FCC backs allowing providers to screw their high-volume customers


TrainableMan

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U.S. communications regulators were poised to adopt Internet traffic rules on Tuesday that would allow providers to ration access to their networks.

Federal Communications Commission members Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn issued statements on Monday saying they would support the proposal laid out by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski early this month despite some misgivings.



The rules would ban high-speed Internet providers like Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications from blocking lawful traffic, while recognizing the need to manage network congestion and perhaps charge based on Internet usage.
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You just know this will be used to stick it to us and charge more for downloading videos.
 
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Digerati

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You just know this will be used to stick it to us and charge more for downloading videos.
If you are downloading multiple videos a day, all day long, each and every day, day in and day out, then maybe. If you download one, or maybe two videos a day from Netflix, it is not likely to affect you at all.

We must be careful not to get caught up in the rhetorical extremes of the debate. There are several issues here involving net neutrality but they boil down to two; (1) hogging bandwidth and (2) censoring content/privacy.

If my next door neighbor is using 10 times more bandwidth than me downloading videos and playing high resolution interactive on-line games all day, I should not have to pay as much as him just to keep my speeds acceptable. To me, that just seems fair.

Where the controversy (and extremists viewpoints) comes in is with companies like Comcast saying they will monitor the content of our data to determine what type of data is being up and downloaded, and then charging, or worse yet, blocking depending on that content. That's where I draw the line. If they could monitor and block only illegal content such as child porn, terroristic plots, pirated software (programs, songs, and videos) organized criminal activity; etc.) without trampling on our individual First Amendment Right to Free Speech, AND without seeing what else we were doing, AND without gathering and saving information about what else we were doing, then I would be all for it. But ISPs don't have the technology to ONLY pick out illegal activities without seeing what else we are doing. And I simply don't trust Comcast and some of these other companies to not use gathered information for profit - that is, I am certain they would sell that information about our Internet surfing habits to marketers. And I am certain some of those "marketers" would be scammers and identity thieves posing as marketers.

There needs to be compromises and that comes from debate. It is important to understand both sides of the argument.
 

TrainableMan

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I probably download or stream 3 to 6 hours of TV/movie programming per day from Hulu, TVLand, SyFy, NBC, ABC etc. There are probably only about 3 hours of TV per week, total, that I watch when it is actually broadcast.

My concern is not what the lawmakers are thinking they are preventing from happening, which is to prevent cable and telephone companies from restricting bandwidth as you said. My concern is that they will allow fees for the bandwidth used. The regulated wired phone and cable industries have been loosing ground like crazy to wireless and satellite and they will use this as justification to raise rates by basing it on bandwidth So unless there is something specific in the law to specify how much bandwidth is too much and how much they can charge when this is exceeded then this will unleash the floodgates on taxes & fees for these companies to in a round-about way raise their currently regulated rates. This is a huge concern when, especially in my area, one land-line phone company controls the DSL lines; if there is no competition, by denying multiple companies from running DSL lines in the same area, and a loophole is created to allow rates to be raised ... then these companies WILL use it to stick it to us.
 

Digerati

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they will use this as justification to raise rates by basing it on bandwidth
And I am saying that may not be a bad thing. If you are downloading 10 times more data than me, why should I have to pay as much as you just to keep my performance levels equal? If you are downloading that much video content every day, you are certainly not the norm. Many would consider you one of those who are hogging neighborhood bandwidth!
denying multiple companies from running DSL lines in the same area
Whoa! That's a whole different issue and has absolutely NOTHING to do with this FCC ruling! Many areas have more than one DSL provider just as many areas have multiple cell phone providers. There are many areas with options besides DSL. So while I understand your concerns when there is no competition, your local City Hall should be on top of price fixing in those cases.

I understand and COMPLETELY AGREE with you about the potential for abuse. ISPs are in the business of making money first, providing Internet access second. But right now, there are no regulations - all up to the honor system of the ISPs and you trust that system now? Regulations, if written properly, are there to protect the majority, not hurt us.
 

catilley1092

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I just hope that it doesn't affect my bandwidth. Normally, I use at least 100GB monthly, mainly downloading form TechNet, or Linux OS's. I watch a few news clips, but not much video.

Currently, Time Warner has unlimited high speed (7 Mbps) for $34.95, which is a total price.

I'm totally against a cap on usage, unless I agree to it. If a cap is imposed, I'll just use the public internet to do my downloading with. From where I live, all I have to do is walk to the middle of the cemetery, across from my apartment, and I can receive signal good enough for downloading.

I was against it, but am becoming more and more for public wi-fi.

Cat
 

TrainableMan

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No, that's what the FCC proposal says, they can't cap it. They'll just charge you $300-$800/month bills like you hear about the cell phone companies doing to their customers.

I already feel I get inferior service - I only get 1.5Mbps for $35/mo and that is the fastest available here without going cable. Cable would cost around double plus installation. Frankly I don't feel I should pay more for the pittance I already receive.
 
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catilley1092

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That's way too high for that level of service. When I had that speed (called Road Runner lite here), it was $24.95/monthly. The Turbo (10 Mbps) is $44.95/monthly here.

I guess it's all in wherever you live, and the competition around you. Here, you have AT&T or Time Warner Cable. Cable internet & phone service is half the price of AT&T in this area.

Cai
 

TrainableMan

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How much data is transmitted back and forth for folding in a day or week?
 

Digerati

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How much data is transmitted back and forth for folding in a day or week?
Folding uses very little. You download a small batch of data, crunch it, then send back the results. The most Folding does is cause your CPU to work, running up your electric bill! ;) At least that's for a good cause and in the winter, the extra BTUs help keep the room warm.

Cat is right in that it is all about where you live. No doubt, if your area has competing providers you can get some better deals than areas with just DSL or just cable. The best deals come if you bundle your Internet, TV, and phone with one provider. Even though it costs me more, I can't see having all my communications on one-wire so I bundle my TV and Internet on cable, but I still have regular phone service too. If my power goes out, or Cox cable is disrupted, I still have communications through my phone.

I already feel I get inferior service - I only get 1.5Mbps for $35/mo and that is the fastest available here without going cable. Cable would cost around double plus installation. Frankly I don't feel I should pay more for the pittance I already receive.
If you keep watch, most cable companies periodically offer specials for free installation. And they usually have 3 - 6 months of cheap introductory fees too. Sure, the price goes up after the introductory period is over, but most former DSL users are very happy with cable's typically superior performance. With my cable, even though the drop to the house is copper, there's fiber out to the closest j-box. Since I put this new router on line 204 days, 15 hours ago, I have not lost connection to the Internet once. And that's saying something living in Eastern Nebraska in the middle of Tornado Alley.
 

TrainableMan

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The best deals come if you bundle your Internet, TV, and phone with one provider.
When I was a kid they hadn't even run cable out here so it wasn't available at all. We always used over-the-air from an antennae on the roof and we received plenty of signals from Baltimore and Wash D.C. When this country went digital we lost 3 or 4 channels and gained several x.2 x.3 etc. Of the ones we lost only one was unique programming we couldn't get off another number. So we aren't willing to pay out good money for something we get free, so we won't pick up cable TV even though they did run it out this way 10 or 20 years ago. The truth is I like getting my programming over my internet; I can watch it at my convenience, pause it any time the phone rings or I need to do something else and all without the added cost of a cablebox or a DVR ... AND THAT IS WHAT SCARES THE HECK OUT OF CABLE COMPANIES. that we can get TV cheaper and more satisfying by using the internet portion of the cable than their actual CableTV, so they want it regulated in such a way as they can either block it (which the FCC opposes) or they can charge for it (which the FCC supports) - either way it is just a way to screw the customer out of more money for something they already currently get.

If you keep watch, most cable companies periodically offer specials for free installation. And they usually have 3 - 6 months of cheap introductory fees too.
I would be willing to get Internet via cable and they do occasionally offer Internet service for 29.99/mo and free installation so I called them and the conversation went something like this; "oh that's if you bundle it to your existing cable TV" ... "But I don't have nor want cable TV" ... "well then it's 69.99 + $100 installation (I don't recall the exact prices but it was more than double their Special)".

What really hurts is, since we get our broadcast TV from Balt/Wash we see all the Verizon Fios commercials because they offer that down there. Fios is rated #1 in the country for customer satisfaction and their upload speeds are as fast as their download. I sound like an advertisement for a service I've never had and cannot get out here but it makes me drool to imagine.
 

Nibiru2012

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FIOS is not available yet in Austin, but it is in the Dallas Metroplex. I hear it really kicks butt! An all fiber optic connection would be sweet.
 
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Digerati

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What irritates me most about cable TV (and it's the same with DirectTV and satellite TV) is that I am paying for the TV channels, but then I have to put up with commercials too. While certainly some commericals are very entertaining, they are still marketing fluff I didn't ask for (visual spam?) and I feel I am paying twice to watch TV. :(
 

TrainableMan

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Well the commercials pay the networks to provide programming; what they get from the cable companies is penny's per customer. And then the cable company bills you to maintain their lines. Everybody wants their piece of the pie and then they fight and scrape to get more of your piece.
 
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Digerati

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Everybody wants their piece of the pie and then they fight and scrape to get more of your piece.
I don't have a problem with everyone wanting their piece. It's the greed that often follows that is the problem.

I will say this about Cox Cable - when a falling branch took out my cable, Cox was there quick and instead of just connecting the cable again, and it was just yanked out so they could have done that, they ran a whole new run not just to my house, but into my house right up behind my cable modem, then gave me a quality splitter to feed my modem on one side, the TV wiring on the other. I can't complain about that.
 

clifford_cooley

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What irritates me most about cable TV (and it's the same with DirectTV and satellite TV) is that I am paying for the TV channels, but then I have to put up with commercials too. While certainly some commericals are very entertaining, they are still marketing fluff I didn't ask for (visual spam?) and I feel I am paying twice to watch TV. :(
And if you actually buy something from the advertisement, you are paying the company so they can advertise. I have often wondered how much less merchandise would cost if there was no advertising.

I find it interesting at how a high volume customer thinks they are getting screwed, when the low volume customers are not being forced to pay equal amounts.
It is my opinion that the low volume customers are being screwed by paying for bandwidth the high volume customer is using.
 

Digerati

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It is my opinion that the low volume customers are being screwed by paying for bandwidth the high volume customer is using.
I agree with that. Pay as you go is a good concept, as long as ISPs are monitoring volume and not content.

I have often wondered how much less merchandise would cost if there was no advertising.
Well, I suspect every economics, marketing and business management professor has their own expert opinion on that. Certainly, some products sell themselves because we need them. But other products would just sit on the shelves if not marketed. No business leader would spend money on marketing if he did not have to. But if you don't get the word out, the customers don't come in and you sell nothing. If you sell many, you can lower costs to the consumer. And if you don't lower costs, the competition will. So advertising to a certain point is a good thing. Determining that fine line is the tricky part.
 
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TrainableMan

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I find it interesting at how a high volume customer thinks they are getting screwed, when the low volume customers are not being forced to pay equal amounts.
I pay for a 24/7 connection of 1.5M. If I use this and they don't then they are wasting their money; it doesn't mean I should pay more because they don't utilize what they pay for. The fact is the company offers me 1.5M but they hope I won't use it so they can sell off that much to my neighbors as well. In essence they sold 1.5M to 3 of us but then only run one 1.5M line; I just want what I contracted for which is my own 1.5M line.

It's like paying for cable TV and then turning it off for 19 hours a day. Should the person who watches TV all day pay more to the cable company than the person that works all day and only watches a few hours before bed?
 
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clifford_cooley

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I pay for a 24/7 connection of 1.5M. If I use this and they don't then they are wasting their money; it doesn't mean I should pay more because they don't utilize what they pay for.
Paying for extra bandwidth so that pages render more quickly is utilizing the service. Just because someone has the bandwidth doesn't mean they should suck up every last drop.

The question I have is, if I only use so much per month, why should I have to limit my upload and download speeds just to keep a fair price?
 

TrainableMan

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You don't pay for extra bandwidth to load pages - heck, basic dial-up can load a webpage. You pay to upload and download files/video etc.
 
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clifford_cooley

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One guy watches video for 30 minutes a day
Another guy watches video for 8 hours a day

What you are suggesting is that both guys should pay the same in order for the videos to download at the same rate. The first guy is not utilizing his bandwidth when he simply wants his videos to download at the same rate as the second guy.
 

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