Re: An open question to the anti-net-neutrality crowd:
Trust a nerd to believe you can solve social problems with technology. *sigh*
Look, I don't care what the technology can do. Just because TCP has the ability to do QoS doesn't mean that QoS should be used on the public internet. I'm perfectly aware that this is a capability of the protocol, and I use it within the bounds of my own network so that I, and only I can decide what priority different classes of traffic get on my network. In fact, my edge routers are even able to look at QoS settings on the network and determine which packets get priority for access to the internet. That is how I determine the quality of service of my network.
There's the critical bit there. I determine the quality of service of my network. Nobody dictates it to me, certainly not by discriminating based upon whether or not I am requesting packets from a company that competes with my my ISP.
You can bang on about FRAND/RAND as a solution to the social issues of abuse of monopoly or pesudo-monopoly position, but I've yet to see many examples of that actually working in the real world. Unless I'm missing something, your anti-net-neutrality stance is lodged firmly in mistaken economic beliefs like "the free market actually works". It doesn't, certainly not when there is the option for a monopoly to exist. It's as big a myth as trickle down economics.
So really, that's what this boils down to. There are plenty of examples in our history in which companies - including many of the very same companies that are in question with this very issue - have abused monopoly power, influenced regulators and politicians to the detriment of customers and generally been gigantic assholes. There are far fewer examples of "the invisible hand of the market" simply clearing everything up and making abuses go away.
If you have a means of guaranteeing that investment gets plowed into ever better infrastructure perpetually, that service is universally available, that speeds and quality increase over time, that prices won't become gougingly predatory for end customer and that barriers to entry will remain low-to-non-existent for new entrants, I'm all ears.
So far, imposing net neutrality and a shitload of regulation seems like the only way to achieve the above. Simply letting those in power do whatever they want is absolutely, positively, without a shadow of the remotest doubt going to result in the exact fucking opposite. There is no reason whatsoever to believe otherwise.
Additionally, as for your parting missive:
"and above all else that no internet provider is allowed to prioritize packets from services they own above those of services from competing providers.
Not even the routing and control protocol traffic required to maintain your network's stability?"
Don't be asinine. You're attempting to pin an extremist viewpoint on me when under no circumstances have I evidenced such. Routing and control traffic is and should be considered to be part of the infrastructure itself. It is necessary overhead to make the system work.
As I had stated plainly in my posts, I have zero problem with certain items having priority on the public internet, so long as the rationale behind their having priority was obvious, transparent and clearly grounded in the common good. (For example, 911 or telemedicine traffic.)
As a society we make "common good" exceptions for every traffic and communications network. In times of emergency our governments have all sorts of powers ranging from your duty to pull over when an emergency vehicle has lights/sirens on so they can pass to priority use of comns equipment by government officials during a crisis.
Do not try to set up a straw man by pretending that I am some ideological purist trying to impose a radical and absolutist agenda. That's bullshit and you fucking know it.
What I am seeing is the best outcome for small business owners and end customers in a fashion that doesn't completely ruin the ability for ISPs, CDNs, content distributors and even the rightsholder mafia to make money. I seek to prevent any one group from gaining absolute control and I seek to prevent vertical market integration which would lead to monopoly positions, anti-competitive barriers to entry and egregious - I would go so far as to say economically dangerous - pricing.
Let me be even more clear here, just so that we can all speak the same language: western society is becoming one that is based on the production and distribution of intellectual capital. We cannot - we must not - allow the distribution system of that intellectual capital to become controlled by a small oligarchy.
To do so would place us at a spectacular disadvantage compared to other nations which see the value in ensuring fast, reliable, cheap and (mostly) equalized access to the economic "market" that will define the twenty-first century. Everyone - rich or poor - needs to be able to both buy and sell wares in that market place and they need to be able to do so unfettered.
If you hand an oligarchy the vice and place our collective economic testicles in the middle, don't be so shocked and shaken when the start tightening the thing demanding money.
No "technical capability of the TCP/IP protocol" is going to solve that. Even toothless FRAND/RAND rules (that don't solve the issue of barrier to entry int he first place, they only assure that the few who make it over the barrier get equal prices) just don't solve the problem.
People aren't rational actors. It's about time those who worship disproven economic theory got that through their heads. It's kind of important when you're trying to build a society based on rules and technologies that not only have never existed before, be up until a few generations ago, we couldn't have even imagined ever would exist.