back to article Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Nokia's CEO has ridiculed the idea of a one-speed “neutral” internet, arguing that some IP packets are simply more important than others. Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents, said Rajeev Suri, speaking to media and analysts at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. …

  1. W3dge

    Surely the topic of net neutrality is whether service/content providers charge the consumer differing amounts of delivery of different types of content.

    QoS mechanisms have been around for a long time, and I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against in the net neutrality debate?

    1. Donn Bly

      Nope, this is what happens when your definition of "neutrality" doesn't match up with the FCC's definition of neutrality.

      FCC's Net Neutrality specifically BANS the use of packet prioritization on the public Internet - by packet protocol or content. The FCC gives lip service for VOIP and Heart Monitoring - but only when those services exist inside of a provider's network using separate, non-Internet channels.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Donn Bly

        So I quote the FCC's own published words, and you call me a troll clouding the argument. Do you think I just make this stuff up? The problem that your definition of neutrality isn't the same as the one that the politicians and the FCC are implementing. You are certainly right that isn't about giving priority to cars or VoIP.

        If you read the FCC announcement, you will even see that the FCC fully acknowledges that a cable company can still prioritize their own VoIP over any other traffic, because that traffic is on their own network and not over the public Internet. Look on page 3 under "Broad Protection".

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Rampant Spaniel

          My apologies Donn, I wasn't directing my post towards you but towards Suri. He has zero credibility, one of his companies largest areas of business left is mobile network infrastructure, most of his customers are against any form of NN. He is basically shilling for his customers.

          You are correct that traffic which originates on and never leaves their own network is not covered. How much of an issue this is remains to be seen, if it allows them to sell a fast lane by moving originating servers on network then that is a worry.

          QOS remains untouched, you cannot block, charge for prioritization or throttle data based on certain criteria but source neutral QOS isn't actually banned. Tmobile can also continue their capped service (once high speed data allowance is exhausted) based on what we know of the new rules. I think sprint might be ok also with their prioritizing data based on the type of subscriber plan (i.e. pay per GB has priority over unmetered\unlimited plans) depending on your reading of the word "services".

          Apologies, removed my comments about Netflix as it was off topic in this particular discussion.

    3. 100113.1537

      Yes, but...

      that is not how it is being promoted nor how it is being implemented. Packet equality is the the rallying cry and this is what appears to be being done in the US by putting internet connections under the telephone connection regulations.

      The fact that the rules are passed before anyone (technically literate) gets to see them is just the kind of clusterfuck in the making that governments are known for. I am thankful that I don't have a connection critical aspect to my work, because I can see this going rather badly as it develops.

    4. Tom 13

      Re: I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against

      No, of course you weren't. Except that's effectively what Comcast and Verizon are charging Netflix for: QoS from Netflix to the Comcast servers.

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against

        "No, of course you weren't. Except that's effectively what Comcast and Verizon are charging Netflix for: QoS from Netflix to the Comcast servers."

        They'll just achieve the same end with a private line between the Netflix servers and Comcast routers. Anything that gets outlawed on a public network will just move to a private one - nothing will change.

      2. theblackhand Silver badge

        Re: I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against

        My understanding of the Netflix vs Comcast/AT&T/Verizon issues are that the links between Netflix and the ISP's are oversubscribed. I don't believe the NN legislation provides a way to address this other than Netflix and the ISP argue for a while and eventually agree costs to provide an upgrade and yes, ISP's do play silly buggers with upgrade pricing.

        The fix is to allow more competition at the provider level, ideally by unbundling end-user services from the copper/fibre so that the businesses/homes get more choice. I'm not sure the NN legislation will provide this.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I wasn't under the impression that they were being argued for/against

          "The fix is to allow more competition at the provider level, ideally by unbundling end-user services from the copper/fibre so that the businesses/homes get more choice."

          Which is what is happening in most countries except the USA, which has been steadily going the other way at state and regional levels, often specifically outlawing LLU and shutting down CLECs as a result.

          "I'm not sure the NN legislation will provide this."

          It won't and it can't.

          The problem is that LLU is an intrastate issue and as such virtually impossible to regulate federally, whilst Internet trade is interstate and as such it's a lot easier to regulate.

          USA state-level government is even dirtier and more corrupt than at federal level and it's often worse at lower levels. There's not a hell of a lot of difference between Lagos and what goes on in a lot of backwater USA states/towns (except Lagos is improving thanks to growing middle-class african anger about corruption, whilst Joe America is rolling over and taking it)

    5. big_D Silver badge

      @W3dge yes and no.

      VOIP, video streaming and other time critical services need prioritisation over non-time critical services, such as email, torrents, normal web pages etc.

      The net neutrality should see to it that different services of the same type aren't bumped down the pecking order, because they aren't paying extra to promote their traffic. E.g a providers own VOIP service shouldn't get higher priority than other VOIP services, Skype, Facetime etc. The same for video streaming, Netflix shouldn't be throttled, when the providers own streaming service gets highest priority.

  2. Vimes

    Suri cited healthcare as another field that needs critical real-time video performance – which requires low latency and low jitter – but multi-speed delivery is nevertheless verboten under some conceptions of “net neutrality”.

    Surely then it's for the hospital to pay for a better connection? If I as a customer want to be able to download things quicker I pay more. Similarly if hospitals and others want a better QoS then they can equally pay for it.

    What I have a problem is paying that extra amount - as I do already - and then being told that actually because the service provider on the other end hasn't given in to the financial blackmail my connection to them won't be able to function as well as it should.

    1. Donn Bly

      Surely then it's for the hospital to pay for a better connection? If I as a customer want to be able to download things quicker I pay more. Similarly if hospitals and others want a better QoS then they can equally pay for it.

      Under the new "Neutrality" rules, an ISP isn't allowed to sell a "better" connection. In order to be neutral all must be equal.

      1. oldcoder

        False.

        An OC3 connection is MUCH better than a 30Mbit connection which is the BEST you would get in the US (except from Google).

        You are confusing the CONNECTION with the packets carried by that connection. The PACKETS cannot be discriminated against. But that has nothing to do with the connection quality of service.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: oldcoder

          OC3 (155Mbps) is far from the best connection available in the US - we routinely get 1Gbps Internet links for new sites and have redundant 10Gbps into larger sites.

          As far as I'm aware, telco's will provide pretty much anything I can support, it's just the price that leads us to get lesser connections.

      2. Donn Bly

        You can vote me down all you want - but it isn't going to change the fact the FCC is making it illegal to have a committed information rate or quality of service on a broadband connection.

        broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind

        In order words, you, the hospital, or anyone else CANNOT pay more for better service.

        Once the full rules are published ways will be found around it, most likely though private circuits and splitting hairs over definitions, but blame the FCC, not me.

      3. Rampant Spaniel

        Technically they can and do sell 'better' connections. Your cable connection is a contended service, in practice you can usually hit the advertised speed but that level of speed is not dedicated to you. If everyone in your neighborhood were to try and max out their connections at once nobody would get their advertised top speed. ISPs also sell dedicated connections, leased lines is another term, where usually your full speed is guaranteed 24x7 and you usually hey money back if they fail their SLA. On top of this you usually get better support, so if there is congestion slowing down your traffic somewhere on the ISPs network they will restore the traffic and if it is external to their network they will try and send it via a different peering partner to avoid the congestion. A hospital shouldn't be running off a home cable modem, they will be paying more and getting more (and probably utilizing redundant connections with multiple ingress points).

    2. Terry Barnes

      "Surely then it's for the hospital to pay for a better connection?"

      No, in the definition of net neutrality most activists are using, that would be illegal. They can pay for a faster access service, but if that connection hits the public Internet, the packets have to take their chances with the rest.

      1. oldcoder

        true.

        But if there is a problem there, it is the fault of the ISP for overselling what they can offer.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          ISPs are free to oversell their connectivity.

          What they're not free to do is throttle traffic to 3rd-party VOIP services whilst prioritising their own VOIP traffic, or pulling the same stunt with Netflix whilst prioritising Hulu.

          The problem with telco/cableco as ISP is that they're acting as data carrier AND services retailer, which puts them in a unique position to be able to act anticompetitively (and they have been).

          In a market with actual competition of supply customers would be free to go elsewhere but the actual broadband ISP choices across the vast majority of the USA are "Telco/Cableco" or nothing at all.

          1. Oninoshiko

            "What they're not free to do is throttle traffic to 3rd-party VOIP services whilst prioritising their own VOIP traffic, or pulling the same stunt with Netflix whilst prioritising Hulu."

            Ahh see, this is still easy to do legally. I just sell hulu a private line from my network to their's, and let the main internet links being oversubscribed to the rest.

      2. bpfh Silver badge
        Coat

        Which is mostly the case anyway...

        If my routers or systems do not support any QoS, you can add flags to your packets until the cows come home, they will get processed like the rest...

        In any case, do you really want health data, real time video streams of remote controlled open heart surgery or car control going over the public internet, where any old Anon can play with it.

        Mine's the one with the pwned iphone in the pocket that has suddenly started playing "Never going to give you up" ....

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        >the packets have to take their chances with the rest.

        With the other video traffic, which gets high priority, yes. That's what a shared network is.

        If you are doing important things like open heart surgery by robot with video, I think you can afford circuit switched links for video, with backup links. I hope you have backup doctors on-site too in case it all goes badly wrong.

    3. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      Corporate shill and blithering idiot.

      Net neutrality can accommodate protocol priorities. The usual complaint here is your service provider playing monopoly and hijacking the same kind of packets that they want to sell you themselves. Packets of the same type aren't being treated equal. They are being discriminated against (or for) based on source. THAT is the problem.

      If I am using an alternate VOIP provider, my ISP shouldn't be hijacking my packets.

      Also, I would HOPE that a self driving car would NOT be dependent on the network. That just sounds like a recipe for disaster regardless of the net neutrality debate.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Corporate shill and blithering idiot.

        "Net neutrality can accommodate protocol priorities"

        Not by most definitions of net neutrality in current use by net neutrality activists. All packets must travel at the same speed, they insist. (Eg, Franken etc).

        This isn't actually how things work, and if it was strictly imposed the internet would be a smoking heap.

  3. The Crow From Below

    "Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents"

    I know it was a throwaway comment but for the love of Bob who the hell thinks that using the internet is a good idea to help avoid accidents?!

    "Sorry, your iCar was unable to connect to the internet because the server stopped responding"

    Sadly the text to voice will only be able to read out the "Sorry" part before your brain is smeared over the bald patch of the OAP in front of you who has suddenly stopped in the outside lane of the M1 to adjust his snazzy seat covers.

    1. Vimes

      Connected cars - giving the term 'Blue screen of death' new meaning...

  4. future research

    "Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents"

    Connected cars should not be that reliant on the internet, otherwise they will never happen. For a start too much of the UK is in an internet not spot.

    1. Dabooka Silver badge
      Go

      I read it as they (cars) would need the internet to avoid accidents and reroute; like some satnavs. I too would be bloody worried if somehow a net connection was neeed to avoid a crash!

      Especially if on the EE backbone....

      1. Midnight

        I read it as they (cars) would need the internet to avoid accidents and reroute; like some satnavs. I too would be bloody worried if somehow a net connection was needed to avoid a crash!

        Whatever you do, don't get on the same road as a driverless car designed by Nokia then. Here's the exact quote from the article:

        "Driverless cars would require data to be served instantaneously,” [Rajeev Suri] said. “You cannot stop collisions from happening in the first place if the information that would prevent them is slowly making its way through the network. Near instantaneous connectivity is a must.”

        1. h4rm0ny

          Yeah, a lot of this is loaded. It sounds great on paper - ambulances should have priority over other users. Well fine, but how much bandwidth does an ambulance need? Are we currently seeing a failure of our ambulances due to too many people watching YouTube? If so, how specifically. If not, isn't this just rhetoric?

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            In the US, an ambulance (or fire or police vehicle) gets all of the bandwidth, whether or not it needs it, and all other traffic is required to pull to the side of the road and stop.

            This is a particularly bad example of what we would like to have happen on the internet.

  5. DrXym Silver badge

    Preposterous

    There is no reason that "connected cars" need share the same network as someone streaming from Netflix. Indeed there is an extremely good reasons that would be a bad idea even without net neutrality.

    Indeed, net neutrality doesn't stop ISPs from selling different speed, different contention, different download limit services even from the same service. What it DOES prevent them doing is gimping Amazon's streaming service because Hulu paid them a bunch of money to favour theirs. Or similar scenarios.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Preposterous

      Why should connected cars be discriminated against on the information highway? Building out your own network is far too expensive. That's why Netflix et al use the internet to deliver their content instead of building out a custom network to deliver the content. If cars can and ought to be discriminated against, there is no reason other types of traffic shouldn't be discriminated against. In particular traffic know to carry large amounts of illicit data, or types of traffic known to overwhelm other normal uses such as Netflix.

      Full disclosure: I am a Netflix DVD & streaming subscriber.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Preposterous

        "Why should connected cars be discriminated against on the information highway? "

        They're not. It's a stupid analogy by some bigwig attempting to justify why net neutrality is somehow evil. They might as well have complained asking why factory safety systems have to contend with Netflix services. The answer of course is they don't and they never have. Safety critical stuff can run on a closed network or a network separate from other networks where its performance can be guaranteed. And if cars are ever automated then I assume that someone will buy out a chunk of radio spectrum or launch a bunch of satellites to ensure exactly that.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Preposterous

      "Indeed, net neutrality doesn't stop ISPs from selling different speed, different contention, different download limit services even from the same service. "

      That's exactly what net neutrality activists want to stop. You've summed it up nicely.

  6. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'm very tempted ...

    ... to comment along the lines "sigh, another clueless moron"

    However, not knowing what is it that FCC eventually voted, it's rather difficult to argue that technical reasons for packet prioritisation such as QoS remain lawful. Unless someone can back this up for me?

  7. Anonymous Blowhard
    FAIL

    WTF???

    "Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents, said Rajeev Suri"

    Seriously, this guy wants my car to rely on IP networking for safety critical functions? I rarely make personal statements on forums, but I'll make an exception here: He's a fucking idiot!

    The thing is, I don't want my car (plane or hover-skateboard) to take safety critical decisions based on the availability, or not, of network services! By all means let it use them for non-safety-critical data, like route planning, but there's no way that my next 0 to 100 metres of travel should rely on the availability of GPS or network data! This is why the self-drive car is so complex, because it needs enough autonomy, at any given moment, to understand its immediate environment and make a safe decision.

    1. roger stillick
      Black Helicopters

      Re: WTF???... try DARPA SWARM Technology...

      Russia routinely swarms up to 32 war fighter planes in a WiFi type control group connected to RTOS controller eq... DARPA wants to swarm ALL the aircraft on any given plant... not necessairly Earth.

      DARPA's autonomous auto contest of years back was a proposed marriage of Google's Street View sensors w/RTOS motion controllers on a single car. Eventually most entrants completed the test path to a finish line... DARPA described a "Smart Highway" as a Swarm Group of infinite size to accomodate ALL cars on a given road cross-section... by sharing sensor data in FFT form over the entire Swarm, extremely high resolution would be available to each auto to make motion control decisions... the data channel was to be duplex CDMA on unused UHF TV Channels.

      IMHO= SciFi Nonsense ?? of course it is... however DARPA really needs to continue w/ this stuff as no auto maker could pull lthis off by itself... Please Note= the old USA NEXTEL Trucker Data Net did just about all of the DARPA Smart Highway Initiative minus the Swarm Technology and vehicle control... RS.

  8. Steve Todd
    Stop

    He seems to have failed to understand

    What net neutrality is. It does allow for the prioritisation of packets. What it doesn't allow is PAID prioritisation (and that includes prioritising companies in which the ISP has a financial interest above similar services). If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from.

    1. Donn Bly

      Re: He seems to have failed to understand

      If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from.

      VOIP packets are not allowed to have a higher priority then web browsing or bittorrent. Remember, Comcast running web traffic at a higher priority than bittorrent is one of the cases that started all of this.

      1. NinjasFTW

        Re: He seems to have failed to understand

        I thought it was more that netflix's traffic was being artificially restricted when traversing through comcasts network until netflix paid for 'priority' peering and the resulting media storm when Comcast were trying to defend their position?

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: He seems to have failed to understand

          exactly,

          I would say that is plain highway robbery: "you are crossing my turf, I demand payment or else..."

      2. Steve Todd
        Stop

        @Donn Bly

        You're dead wrong there. If an ISP can provide a decent technical justification why, for example, Bit Torrent traffic is being slowed, and it is only being slowed enough to cut congestion, then there isn't a problem. Comcast's justification and amount of throttling didn't meet that standard. VOIP on the other hand is low bandwidth and predictable in its nature. You'd need a LOT of connections before VOIP flooded a network, and even POTS has connection limits.

        1. Donn Bly

          Re: @Donn Bly

          I wish I was wrong - Per the FCC Announcement, "broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices"

          To identify and degrade Bit Torrent traffic in order to cut congestion, while not degrading other traffic, will now be illegal on all "broadband" circuits. Also, keep in mind that they did NOT put an exception for "reasonable network management".

          The FCC hasn't made a lot of definitive statements, but the above is quoted word for word off of their own announcement.

          1. Rule of Thumb

            Re: @Donn Bly

            You are long on paranoia and short on facts. I googled your quote and a couple lines later it says:

            "Reasonable Network Management: For the purposes of the rules, other than paid prioritization, an ISP may engage in reasonable network management. This recognizes the need of broadband providers to manage the technical and engineering aspects of their networks."

            My reading of the notes DOES NOT suggest that the definition of NN makes QoS illegal.

            Maybe you need to be a little more circumspect with your "the sky is falling" bullshit?

    2. Terry Barnes

      Re: He seems to have failed to understand

      " If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from."

      Even if the network is congested and one of the calls is an emergency call?

      And wouldn't giving VOIP priority at all provide me with an incentive to game the system by marking my packets as being VOIP, regardless of the real content?

    3. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: He seems to have failed to understand

      "What net neutrality is. It does allow for the prioritisation of packets."

      Not by Sen. Al Franken's definition. Or <insert idiot here>. When one packet is being prioritised, that means another packet is going slower, which means "discrimination" is taking place, which is evil, which means we need new laws to stop it.

      "If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from."

      Yes, that's what some people want, and it's marginally less bonkers than Franken/Public Knowledge's interpretation - but it still puts consumer Skype packets the same speed as real-time applications - in the same slow lane.

      If you give a monkey a loaded machine gun, the chances are it will eventually shoot you. That's where the "net neutrality" debate has reached. The activists are complaining the monkeys have really bad manners.

  9. James 51 Silver badge

    Even packet prioritisation might not help if the network is being flooded by a DDOS. If driverless cars need a connection that badly, why not use a dedicated wireless network or subdivision of what is already out there.

    Of course a more accurate description of net neutrality fears might be if car from manufacture X gets priority over manufacture Y because they've bought up all the high speed access or have paid to downgrade others access.

  10. Nicocys
    Mushroom

    Coonected cars ?

    "Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents"

    So if the connection is lost, the car crashes ? I'll pass, thank you very much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coonected cars ?

      It's very worrying that someone as dim as this can rise to become CeO of a tech company.

      1. Midnight

        Re: Coonected cars ?

        It's Nokia. Look at what they have been doing for the last decade or so.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Coonected cars ?

        I don't expect that he's dim. I do expect that he's being disingenuous (calling him a liar could possibly open one to a liable lawsuit, I suppose)

  11. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Won't get fooled again?

    Sell "priority packet streams" with motherhood concepts like safety, health etc. Get everyone on board then use them for corporate enrichment. Plus ça change etc.

  12. TonyJ Silver badge
    WTF?

    Why the hell...

    Would a car need to connect to the internet to determine if / how it is going to avoid an accident?

    1. james 68

      Re: Why the hell...

      That's easy to answer.

      Its all about the ad placement. With the advent of heads-up displays and the corporate urge to make everything an always connected ad spewing dystopia it is only a matter of time before an ad pops up on your windscreen every 5 miles asking you to subscribe to whatever or pay x amount to remove it for the next 5 miles. This will be billed as a safety feature (seriously) because a) if you don't pay you will crash because you cannot see the road, and b) if you don't pay then it will automatically inform the police that you are driving whilst viewing content on an internet connected device.

      Jocular though that scenario is I worry that it is disturbingly close to reality. It started with games and is now creeping steadily into everything else too.

  13. chris 48

    No one minds the ambulance going to the front. The problem is under net non-neutrality (do we have a better word?) it's the ice cream truck which is willing to pay the highways agency that actually ends up at the front and the ambulance is stuck at the back.

    1. phil dude
      Thumb Up

      upvote...

      ice cream truck, net neutrality....

      P.

  14. james 68

    The answer is simple - providers should be forced to stop selling bandwidth that they don't actually have.

    If say a hospital signs up to a deal for 1 gig broadband, then that's what they should get, instead the telco will give them a congested line with ridiculous contention rates that shares 1 gig bandwidth across 50/100 customers, sure it is "capable" of 1 gig but it will NEVER see that in real life. Instead of admitting that they are oversubscribing their lines they will wail that it's all net neutralitys fault, the FCC is forcing them to slow the packets.

    It's all bullshit excuses.

    1. Donn Bly

      The answer is simple - providers should be forced to stop selling bandwidth that they don't actually have.

      If say a hospital signs up to a deal for 1 gig broadband, then that's what they should get, instead the telco will give them a congested line with ridiculous contention rates that shares 1 gig bandwidth across 50/100 customers, sure it is "capable" of 1 gig but it will NEVER see that in real life.

      You are right, that is the solution. However, it also also means that instead of sharing that bandwidth pool across 50 to 100 customers, each customer is going to have to pay 50 to 100 times as much for the bandwidth.

      In reality, the pool is much larger - thus the multiplier is even higher.

    2. Terry Barnes

      "f say a hospital signs up to a deal for 1 gig broadband, then that's what they should get, instead the telco will give them a congested line with ridiculous contention rates that shares 1 gig bandwidth across 50/100 customers, sure it is "capable" of 1 gig but it will NEVER see that in real life. Instead of admitting that they are oversubscribing their lines they will wail that it's all net neutralitys fault, the FCC is forcing them to slow the packets."

      If you do that the first problem will be that your broadband bill will increase by 50, maybe 100 times. Is your intention really to fix the problem by making broadband unaffordable?

      My second point would be that it destroys the case for packet switching. If bandwidth is always guaranteed and uncontended end to end, circuit switching is far more efficient. The sharing of network resources is one of the main principles behind packet switching and an IP network. You're arguing to replace the public Internet with B-ISDN.

  15. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I don't know many people who confuse net neutrality (political/commercial reasons for slowing traffic) with QoS (technical methods of ensuring packet delivery in timely fashion for the content). Usually it's those arguing against net neutrality.

    QoS is about prioritising traffic based on the bandwidth you have for technical reasons - DNS is more important than videocalls which is more important than background downloads. Net neutrality means you have a basic videocall package and the bandwidth is capable of carrying ambulance videocalls but have to pay for a premium package to ensure they do.

    And how would an ISP ensure they do get through on receipt of payment? Probably by setting the QoS to what it should have been anyway instead of something screwed up with a lower priority than downloads and e-mail.

  16. RobHib
    Facepalm

    Ahh, here we go again.

    This is tiring, of course he'd say that. I don't know why we give airspace to this kind of tripe. He'd be better off doing something positive to help his parent company take the bloat out of that pox-ridden, again O/S it flogs.

    After all, its not the O/S cars run on or we'd all be dead.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Ahh, here we go again.

      That's the CEO from the Finnish Nokia speaking, not Microsoft's phone division which is not called Nokia any more.

  17. jonathan keith

    From the "consumer's" POV...

    ... the main problem is that the "two speed internet" is seen simply - and rightly - as simply a method for corporate interests to rip everybody off. Again.

  18. tony72

    Press simplification

    "[...] while the consumer press here sees a simple moral issue before it: Neutrality – whatever that is – is good, while Neutrality opponents are evil."

    I think the consumer press is, quite rightly, aware of the need to simplify any complex technical issue down to a level where the general public will grasp the key points, and I think "neutrality good, non-neutrality bad" is a good enough approximation in that regard.

    Joe Public doesn't have the faintest clue how the internet works, but he can grasp that if he's paying for his high speed internet connection, and yet he can't get a decent connection to YouTube or NetFlix, something funky is going on. He can understand the dangers of the lack of tranparency in that landscape; "How good a connection am I actually paying for, huh? How come someone else paying for the same speed of connection doesn't have these problems?" Joe doesn't want to live in this world, and if "Net Neutrality" is the thing that's going to prevent that from happening, he'll be all for it.

    Now if there are good reasons why this net neutrality concept shouldn't be absolute, and exceptions should be made, it's for more technically nuanced people to advocate those exceptions in the proper context, and explain them to Joe. But that has to happen after the basic principle of net neutrality is well established, and if the consumer press is generally promoting it, then they're doing the right thing.

  19. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  20. Nigel Brown

    Not *really* sure

    that I want an internet connected car doing the driving for me.

    "Before I apply the brakes, please watch this safety video. Video can be skipped in 5 seconds....."

  21. Pascal

    "Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents, said Rajeev Suri, speaking to media and analysts at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona."

    Mr Suri: you are completely batshit insane if you think I'll ever drive a car that needs "near-instant response" from a cell phone uplink.

  22. DaLo

    Connected Cars

    Connected cars, for example, will need near-instant response times if they are to avoid accidents. I would hope that connected cars are not reliant on an internet access connection to avoid accidents and are using a peer to peer real-time communication technology where intercar communication is needed.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Connected Cars

      How else is the car supposed to find out there was an accident ahead and it needs to route around the congestion?

      I mean, sure, it could just blindly lead you into a traffic jam, but that's certainly sub-optimal.

      1. wdmot

        Re: Connected Cars

        @Oninoshiko

        Yes, what you're saying makes sense, but it's not what Suri said (according to the linked article): “You cannot stop collisions from happening in the first place if the information that would prevent them is slowly making its way through the network." Avoiding an accident (as in not getting stuck in the traffic jam behind it), sure -- reroute around it based on info from a traffic service over the internet; if the network is congested, that info will be late and the car will be stuck in the jam.

        But if a driverless car can't avoid hitting a car in front of it that stops suddenly, it's driving too close; same for a human driver. A safe driverless car *cannot* rely only on a network connection, even to cars around it (e.g. the type of peer-to-peer network that auto manufacturers are pushing). Any such network is susceptible to attack, such as by a RF jammer, or simply failure.

        1. roger stillick
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Connected Cars ??... see US AMTRAK...

          Riding on a US AMTRAK train in the middle of nowhere is made fun by the train randomly stopping, followed by an announcement that they lost telemetry w/ the traffic control center, and, will remain stopped until the link is re-established... the smart highway would simply stop everything until links are up again.

          IMHO= this sounds really unworkable now, however improvments in everything might make FFT Data Swarms the norm w/ all other vehicle travel being considered "off roading"... failure modes might be implemented by an algorithm that takes each vehicle safely to the curb... Note= the State of IOWA wants all normal traffic to occupy the center lane, Even if Stopped, while emergengy or maintenance responders use the outside lane for restoration traffic...RS.

        2. Oninoshiko

          Re: Connected Cars

          @wdmot

          I would have expected the fine article in our beloved journal to have conveyed a quote of that... value.

          my apologies for not looking farther.

  23. Ian 56

    Think of the children!

    Etc, and so on.

  24. Naughtyhorse

    Hmmm

    Seems to have completely missed the point on neutrality where the speed of a packet is determined purely by how much the sender is prepared to pay rather than any intrinsic 'worth' of the data.

    bloke on teh intertubes dislikes something he misunderstands

    film at 11

    1. The_Idiot

      Re: Hmmm

      "bloke on teh intertubes dislikes something he misunderstands"

      With apologies, and if I may:

      "Bloke on the intertubes uses a deliberately emotive argument, however much he knows it's not really valid, to try to gain favour from the non-technical masses for his own agenda."

      1. NinjasFTW

        Re: Hmmm

        "Bloke on the intertubes uses a deliberately emotive argument, however much he knows it's not really valid, to try to gain favour from the non-technical masses for his own agenda."

        To extend slightly

        "Bloke on the intertubes uses a deliberately emotive argument, however much he knows it's not really valid, to try to gain favour from the non-technical masses for his own agenda which is the sale of equipment to produce a tiered internet."

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Hmmm

          "Bloke on the intertubes uses a deliberately emotive argument, however much he knows it's not really valid, to try to gain favour from the non-technical masses for his own agenda which is the sale of equipment to produce a tiered internet."

          Maybe.

          Or maybe the internet is already "tiered" (aka polyservice), was designed to be "tiered" from 1981, and so should be regulated using business and competition regulations rather some genius with dandruff trying to predict what will be "fair" in 20 years time?

  25. Palpy

    "Tech writers" -- in this case, is that a euphemism for...

    ... "corporate suck-ups"? The issue isn't with giving vital communications priority. That's doable, and easy. It's with Comcast, AT&T, et al taking money to speed sponsored content, whilst slowing other data to a crawl.The reason the ISPs hate net neutrality is they see their payola scheme going down the tubes.

    Cars?! Seriously? Any critical real-time system which depends on internet comms is, by definition, built by cretins. There is a reason aircraft navigation doesn't use the Interwebs, hey?

  26. The Original Steve

    Tosh

    I used to work for an international not-for-profit ISP. We connect at national levels to NGOs, education and very large charities / health orgs. E.g. JANET in the UK.

    Our connections provide low latency, high speed services so things like specialist consultants in the UK can supervise operations in disaster areas or countries with less skilled doctors. Also used for edu's to do video confs and similar stuff.

    National NGOs pay for the connection, and as such they get a much better connection than using their normal national incumbent which would provide too high latency / low bandwidth for their needs.

    However we don't prioritise traffic, but we sell to people who need such a service.

    The net can be neutral in that ISPs provide one speed / latency - ASAP. One can then choose whichever ISP provides the better network for their needs and budget.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tosh

      So you skip the whole neutrality debate by just running traffic over networks that aren't the public Internet?

      That's what businesses will do too if neutrality becomes law. If Netflix can't pay for prioritisation over the public network, they'll just deliver traffic over a private one to the edge of the ISP's network and ISPs will brand their connections as 'Home IP Networks' that have connectivity to the public Internet along with other things.

      1. The Original Steve

        Re: Tosh

        What public internet? The internet is a network of networks. The ISP in question peers with all the big boys, it's not closed off - you have to be a member and pay a subscription - like every ISP.

        The issue in some areas is competition - not neutrality.

        I can pay Be or A&A twice what I do for TalkTalk and get excellent speeds as they have invested more per subscriber in terms of capacity.

        All of the above ISPs can interconnect and peer using LINX or other peering org. I pay for the connection to the peer point via my ISP, and the supplier / host can pay for their connection the other side.

        Neither should in my opinion prioritise traffic.

        If I want less 'buffer face' I'll pay for a better ISP.

        Crap connection? You need better competition, not QoS.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Tosh

      "The net can be neutral in that ISPs provide one speed / latency - ASAP. One can then choose whichever ISP provides the better network for their needs and budget."

      In civilised parts of the world this is the case.

      In many areas of the USA there is exactly 1 ISP (occasionally 2) available to connect to.

      The others which used to exist have been systematically driven or legislated out of business, as have competing local loop providers and LD providers with increasing frequency. It's no real surprise to find out that incumbent telco ISPs pretty much throttle VOIP out of existance in order to protect their dialtone revenue, etc.

      Also summarised in this old cartoon: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20060521

      https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/Net_Neutrality

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Tosh

        "In many areas of the USA there is exactly 1 ISP (occasionally 2) available to connect to."

        89 per cent of Americans have a choice of five broadband providers, wireline or wireless.

        http://www2.itif.org/2013-whole-picture-america-broadband-networks.pdf

        You wouldn't think so from comments left on message boards, etc, but in my experience, some people prefer complaining to being active consumers, campaigning and switching.

        "It's no real surprise to find out that incumbent telco ISPs pretty much throttle VOIP out of existance"

        Really? Someone should tell Skype!

        "https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/Net_Neutrality"

        ORG. 'Nuff said.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure someone will trojan something to do with children and the scope creep the mechanism later

  28. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    FAIL

    Nokia CEO is taking a simplistic view...

    If hospitals need video without jittering or buffering, they can buy a larger bandwidth connection. Likewise consumers who love streaming movies and TV. And if self-driving cars are going to need a crapload of bandwidth, then self-driving car owners should pay for that in the purchase price of their new rides.

    What I don't agree with is the idea that ISPs can throttle some content to favor other content that they either control themselves (Once again, look at all the media properties that Comcast controls, and Time-Warner Cable's predilections can be determined by just looking at it's name. And in Britain, BT is going in this direction too.) or where they can get content providers to pay them for preferential access to ISP customers.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Nokia CEO is taking a simplistic view...

      He's not the only one taking a simplistic view. So are all the net neutrality drones.

      You'll get full support from me that Comcast ought not be able to prioritize their movie streaming service over Netflix, but not that they can't prioritize email over streaming video, or that they shouldn't be able to require either symetric sharing or cash reimbursement for the imbalance.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  29. Filippo

    Semantic confusion

    NN and QoS have pretty much nothing to do with each other, and regardless of how you feel about NN, everyone should be fine with QoS. In theory.

    The problem is that there are activists who don't know the difference between net neutrality and QoS, and who are rabid enough that any attempt to explain it will be met with suspicion and automatically disregarded. You meet them in every field of politics - the guys who feel passionately about something, be it net neutrality, vaccines, economics, global warming, whatever, but actually hold a grossly oversimplified view of the problem, probably based on slogans, and aggressively resist any attempts to explain them that the issue is more complex than they think. They are the guys who, if you try to tell them that QoS and NN are two different issues, will answer with "all priority on IP is bad" and refuse to hear any argument to the contrary, or at best will attempt to argue that QoS is a slippery slope towards prioritizing premium content.

    The big problem is that some lawmakers have constituencies that are primarily made of these guys. Some of these guys actually are lawmakers, which is even worse.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Semantic confusion

      +1

      I'm not sure a single constituency anywhere in the world would vote for or support "net neutrality" (defined for the sake of argument as pre-emptive technical regulation on speeds, services etc).

      It's really only a minority within a minority within a minority who give a crap about this. 75 per cent of American voters have never even heard the phrase "net neutrality", and most Democrat voters care about the economy and jobs.

      Unfortunately net neutrality activists live in a bubble world, and only ever meet people just like themselves.

  30. M Gale

    http://theoatmeal.com/blog/net_neutrality

    Rajeev Suri, please read.

  31. Rob Crawford

    Sorry did I read that article correctly?

    You would need near instantaneous data transfer to stop your connected car from crashing.

    Can I ask what sort of idiot would but a car like that?

    Actually what sort of shit covered fuckwit would even consider making a car like that?

    Where would you drive that car. certainly not in the countryside

    There's some things that simply shouldn't be connected to the internet.

    Oh wait lets wheel out the safety concerns

  32. Christian Berger Silver badge

    If a packet gets delayed or dropped because of congestion...

    ... the ISP didn't do their job. I pay my ISP so that their network won't be utilized more than about 50%. That's what I'm paying my ISP for. If they cannot guarantee that, they should stop making overinflated claims about their bandwidth.

    ISPs aren't soup kitchens, I pay them for a service and they are supposed to provide that service.

    After all there are standards on how high the percentage of phone calls going through a phone network have to be.

    1. theblackhand Silver badge

      Re: If a packet gets delayed or dropped because of congestion...

      ISP's do have standards for how much traffic they carry, and it is generally higher than 50%.

      Most of these standards do not apply to residential services where over-subscription (i.e. DSL or cable) is a commonly used method of keeping costs down for end users.

      i.e. the ballpark for Internet connectivity outside of London is around £1000/Mbps per annum for uncontended symmetric access or around £12/Mbps per annum for a business Internet connection (asymetric traffic rates). The ballpark for New York is US$12,000/annum for 1Gbps (up/down) over fibre via a lower tier ISP versus around US$12/Mbps for cable (asymetric traffic rates),

      Some of the difference is in the service level (i.e. DSL is generally a technician on-site within 3 days and service credit after 14 days of outage versus 4 hour response and typical service restoration within 24 hours although that changes to 3 days in some cases) and contact, but some of the cost is also providing a high-quality circuit between the ISP's point-of-presence and the customer, in addition to peering/Internation bandwidth etc.

      For the US sites I have knowledge of, the issue is generally a lack of options outside of large cities - some of our remote users in the US have a choice of multiple packages from a single provider with nothing above 8Mbps DSL and it hasn't changed in the last 10+ years. For businesses we will pay to dig in if the incumbant telco's offerings are awful...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If a packet gets delayed or dropped because of congestion...

      " If a packet gets delayed or dropped because of congestion...

      ... the ISP didn't do their job. I pay my ISP so that their network won't be utilized more than about 50%."

      You'll be paying your ISP a vast amount of money if that's what you want. Consumer broadband is only affordable because people share a limited amount of capacity. Your broadband bill will be 20 or 30 times higher than anyone else's if you want it all to yourself.

      ISPs advertise the headline speed of the last mile connection. I've never see one make claims about their core network bandwidth.

    3. Rob Crawford

      Re: If a packet gets delayed or dropped because of congestion...

      Firstly it depends on where your packet is dropped doesn't it? Can hardly blame your ISP when the packet was dropped on somebody elses network.

      Along with the type of traffic which is dropped

  33. Kristian Walsh

    " ill-informed political activism"

    Well-informed political activism is the exception, not the rule...

    Personally, I support the engineers' view of Net Neutrality, the one that most pro-NN posters here espouse, where performance differentiation within a given service class is forbidden.

    ... but I'm against the kind of Net Neutrality we'd actually get, the one that most anti-NN posters here describe, where differentiation between service classes will be forbidden too.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think we can make an exception…

    There's a difference between prioritisation of packets for commercial reasons, and prioritisation for safety reasons.

    Internet-connected cars (ignoring the daft idea of doing this over the Internet) could be construed as a safety-related reason. Emergency services is almost certainly safety-related.

    For these, I think we can grant an exception.

    Having movies streamed reliably is not safety-related, it's commercial. What we were arguing against, was prioritisation for commercial reasons.

    Does that clear things up, Rajeev?

  35. danny_0x98

    Hi there. Live in a by-gosh California canyon with narrow winding roads. Emergency response is a concern.

    Silly me. All this time I thought it was about parking restrictions when it should have been about toll gates and preferred vehicles and I suppose the taxpayers paying for rapid access not used so the fire trucks don't have to wait while the preferred Hummers and Beamers clear the roads when the disaster happens.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are people even reading the comments?

    The anti-NN bandwagon are repeating the same comments that have been answered many times elsewhere and even in the commets thread here.

    (1) NN does not stop ISPs from selling 10 Mbit, 10Gbit, etc connections.

    (2) It is the artificial traffic crippling that is being questioned i.e. the ISPs are artificially creating service differentiation. NN does not allow an ISP to differentiate services by uncrippling those who are paying more. This is because in general it isn't a good idea to allow deeper pockets to throttle and drown others, as this is all artificial created service degradation at the ISP end.

    (3) Charging can continue to be metered based on the amount of data - nothing stops the ISP charging more for more data. If Netflix uses more of the network, they can be charged more - but not if they use the same amount of data and traffic class as Hulu.

    If packet Netflix of priority class 1 and packet Hulu of priority class 1 arrive, both are treated the same. Both are given the same chance to arrive at the destination. If Netflix paid more for a fatter pipe instead, there would be more Netflix packets anyway, and so more arrive at the destination and that is how they offer better service.

    In summary, NN says paying more money should be about buying more infrastructure at the ISP end, and not for telling the ISP bouncer to let them through to the big boy's club.

    On a side note: there seem to be a lot of misinformed/dumb CEOs this year at MWC. with The Nokia CEO and another O2 CEO asking for "digital neutrality" so that Google/Facebook can be taxed by telcos (???!!!). I guess CEO brains don't work when they hear "neutrality"

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Are people even reading the comments?

      "ISPs are artificially creating service differentiation"

      I can't think of a single instance of this ever.

      "In summary, NN says paying more money should be about buying more infrastructure at the ISP end..."

      That makes no sense at all. It's about paying for peering (what Netflix had to do, because it had tried to do OTT video on the cheap) vs. using a third party vs. building your own network (what Google does with YouTube).

      You can monitor peering in real time:

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

      Your comment is a fantastic illustration of the ignorance often exhibited in such discussions.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Are people even reading the comments?

        >I can't think of a single instance of this ever.

        Didn't read that Oatmeal strip then? I know it's hardly a scientific journal, but then neither is the Reg. You'll find at least one example right there, and I'm sure you'll find more if you actually look.

        Also, replying three days after everyone else has stopped bothering to look at the thread? Cute.

  37. Sean Kennedy

    Honor TOS bits?

    I get what he's saying, and he has a point. Point of fact, it's an old point, and one that has already been solved; why not make "Net Neutrality" mean that ISPs are to honor TOS bits?

    I realize this means client software/hardware can wreck havoc with incorrectly setting TOS and the like, but that's not something that should be handled by ISPs. They have proven they aren't trust worthy.

  38. tesmith47

    the anti nn is all about corporate profiteering, follow the money!!!!

  39. MacGyver

    Think of the children.

    What if my robot assisted surgery is more important than some other person's robot assisted surgery (i.e. I make more money), with net neutrality, how will I pay to make my more important packets get the priority that someone of my stature expects? /sarcasm

    They can divvy up bandwidth from now until the cows come home, but the real solution is to expand their bandwidth. Maybe they shouldn't oversell their real capacity, or maybe, just maybe, things requiring 9 nines of connectivity shouldn't be dependent on a shared network filled with cat videos in the first place.

  40. PassiveSmoking

    Subject: Fire. "Dear Sir stroke Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of..." No, that's too formal. [deletes] "Dear Sir stroke Madam. Fire, exclamation mark. Fire, exclamation mark. Help me, exclamation mark. 123 Carrendon Road. Looking forward to hearing from you. All the best, Maurice Moss."

    1. MacGyver

      what's the number to 999 again? oh yeah, 0118 999 88199 9119725 3

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