Will someone explain to me from the ground up this issue of Net Neutrality?

#1
For about a year now, I've been hearing this term and I'm still not quite sure what it means.

And also, can someone explain this issue between Verizon and Google and how they're "selling out" on net neutrality.

Thanks. I suppose this thread could also be a discussion on this topic.
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#2
Essentially, the discussion is about whether or not internet service providers should be able to decide which websites they allow/block, and which websites they allocate more bandwidth to themselves kind of thing, as apposed to providing everyone and every website with the same accesability. Essentially, Bell could make Rogers and Verizon's websites almost unviewable to their (bell's) customers kind of thing. I think.

I haven't really followed too closely.
#3
I can never tell which side the term 'net neutrality' is on.

Basically, from what I can gather, service providers want websites to contribute to the large amount of bandwidth that their sites use. For example, BBC would have to pay ISPs a fee to compensate for the disproportionately large amount of bandwidth it uses due to its iPlayer service. Similarly, youtube might have to pay because it requires a lot of bandwidth and has a lot of traffic.

While this might sound fine and dandy, it will lead to a 2 tiered internet, big sites with high bandwidth and relatively quick loading times and 'indie' sites that will either have to sacrifice content or crawl along at a snails pace because they cannot afford (or do not wish) to pay the fees. They won't be able to compete with the big boys and so more and more of our content will come from fewer sources which isn't a good thing.

I can never remember whether 'net neutrality' refers to this plan (forcing those who use more to pay more) or objects to it (keep everyone on the same playing field). Although currently I think it's the former.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#4
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I can never tell which side the term 'net neutrality' is on.

Basically, from what I can gather, service providers want websites to contribute to the large amount of bandwidth that their sites use. For example, BBC would have to pay ISPs a fee to compensate for the disproportionately large amount of bandwidth it uses due to its iPlayer service. Similarly, youtube might have to pay because it requires a lot of bandwidth and has a lot of traffic.

While this might sound fine and dandy, it will lead to a 2 tiered internet, big sites with high bandwidth and relatively quick loading times and 'indie' sites that will either have to sacrifice content or crawl along at a snails pace because they cannot afford (or do not wish) to pay the fees. They won't be able to compete with the big boys and so more and more of our content will come from fewer sources which isn't a good thing.

I can never remember whether 'net neutrality' refers to this plan (forcing those who use more to pay more) or objects to it (keep everyone on the same playing field). Although currently I think it's the former.

I was under the impression that it was us, the users that had to pay for access to a wider range of sites, sort of like subscription to satellite TV. Either way it doesn't seem good.
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#5
Quote by sg255
I was under the impression that it was us, the users that had to pay for access to a wider range of sites, sort of like subscription to satellite TV. Either way it doesn't seem good.

I think it's both.

higher bandwidth use needs improved infrastructure, but customers don't like paying more to get (in our eyes) the same service.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#6
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I can never tell which side the term 'net neutrality' is on.

Basically, from what I can gather, service providers want websites to contribute to the large amount of bandwidth that their sites use. For example, BBC would have to pay ISPs a fee to compensate for the disproportionately large amount of bandwidth it uses due to its iPlayer service. Similarly, youtube might have to pay because it requires a lot of bandwidth and has a lot of traffic.

While this might sound fine and dandy, it will lead to a 2 tiered internet, big sites with high bandwidth and relatively quick loading times and 'indie' sites that will either have to sacrifice content or crawl along at a snails pace because they cannot afford (or do not wish) to pay the fees. They won't be able to compete with the big boys and so more and more of our content will come from fewer sources which isn't a good thing.

I can never remember whether 'net neutrality' refers to this plan (forcing those who use more to pay more) or objects to it (keep everyone on the same playing field). Although currently I think it's the former.

^This is the proper explanation of the issue, but I'm pretty sure that "net neutrality" refers of the latter, not the former. What with the "neutrality" part and all.

Discussion: This is just a bad idea. Having peoples ISP decide what sites are easy to view will backfire, regardless.
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#7
Quote by doomded
^This is the proper explanation of the issue, but I'm pretty sure that "net neutrality" refers of the latter, not the former. What with the "neutrality" part and all.

Discussion: This is just a bad idea. Having peoples ISP decide what sites are easy to view will backfire, regardless.

I can never tell whether the ISPs are dressing it up as neutrality or whether people are pushing for neutrality.

that's what confuses me.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#8
Allowing ISPs to effectively decide what websites one can view is clearly a bad idea. The brilliance of the Internet and where its real power lies for the future is unlimited access to information. That scares business and government.
However it is a good issue for separating the Libertarians from the Corporatists. For example the Tea Party Movement have come out in favour of this, showing once and for all that they are simply corporatists, not Libertarian; they want to protect Business and profit margins, not protect the rights of individuals.
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Last edited by Ur all $h1t at Aug 14, 2010,
#9
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I can never tell whether the ISPs are dressing it up as neutrality or whether people are pushing for neutrality.

that's what confuses me.

Good point. You probably shouldn't trust me. It wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong.
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#10
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I can never tell whether the ISPs are dressing it up as neutrality or whether people are pushing for neutrality.

that's what confuses me.

Net neutrality is the consumer position. Net neutering is the ISPs position.
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#12
Quote by JackalUK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11773574

I'm off to cry. If this passes then the UK's internet has been destroyed.

Are they proposing that ISP's can charge different rates for connection speeds or are they proposing additional fees depending upon the sites you frequent? I couldn't quite make out what he was proposing.
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#13
Quote by Jackal58
Are they proposing that ISP's can charge different rates for connection speeds or are they proposing additional fees depending upon the sites you frequent? I couldn't quite make out what he was proposing.

the first paragraph suggests both which is worrying.

But I think it's mainly about charging the content providers for greater connection speeds rather than the ordinary customer.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#14
The basic principle is that ISP can charge and alter your connection speed based on the price you pay. Take for instance Google. Tons of traffic goes through it and bandwidth is used up. Under net neutrality they are not responsible to the ISP for upkeep based on this. Net neutrality means that everyone gets an equal usage of the pipeline, no one is favoured over anyone else. If the proposals come into effect then large businesses that can afford to can gain priority over the lines. Now take for instance a small start-up company that develops a new search engine system that works more efficiently that Google. In order to compete with Google it would have to pay vast sums of money in order to keep it's connection and usage speed acceptable as it's already competing for pipeline from Google, and anyone else that might gain priority (Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, etc etc). It would fail because it can't afford to grow.

To expand on this, perhaps you are using an ISP that forms a business agreement with a company. They could then, legally, set the priority for rival businesses websites so low that they would be incredibly slow.

The internet shouldn't be based on whoever has the most money gains the advantage. Since it's introduction it has been built on this principle. Look how many companies were able to grow and develop because of this. Would Google have grown to the massive corporation ifs its 'much faster than Yahoo' search engine was restricted to a crawl because Yahoo paid to gain the advantage over the line. I doubt it.
#15
Basically, net neutrality is the current state of the Internet. Every website has an level playing field as far as their access and speed, which purely depends on their server power and relative location to you. Also, all data usage is bundled right now. So it doesn't matter if you were playing Counter Strike, streaming a movie, using Skype, torrenting, it all gets counted as the same data usage.

Major ISP's like Comcast want to make more money by discriminating data flow, so they want to get rid of net neutrality. If you want your site to be quick to access, you gotta pay a high fee. As you can imagine, this can turn out to be a huge barrier of entry so that only a few major sites like YouTube and Facebook are able to afford ease of access while startups and personals will have a hard time getting access.

Furthermore, the ISPs can distinguish what type of data usage to charge you. If you want to Skype, you might have to pay more just for that particular data usage. They can also ban torrent and streaming data all together if they wanted to.

They basically want to turn the Internet into a TV subscription service. You won't have access to all channels. Only major channels can afford to reach everyone. Small/independents can only be accessed on things such as On Demand or extra order. This would be a huge step backwards in technology and progress.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#16
Exactly

Imagine seeing this on your package

Standard browsing - $5 a month
Gaming Package : Includes standard browsing and gaming data allowance - $15 a month
Media Package : Includes standard browsing and media data allowance - $15 a month
Ultra Package : Includes standard browsing, gaming and media data allowance - $30 a month
Downloaders package : Includes standard browsing and downloading allowance - $50 a month

It could happen
#17
Do you think there will be any alternatives that can combat this?

For example, I heard that Google is researching a new type of network infrastructure called "The Grid" that could make the current Internet services obsolete in terms of speed. But how long would that take to reach everyone? And can we trust a large corporation to be on our side?

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#18
The grid has been in development for some years and from what I understand it will use new protocols and hardware that allows for greater data transfer at a fraction of the bandwidth and at much faster speeds than we are currently capable of doing with conventional systems.
#19
Is it any different to cloud computing? because that's just a cluster**** of issues.
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Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#20
Quote by Lemoninfluence
Is it any different to cloud computing? because that's just a cluster**** of issues.

If my understanding is correct, isn't cloud computing just doing things over the net instead of on your actual computer? In that case, it has nothing to do with the grid. It is somewhat of a software issue. The Grid is a physical infrastructure of networks.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#21
Isn't Net Neutrality where you don't need to use your real name on the internet? Also what happened to the ACTA? I haven't heard about it since America backed out of the treaty.
#22
Quote by Xiaoxi
If my understanding is correct, isn't cloud computing just doing things over the net instead of on your actual computer? In that case, it has nothing to do with the grid. It is somewhat of a software issue. The Grid is a physical infrastructure of networks.

the way it was explained to me was that our computers would do very little processing etc it'd be done by 'the cloud' and would allow our personal computers to be very cheap.

The problem with it is that it creates a reliance on 'the cloud' and those who run it as well as creating a nice easy way to filter content.

Don't want 'immoral' materials available? remove them from the cloud.

I assume cloud computing would need an improvement in infrastructure as well as the software change so I thought the two might be linked.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#23
Quote by Lemoninfluence
the way it was explained to me was that our computers would do very little processing etc it'd be done by 'the cloud' and would allow our personal computers to be very cheap.

The problem with it is that it creates a reliance on 'the cloud' and those who run it as well as creating a nice easy way to filter content.

I assume cloud computing would need an improvement in infrastructure as well as the software change so I thought the two might be linked.

I don't think they're linked. And cloud computing is more like storage and processing over a remote server. Google Docs and Apple MobileMe are examples of cloud computing. I mean, yea you can technically house an entire central processor to do everything remotely but I haven't heard of any ventures that does that yet aside from this new video game system.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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