back to article Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites

Those who log into their favourite websites today may notice that things seem a bit... slow. It's not a service outage or a shoddy connection, but a coordinated protest in support of net neutrality provisions in the US. A group called Battleforthenet is organizing the campaign in which participating sites plaster their pages …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Just imagine if ISPs had to stand in line..."

    I'm imagining a huge line of...~6. If only the VA shared such problems.

    1. Matt 21

      Re: "Just imagine if ISPs had to stand in line..."

      It does appear to be a bit of FUD. Claim they'll have to stand in line for things which wouldn't be effected by net neutrality.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "Just imagine if ISPs had to stand in line..."

      "Just imagine if ISPs had to stand in line and fill out forms and wait for permission to increase broadband speeds, add Wi-Fi hotspots or create new TV Everywhere services. What would that look like?" the group wrote, "It would be a net disaster."

      Just imagine if the fat-ass cable companies/content providers (they are pretty much the same these days) would stop dumping loads of BS and FUD upon us, and worked to get us sufficient bandwidth so that they could pump their bandwidth-sapping "content" and not completely hork up the net for everybody else, I wrote. It would be ... fucking brilliant!

  2. Steve Knox

    What's in a Name?

    What's Battle Forth Enet supposed to mean?

    1. mythicalduck

      Re: What's in a Name?

      There's a networking library called Enet (https://github.com/lsalzman/enet), and it needs to become the defacto standard :)

    2. Mister_C
      Coat

      Re: What's in a Name?

      Well a Battle Forth is an army led by sombody with a lisp...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: What's in a Name?

        Battle Forth is better than Battle Toads and I am an experienced gamer!

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    They may show everyone overwhelmingly in favor of net neutrality

    But, I'm guessing the odds makers are saying it'll lose.

    As for this poor scene the ISP's are pitching... yeah right, I can just see them standing in a line. Probably the lamest argument of all time.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: They may show everyone overwhelmingly in favor of net neutrality

      Probably the lamest argument of all time.

      I bet they wish they had a better one though.

  4. Ole Juul

    The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), . . . said yesterday that common carrier rules would create a bureaucracy which slows down implementation of new technology.

    Isn't that exactly the kind of excuse they're looking for? They've had no excuse whatsoever for letting it get to 512K day. Next they'll be saying "the government wouldn't let us upgrade". Whiners.

  5. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    WTF?

    Cretins.

    ".....The groups notes that participants will not necessarily be slowing their own traffic, but rather using the images to raise awareness for net neutrality and the spectre of throttled traffic should ISPs be allowed to create "fast lane" tiers of service....." Seriously, where have these morons been hiding their heads? The telcos/providers have always offered differing levels of service based on price. Competition between the telcos/providers has ensured the growth of the Internet and services to the public just fine, any company trying to offer an unrealistically throttled service has simply lost customers as they went elsewhere.

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Cretins.

      Like many north Americans, I have slow internet and no choice of providers. I have not seen the competition you talk about though I'm sure it applies to where you live. In any case, from my, and many people's perspective, the only way to create a fast lane is to add a slower one. I guess that makes me a cretin. There's a lot of us.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Cretins.

        @Ole "In any case, from my, and many people's perspective, the only way to create a fast lane is to add a slower one. I guess that makes me a cretin. There's a lot of us."

        Yes it does, in the same way as thinking the Earth is flat makes you a cretin. If "many people" believe the Earth is flat, that still doesn't make it an accurate description of physical reality.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/09/net_neutrality_explained_and_how_to_get_a_better_internet/

        1. Ole Juul

          Re: Cretins.

          @ Andrew: I'm not sure if you agree with me or not. My point was aimed at the previous comment by Matt Bryant who seemed to think that everyone had cable or DSL, and perhaps even a choice. I thought it was somewhat narrow minded of him to assume that everyone did. Large areas of North America are left with a single provider, usually of wireless, and typically 1.5 mbps. I'm quite happy living with that because I'm not a consumer of movies or high speed/bandwith material (preferring more dense material like the Reg.) but it is a mistake to think that "everybody" is able to take part in the high speed internet that is being discussed in major cities and Europe.

          I don't think the net neutrality discussion even applies to me or a lot of people here in Canada. Of course they're not going to split 1.5 mbps into a fast and a slow lane. That was a joke. Yes, I read and enjoyed your previous article.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Ole Jule Re: Cretins.

            ".....My point was aimed at the previous comment by Matt Bryant who seemed to think that everyone had cable or DSL, and perhaps even a choice....." Nope, I assumed (correctly going by your subsequent post) that you do not place a high enough criteria on high-speed Internet access for you to pay the price it would require to provide such a service where you live. In essence you are moaning about not having a Rolls Royce to drive round your rural farm, despite the pickup truck you have being a more practical and affordable choice, on the rather dubious grounds that it's only 'fair' you have a Rolls Royce 'cos dem rich city folk does'. That has nothing to do with 'neutrality' and a lot to do with envy.

            1. Bjorg

              Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

              Matt, it's not just rural areas that don't have choices. I lived in a heavily-populated suburb of Seattle for a while and only had one choice for internet. I now live in a heavily-populated suburb of San Francisco and only have one choice for internet. And coming as a surprise to no one, that 'choice' is Comcast. How much would it cost to pay a decent DSL or fiber provider to dig up the entire city and lay cables for us? Probably not something the average person can afford so yes, I suppose I don't 'place a high enough criteria on high-speed Internet access' because I won't sell a several hundred of my kidneys to get it. You got me. But in seriousness, if I could get a few hundred thousand of my neighbors to pitch in, maybe we could do it? Who do I contact? I suppose I could get the government to implement what is (in this scenario) amounting to socialized internet service, but that would be too simple for 'Murica.

              Also, what's high-speed cable? I've never seen low-latency cable before. Perhaps you meant high-throughput?

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Bjorg Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

                ".....I now live in a heavily-populated suburb of San Francisco and only have one choice for internet....." Really? What, no 4G or LTE where you live? How about 3G, or is that not 'fast enough' anymore? The reality is there are always options, especially in city suburbs, it's just you want cheap but fast cable and expect the market to magically provide it for you (so you can watch ten hours of fluffy unicorns on Youtube, maybe).

                ".....How much would it cost to pay a decent DSL or fiber provider to dig up the entire city and lay cables for us?...." No idea, but in the UK there have been quite a few villages that have clubbed together to get their own cable connectivity put in. Maybe the difference was they weren't too busy moaning and expecting everyone else to jump up and sort out their problems for them.

                ".....what's high-speed cable?....." Well, my first cable I had was 256Kbps DSL from Virgin, back in the day when the alternative best home offering was 128Kbps ISDN from BT. That Virgin service seemed great in the day - fast Internet, telephone and TV - but would be laughed at nowadays by a market that has got used to offerings like Virgin's 30Mbps service. A mate even went two years with no landline or cable when he got 3G where he lived, and he was a heavy Torrent user and gamer, yet people now try and tell me 3G is 'not enough'. Half the people I meet insisting they 'need' a really fast service do nothing more than a bit of browsing and Faecesbook.

                1. Bjorg

                  Re: Bjorg Ole Jule Cretins.

                  "Really? What, no 4G or LTE where you live? How about 3G, or is that not 'fast enough' anymore? The reality is there are always options, especially in city suburbs, it's just you want cheap but fast cable and expect the market to magically provide it for you"

                  No, unfortunately those aren't fast enough, but I think we're missing on the definition of 'fast' in the world of networks. You didn't seem to get my point about speed vs throughput. I'm a gamer and high-latency cable is frustrating for me. Even higher latency 3G or 4G would be even more frustrating. Look up what latency is. I can go on a 1 Mbps connection (probably much less), I just want it to be fast (i.e. low latency). So really what I want is a cheap DSL or fiber connection, but that's just not an option where I live. I had one several years ago in college. $25/month for 768Kbps. The price was a tad ridiculous, but it worked fine for me and wasn't 'magical' as you claim that it must be.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Bjorg Re: Bjorg Ole Jule Cretins.

                    "....You didn't seem to get my point about speed vs throughput.....Look up what latency is....." I work with real enterprise solutions, not piddling gamer issues. The DR site I mentioned earlier had very stringent latency issues as they were doing distance clustering and SAN-based replication (you'll probably need to go look those up). Yes, it cost a lot of money, but they did that over twenty-odd miles of mountainous countryside to the nearest existing cable infrastructure, so the suburbs sounds more like a cheapskate attitude issue than a real logistical problem.

                    "....I'm a gamer...." Yeah, probably the type that spends a ridiculous amount putting coloured water tubes with UV lighting into their rig, two or more graphics cards and an SSD, but then baulks at paying for a real connection. Sorry if it upsets you but your inability to 'get frags' is in reality not exactly a do-or-die issue. It is a luxury requirement, expect to pay luxury prices or move to a location you can afford low-latency connectivity.

            2. Ole Juul

              Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

              @Matt, et al: I assumed (correctly going by your subsequent post) that you do not place a high enough criteria on high-speed Internet access for you to pay the price it would require.

              It's pretty expensive alright. Not something that individual citizens are able to pay for. Yes, you're quite right I don't place a lot of value on high-speed internet for myself. Except as a single example, I don't think my personal situation is important.

              However, there seems to be a lot of discussion about broadband as if everyone has it. There is also a lot of discussion about choice of provider as if everyone has that. What I wish to point out is that it is not possible to have a productive discussion when there are unspoken assumptions.

              I am not "moaning" about anything. Where you get the idea that I would be whining about my own situation, I don't know. It is utterly bizarre to me and I don't see the value in this discussion.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cretins

            @ Ole Juul

            > Like many north Americans, I have slow internet and no choice of providers.

            > I don't think the net neutrality discussion even applies to me or a lot of people here in Canada.

            I love this type of argument...

            Topic - US net neutrality

            Gollum - I only have one precious, um provider, to choose from! It burns, it burnss I tell you!

            Smeagol - We live in another country, I don't think this applies to us...

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Cretins.

          QoS isn't the same as extortion though.

          QoS ensures timely delivery of traffic based on technical criteria (so background file transfers don't mess up a video conference), extortion is "pay us more or it'll go slow".

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Ole Jule Re: Cretins.

        "Like many north Americans, I have slow internet and no choice of providers....." Male bovine manure. What you mean is you have no choice at the level of expense you are willing to pay for what is a luxury service. Private cabling companies are willing to run high-speed cable to any point in the North Americas for a price (I know, I've worked with one on running two separate cables to a DR site in the middle of the Rocky Mountains miles from the nearest telephone pole).

        When you chose (or were forced by circumstance) to be where you live now that was because you had certain factors that led to (or forced upon you) that choice. For example, if you detest the sound and pollution of the cities, you may have chosen some remote mountaintop for its clean air and quiet. For you to then complain because no-one near you sells fresh seafood is a result of your choosing a mountaintop, not some great 'unfairness' of 'scheming' seafood wholesalers. If your primary factor was fresh seafood you would not choose a mountaintop and, similarly, if high-speed Internet at a low price was the factor you put before all others you would not be living where you do now. I'm guessing that's because high-speed broadband is taking second place to paying the bills.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

          What you mean is you have no choice at the level of expense you are willing to pay for what is a luxury service.

          Why U bring economics into a discussion about emoting over non-egalitarianism?

          Fuuuu I agreed with Matt....

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

          In Finland I believe fast broadband is a legal right, not a luxury service.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Dan55 Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

            "In Finland I believe fast broadband is a legal right, not a luxury service." Yeah, well, TBH, that's still not enough to make me want to move to Finland.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Matt Bryant Ole Jule Cretins.

              The more pertinent question is if the Finns would want you.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Dan 55 Re: Matt Bryant Ole Jule Cretins.

                "The more pertinent question....." Would be something to do with the topic of the thread.

                "...is if the Finns would want you." In the words of Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills - "....what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career....." Though probably not much use for herding reindeer in Karelia.

        3. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

          I'm sorry, this is just inaccurate. My parents who live in northern Alberta which, last time I checked, is in North America, cannot get broadband via cable because no cable company will lay the required pipe to where they live no matter how much dosh is in the offing.

          So: dial-up or satellite.

          Which is not really a choice, is it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ Stevie

            Can you explain how you expect the FCC to help you with your parents dilemma in northern Alberta?

            I have to agree though, I have a winter cabin (blocks of ice) the in Northwest Territories where I do not get multiple choices for high speed as well.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: @ Stevie

              Heh heh heh. Good one.

              The comment I was taking issue with was that in NORTH AMERICA one always has a choice. Not even true for some of the United States. But I take your FCC point.

              However, your Geography skillz need enmaddening.

              Because Northwest Territory is not in Alberta, in the same way that Wales is not in England and New York is not in California.

              Which you'd know if you either had the benefit of a real Geography class at school instead of the modern "equivalent" "Social Studies".

              Or had looked at a map. A map is like GPS but you don't need electricity to use it. If it looks like a bleak, featureless wasteland, you are looking at the wrong side. Don't worry if you can't re-fold it afterward. Maps are designed so you can never figure that out.

              My folks live in Grande Prairie. Well, about five kilometres outside it. You need to remember the "Alberta" bit when you go check it out on Google, otherwise you'll be looking at Texas and get more geographically confused than you already are.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Stevie Re: Ole Jule Cretins.

            ".....My parents who live in northern Alberta....." Check again. A quick Yahhogle turned up half-a-dozen cable and wireless providers offering to cover 'all of Alberta'.

    2. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: Cretins.

      The telcos/providers have always offered differing levels of service based on price.

      Yes, and they can remain doing so with net neutrality. There's no reason for them to oppose this as they are already charging differing levels of service. Ending net-neutrality will actually allow them to double-dip on those "levels of service".

      Competition between the telcos/providers has ensured the growth of the Internet and services to the public just fine,

      Large swaths of the US are stuck with only one broadband provider. I still remember my dad suffering from Time Warner Cable's "only 1 PC per cablemodem" policy because it was either that or dialup.

      any company trying to offer an unrealistically throttled service has simply lost customers as they went elsewhere.

      Comcast didn't lose any clients over their lousy RST packet forging scheme. They stopped doing it not because their consumers got mad, but because the FCC gave them a slap on the wrist. Too bad the new FCC dude is a telco shill.

  6. JackyP

    Get it right

    Firms like NetFlix have everyone bamboozled. They charge subscription fees and earn money from exploiting the Internet bandwidth of the ISPs. It's like your neighbor stealing your water and re-selling it for a profit and not giving you any compensation. The ISPs need to spend millions of dollars to increase their service feeds so that the users NOT using NetFlix can still get adequate service. NetFlix needs to rebate some of that subscription money to the ISPs to cover the cost of the expense to increase feeds so that the Internet service to their customers DOES NOT slow down. The whole purpose of getting NetFlix to pay is to SPEED UP service better, not slow it down. If the ISPs don't get the infrastructure upgraded to meet the demand, the net will slow down because of over use. NetFlix needs to step up and start sharing that revenue with the ISPs they slow down because 60% of the net traffic in the evening is NetFlix. They are scabs and they have you all thinking the ISPs are the bad guys when they are the thieves.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Get it right

      So which American ISP do you work for then? Just out of interest?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get it right

        "So which American ISP do you work for then? Just out of interest?"

        I take it you disagree with the previous post. Do you have some kind of argument that you're holding back? If not, please cease with the pathetic attempts to belittle your intellectual betters, okay?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Get it right

          The way it's always been is that you pay the ISP for connection and the content provider (Netflix in this case) for the right to use the content. Netflix will set up a peering arrangement with the ISPs for free, they just need to ask but the ISPs didn't want that, they wanted Netflix to pay them instead.

          You can also see the graphs that are doing the rounds of Comcast and Verizon's connection with Netflix suddenly getting faster as soon as an agreement to pay was reached.

          Etc... etc... It's all been said before.

        2. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Get it right

          To put it more plainly: the "last mile" ISPs are getting more than enough monthly rent to cover serious network infrastructure upgrades - if they choose. Those who do are likely to have moderately satisfied customers; the others, maybe not.

        3. Marcelo Rodrigues

          Re: Get it right

          "I take it you disagree with the previous post. Do you have some kind of argument that you're holding back?"

          Yes, I do have.

          We pay the ISP, for the use of their network to reach the Internet. WE pay for the right to DOWNLOAD and UPLOAD bits. And the price paid was set by the ISP.

          Netflix charges US for the right to watch the shows. Netflix buys/rents/whatever the shows, in order to serve them to us.

          Netflix, also, buys some form of connection, to UPLOAD/DOWNLOAD bits from the Internet. It is paid for.

          And, now, my ISP wants Netflix to pay AGAIN? It is already paid for! In both ends!

    2. Bored in Portland

      Re: Get it right

      I have no sympathy for the Telcos/ISPs. They have been bamboozling us far more than NetFlix. In the US we have some of the highest broadband prices and some of the slowest speeds. Telcos are trying to increase broadband revenues to make up for shortfalls as land lines are dropped, as well as the now ever increasing decline in cable subscriptions. The extortionate cable rates are also responsible for the increase in NetFlix subscriptions.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Get it right

      Subscribers are paying ISPs for the upload/download pipe the ISP needs to reach the greater internet. Netflix pays the phat pipes they have on their end to be able to stream data. If an ISP can't cope with 100% usage of the bandwidth they are charging their customers for they should either jack up their prices or invest on upgrading their infrastructure.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Jackyp Re: Get it right

      Netflix is not a charity - they exist to provide the best service they can to their customers at the cheapest cost to themselves. If you are not their customer and not likely to become one then you are not their concern. Similarly, the ISPs are in business to sell their bandwidth at the best price for the smallest cost to themselves. If you are not willing to pay the extra to (as Netflix does to ensure bandwidth availability to their customers) they will give you only what they are contracted to give you. Neither are charities, why do you expect them to act like they are? As with Ole, I'm pretty sure there would be services at additional cost you could purchase to gain the same level of bandwidth as a Netflix customer but you seem to think you deserve it for free.

      Personally, having suffered working over 300 baud Smartmodems in the past, I think you're all a bunch of whining ingrates. Mind you, that was back in The Day.... Bowl of cold gravel before we spent twenty-six hours down mine..... Etc., etc.

  7. Keven E.

    Wasted resources

    One would think it's in the bill of rights here in the US that you get access to "television". We may have some directive to provide education here, but the percentage of broadband being use for educational purposes is miniscule. Too many morons think knowing what happened to *Batwoman (for the millionth time) is part of the educational process.

    ... and I just can't wait for the tighty rightys to claim net neutrality toward securing an even share of throughput for creationism videos. When Jimmy and Tammy can't get all 500 million viewers on a Sunday morning to watch anything other than "handegg"... it'll seem like freedom of religion has lost it's importance in the grand scheme of things. <sarcasm>

    It's all luxury... and a very large % of people are classholes. The Finns just know how to keep the yelling at each other to a minimum.

  8. daniel kingshott
    Devil

    Ridiculous

    I think it's ridiculous, ISP's should be queuing up to peer with netflix and co as it reduces their own transit costs - just like the BBC do in the UK.

  9. Mike Flugennock
    FAIL

    My favorite Web sites...?

    Got an emailing from ThinkProgress last night mentioning how many of "my favorite Web site" were joining the big corporate PR stunt... uhh, sorry, the Internet Slowdown: Upworthy, Netflix, YouTube, reddit, the usual suspects.

    Oh, yeah, these are so very much my favorite friggin' Web sites, especially clickbait pioneer Upworthy (their motto: "What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind")

    Hell, the internet at my house is already plenty slow, especially in the evenings, when the wife hogs the wifi binge-watching "Treme".

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