have only one internet provider (practically a monopoly!) which make it very hard to choose another provider, obviously. So maybe that legislation would not be enough in the US.

Another question I would like to get answered: How are we able to track these incidents of discrimination? Is it technological possible to send out packages in the network to test a raised concern in a specific relation?

Added Nov 15: Just found this article “Tracking Anonymous Peer-to-Peer VoIP Calls on the Internet” , haven’t read it yet, the abstracts says this though:

“In this paper, we present a watermark technique that could be used for effectively identifying and correlating encrypted, peer-to-peer VoIP calls even if they are anonymized by low latency anonymizing networks. This result is in contrast to many people’s perception.”

Net Neutrality, is it necessary?

Discriminating certain content (packages over the network lines) on the internet is becoming more and more an issue as people fill up the internet bandwidth with wishes such as VoIP, streaming video and Torrenttraffic, all taking up a bit of traffic.

It is hard though to control ISPs, when they make strategic choices about discriminating. The debate seems to be igniting, here are some examples of the consequences and the policy at the moment:

Thanks to BitTorrrent, Net neutrality debate reignites.

(Thanks Jarle for the recommendation)

This is a quote from the article:

Simple quality-of-service networking technologies that limit the amount of bandwidth that each individual user gets could be the answer to this problem, say experts [from the telecommunications industry]. But Wu [professor at Harvard] believes the issue is not really about bandwidth management. It’s about who controls the Internet.

“The whole Net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle,” he said. “It all comes down to a scenario where the phone companies and cable operators want to call all the shots about which applications enter the market. And while that may be good for them, I’d argue it’s very bad for the country.”

Hocher Einheit: Obama und Net Neutrality

Earlier I’ve been writing about Net Neutrality, the main focus in my Telecommunications Course this fall, and Obama, because I’m following this mans escapades on the Internet.

A good friend of mine, Jarle Christensen, has recommended this video, where these to areas gets in sync. Or as you might say: reach Hocher Einheit!

Is Net Neutrality going to be an issue in the election? 🙂

(For you Danes out there: FCC is the equivalent to the combination of the Danish Radio- og TV-nævn and Telestyrelsen)

Why Internet kills my discipline: From Net Neutrality to fine girls farting

So you start off with getting to know the basics of Net Neutrality, and end up with fine girls farting:

Net Neutrality

Ask a Ninja Net Neutrality

Mythbusters ask a ninja

Mythbusters on pretty girls farting

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