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back to article FCC boss hints at change to neutrality policy

Internet neutrality – the principle that all traffic is equal – may be the official policy of the Federal Communications Commission, but it's also something that new FCC chair Tom Wheeler seems to consider still on the table for discussion. That is, if the definition of “net neutrality” means there is never any scope for a …

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Bastards!

"Should carriers be allowed to charge more for data hogs, someone who plays online video gaming 20 hours a day"

They do already. It's called faster plans with bigger downloads......

What stinks is QOS preventing us from ever using the data and speed that we paid for.

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Trollface

Waaaa? Uncontroversial positions from MUH REGULATOR?

Quickly, tweet a protest march for more equality! #OCCUPYQOS

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Netflix

There would seem to be little point for Netflix to pay ISPs to insure the "best possible transmission" of a movie. Most people already have links much faster than a stream requires, so you don't need any sort of guaranteed bandwidth. Just let the stream get ahead and stay ahead, and I don't care if the data from Netflix is coming in at 20 Mbps one minute and 20 Kbps the next.

The only reason Netflix would pay for that is if the ISP makes it like a protection racket because net neutrality isn't enforced:

Psst hey Netflix, youse guys might wanta pay us ta insures youse packets is gettin through to youse customas. Lotta things can happin ta packets when dey passes throughs our netwark. Ya never knows, dey could mebbe falls down da stairs, breaks their legs or sometin like dat.

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Joke

Re: Netflix

Lotta things can happin ta packets when dey passes throughs our netwark.

Do you mean like an ISP firewall rule that silently drops packets based on (Netflick's) source IP address???

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Anonymous Coward

Data hogs of war

Where does this idea come from, that playing video games uses a lot of bandwidth? The amount of data traffic when playing multiplayer online games is generally tiny AFAIK. It has to be, otherwise the latency would kill any non-turn-based game.

As a customer, I'd be more interested in upgrading my internet connection with lower-latency than higher-bandwidth, but it is not the place of ISPs to decree which service providers I get that latency for.

But don't Netflix already effectively pay ISPs to improve streaming quality - by hosting some of their streaming servers in various ISPs data centres closer to the customer?

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Re: Data hogs of war

My hunch is they're talking about playing streamed online video games where your game is actually running entirely on the server (which seem to be any host's wet dream these days for various reasons). And that would take up a rather handsome bandwidth in HD, with some latency requirements to match...

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Black Helicopters

Let's get paranoid!

I think we can all see where this is heading!

"you can't have access unless you have the ability to access any lawful network"

Key word being "lawful" - essentially this could (will?) end up with internet censorship on a massive scale! Just look at the UK currently - slowly but surely the internet is being divided into the good and the bad. Next step is to make the bad illegal!

[Please see title and this sentence for a hint that this post might contain a little sarcasm, but not too much I should hope]

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Anonymous Coward

A solution is surely simple?

Digital data is simply ones and zeroes. Charging differently for those ones and zeroes depending on what they build is daft as each one takes the same amount of resources to pass along.

So improve something else, such as

* Improved latency

* Decreased contention

* Dual redundancy (e.g. with some routers you can have both an ADSL and 3G modem providing WAN simultaneously so you, theoretically, have no downtime- pretty useful in the sticks or if there's a problem at the exchange)

* ISP-level filtering for parents, with a password that allows the parents unfettered access. You know, rather than getting anyone who wants anything interesting to sign up saying 'yes, I'm a pervert, monitor me!'.

Or with a bit more work:

* Host the popular videos from Netflix and the like on their local network, redirecting requests for the Netflix server to their own. This way they pay less for external bandwidth and the user gets faster streaming while ALSO getting rid of some of the slowdown you get when it's a highly-watched video (say, Brian Griffin's last scene or Game of Thrones S4 when it comes out). Similarly, Steam content could be held on these servers too.

I think they already do buffering like this, but more deliberate and charged for.

* Host high-speed, ISP-network dedicated servers for popular online games- so players on that ISP would naturally have some advantage. Have some sort of competition, maybe a prize or two. This could not only be a good 'premium' service but also persuade gamers to swap ISP if it was a generally good ISP too.

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