If you look at the fine print in the published "Guidelines for implementing Net Neutratily"  linked in the article you will see that there are 3 exceptions to the rule (a,b,c). Being "c" the one that should fear us most:
a) "comply with Union legislative acts (...)
b) preserve the integrity and security of the network, of services provided via that network, and of the terminal equipment of end-users;
c) prevent impending network congestion and mitigate the effects of exceptional or temporary network congestion, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally.
This last one ruins the whole law. And this is not what me as European wanted. ISPs won :(
> -> meaning that a court order can change Net Neutrality, hmmm ok.
It would be weird for a court to order anyone to break net neutrality.
> -> meaning that in order to guarantee the security of the network Net Neutrality may be avoided. I'm so-so on this one.
The intention here seems to be to allow (D)DOS attack mitigation etc.
> -> Meaning that ISPs can throttle specific categories of traffic at their own will.
Note that the law is very clear that this only is allowed "provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated equally."
Back to square 1.
Both video. Both serve the end user in the same way.
But nobody will challenge it because nobody is in charge of torrents.
This kills neutrality completely. There is no way those ruling over this know where to draw the category lines properly.
And anyhow, FCC did exactly that; they went after Comcast for throttling torrents for no reason. And throttling torrents just because they're torrents is clearly not permissable by this clause by BEREC either; all it allows for is temporary and exceptional traffic shaping in case of congestion, provided it's done nondiscriminatorily. Which is a good thing; an ISP needs to have a neutral course of action available then besides a meltdown of its net. And yeah, I'd say latency insensitive bulk downloads would be perfectly sensible to deprioritize then. Now, doing what's reserved for recovery in general instead is certainly an abuse of network neutrality, by this rulebook as by FCCs.
Suddenly, you've got throttling allowed against one person's service and not another, because "categories".
This is not neutral.
It's not the same category, but it IS a competing service playing on an unfair playing field.
Leveling the playing field for people playing the same game is all fine and dandy, but it completely fucks over disruptive innovations challenging the status quo in a different category.
How about this one, people watch less TV than they did ten years ago, a lot of that time is now spent using Facebook, what happens when Facebook isn't throttled but Netflix and the rest in their category are?
This isn't net neutrality in the slightest.
It really isn't. Netflix isn't a protocol, and if you're using torrents as a drop in replacement for Netflix you're breaking copyright law in any case. You can't argue that you use torrents as a competing service without implying you're breaking the law.
The problem with the category thing is that it makes your passtime more important than my passtime. And suddenly the passtime that pays the most is going to get preferential treatment.
This hurts innovation and companies that want to disrupt current services with a different verticle.
Category based throttling sounds like a good idea but it simply is not neutral and will fail us.
I think they have some notion of "commercial scale" filesharing to prosecute things like pirate bay, not sure how that works legally. But that too is a different matter, as they don't even share any copies of anything, just metadata, and lately not even that, but merely links.
The real question is whether any of this has any relevance for "pirated" media streaming or downloading being actually legal; not tolerated or thought too minor to warrant the privacy violation of revealing the person behind the IP or any loophole like that, but actually legal.
Honestly, I'd love to hear more about this.
But yeah, the public will need to stay vigilant over how national regulators implement this ruling case by case.
They can, for instance, slow down P2P traffic. What do you think about that?
By this text, they'd need to show it was an exceptional and temporary necessity to deal with congestion.
The FCC is allowed to regulate telecommunication services strictly. Right now it takes a sort of a hands off approach, but they have broad authority to make rules. Before 2015, the FCC considered ISPs to be "information services" instead of "telecommunication services." So the first time the FCC proposed net neutrality rules, it tried to apply them under the "information services" framework.
The Court in 2010 (I think) found that the FCC didn't have the power to regulate "information services" so harshly. So the court canceled their net neutrality rules.
So last year the FCC reclassified ISPs as telecommunication services. Since they are allowed to harshly regulate those services, it's considered very likely to upheld by the court this time.
The only chance it gets struck down is if the court thinks the FCC was clearly wrong about ISPs being a telecommunication service. But the law is pretty clear that are. But I think some ISPs are still fighting it.
I think there should be some regulation that guarantees provider competition so that consumers could take their stand on issues like this.
Recital 15, attached to the article 3(3)c, goes to great length defining what exceptional means, that such traffic may be managed, temporarily, only if it was unpredictable, unavoidable, and short duration, or it damages network reactivity. It clearly states that such management is not a replacement for upgrading bandwidth, both mobile and fixed. And even then they cannot prejudice specific traffic, just an entire class of it, again, only temporarily.
The recitals are awesome! I wish USAmerica would use this type of exposition in their legalese.
Hm, this is all I found so far about the practice: https://web.archive.org/web/20130622043635/http://eur-lex.eu...
Third, measures going beyond such reasonable traffic management
measures might also be necessary to prevent impending network
congestion, that is, situations where congestion is about to
materialise, and to mitigate the effects of network congestion, where
such congestion occurs only temporarily or in exceptional
circumstances. The principle of proportionality requires that traffic
management measures based on that exception treat equivalent
categories of traffic equally. Temporary congestion should be
understood as referring to specific situations of short duration,
where a sudden increase in the number of users in addition to the
regular users, or a sudden increase in demand for specific content,
applications or services, may overflow the transmission capacity of
some elements of the network and make the rest of the network less
reactive. Temporary congestion might occur especially in mobile
networks, which are subject to more variable conditions, such as
physical obstructions, lower indoor coverage, or a variable number of
active users with changing location. While it may be predictable that
such temporary congestion might occur from time to time at certain
points in the network – such that it cannot be regarded as exceptional
– it might not recur so often or for such extensive periods that a
capacity expansion would be economically justified. Exceptional
congestion should be understood as referring to unpredictable and
unavoidable situations of congestion, both in mobile and fixed
networks. Possible causes of those situations include a technical
failure such as a service outage due to broken cables or other
infrastructure elements, unexpected changes in routing of traffic or
large increases in network traffic due to emergency or other
situations beyond the control of providers of internet access
services. Such congestion problems are likely to be infrequent but may
be severe, and are not necessarily of short duration. The need to
apply traffic management measures going beyond the reasonable traffic
management measures in order to prevent or mitigate the effects of
temporary or exceptional network congestion should not give providers
of internet access services the possibility to circumvent the general
prohibition on blocking, slowing down, altering, restricting,
interfering with, degrading or discriminating between specific
content, applications or services, or specific categories
thereof. Recurrent and more long-lasting network congestion which is
neither exceptional nor temporary should not benefit from that
exception but should rather be tackled through expansion of network
Then only we could measure that they do offer the same bandwidth with Netflix and Vimeo as they advertise. Net neutrality at its best.
Edit: Of course the number will be very low because they have to (God forbid!) provision their network to serve this bandwidth to all customers during peak hours. But what we're looking for is not a huge number - we're looking for a number that allows meaningful comparison with competitors.
As an ISP how would you _guarantee_ the bandwidth for each endpoint? You would have to provision for the maximal capacity all over your network. Given that most people only utilize their channel 1% of the time, this is a huge waste!
What's sensible to ask ISPs to do is:
(a) Communicate historically experienced bandwith at each region
(b) Provided certified, standartized measurement facilities (software / hardware?!) that can be used to monitor of the link utilization/saturation levels.
(d) Refund policy, when agreed service level targets (as measured in b) were not hit. (This should be legally mandated)
There are mathematical models that describe the probability of a new call coming in at any given time. Add the system in terms of how many connections it can have active and how many it can queue, and you can calculate your required sizing for a given quality level.
As a sidenode, this is also why ISDN flatrates were doomed, because the always-connected nature of them broke the models the system was based on. And why new phone companies renting capacity from established ones could offer cheaper connections, they simply rented at a much higher allowed connection error rate.
Using similar, well, maybe even much easier math, you can calculate that your current system at your desired maximum utilization level allows for 432KiB/s downstream for every customer, but if the overall network is underutilized you can achieve up to the n MiB/s your connection is rated for.
Then you add for example hierarchical traffic shaping where queues are allowed to borrow unused bandwidth from other queues. But it is a huge investment, no doubt.
Also, guaranteed bandwidth is imho not that different from a service level target in Bit. You'll have to refund if you break the SLA, the same as if you break your promise.
We're currently in place that is completely unacceptable towards customers. Now you don't have to go completely in the other direction but when you advertise and sell someone a contract involving a certain amount of bandwidth, you should have to provide that 99% of the time modulo schedule downtime. I think that would be perfectly achievable and fair to ISPs and it wouldn't require them to provision for maximal capacity either. I mean it's not like you should be able to sue them into the ground when they only manage 89.9999% or something.
You guarantee that you will obtain x mbps of peering/transit per customer, per network. Then you advertise x as your minimum speed, even if off-peak usage can spike to 30 times x.
When I still lived in Slovenia, I had 20/20 FTTH. Fiber went directly into a router in my bedroom. My bandwidth was always exactly 20/20. No matter what.
Now I have Comcast. Speedtest says I get 80/6. On Friday and Saturday evenings Netflix and Facebook and many other things often experience issues. Now I can't confirm any of this. If you run speedtest, it's fine. If you ping something, there's no packet loss. But it just doesn't feel very fast and reliable under normal use.
This can't possibly be true. The ISP providing the service can only guarantee a particular speed to the boarder of their network.
Once you connect to a service not hosted by your ISP they can't guarantee anything.
And when I was on ADSL, I did notice those dips. A lot of them. With FTTH, they went away.
Agreed, everybody loves the idea of fixed allocation, but never seem to consider how much that costs. If you could buy overprovisioned 25mbps @ $50/mo, or fixed allocation 25mbps @ $5,000/mo, which do you think most people would go for...
PS: Don't forget back haul is actually a relatively minor cost for most ISP's. Until it hits ~20% it's just not going to have a major impact on peoples bills.
This is not a technical problem, but a business decision. The at only solution is to vote with your wallet and chose an ISP that sucks less.
If my ISP was going to tell me either the limit they cap me at and the speed the can guarantee me at 100% use, I'd pick the former.
As it stands an ISP can advertise 100 mbps service and fail to show Netflix streams when a 10 mbps connection on another ISP can easily handle 2 of them in HD. Thus, consumers need something meaningful.
PS: Picture trying to compare gas MPG if car companies could report MPG while costing down the side of a mountain. That's a perfect recipe for Honda to optimize the wrong things just like ISP's do now.
Honestly, this is like car company's advertising their top speed when dropped from an aircraft and then complaining when they need to list actual horsepower.
So fixed costs all around.
No it wasn't. The thread starter discussed how broadband connections should be marketed, and the suggestion was to use guaranteed bandwidth as a measure.
This then digressed into the cost of bandwidth, where one poster took it totally off the rails by assuming transit costs $25 per Mbps, when the true cost is two decades lower.
The fixed cost of providing guaranteed bandwidth in the last mile pales compared to costs like $25 per Mbps, which was my point. The last mile is a fixed cost and even high amounts of guaranteed bandwidth in the last mile are fixed costs which are easily covered by the monthly subscription fee.
That does not mean that the fixed costs are free or low by absolute dollar terms.
The real kicker is that the regulator has actually defined acceptable minimum speeds.
Minimum speeds can be stated either as an average or a range. Acceptable averages are at least 50% of the advertised maximum speed measured during any 4 hour period. If stated as a range, 40% of the maximum speed as a lower bound at any time is acceptable.
http://fin.afterdawn.com/uutiset/artikkeli.cfm/2016/08/17/st... (in Finnish only though)
Obviously nobody can offer any guarantees for off-net traffic.
With fiber, yes, that's possible. They're not advertising it in commercials but the website of my ISP has a page with those data. It matches what I experience with fiber.
That would hardly have been expected: in the first six months of being a Commissioner, Oettinger met with two NGO representatives but with 44 corporate lobbyists .
And this is why Brexit is so heart-breaking. I'm surrounded by people in my personal life who think it's a fantastic idea, but they're not the most... informed? Likewise for local politicians.
(Side note to my rant: I have this theory that the rise of the iPhone, and the fact that it is such a big part of people's lives now, has fooled regular folks into believing that they're experts on technology. I have no more than anecdotal evidence for this).
I strongly suspect that local legislators will see no conflict whatsoever with scrapping these laws when the exit finally comes, and it saddens me that I'm surrounded by a lot of people that will be cheering when it happens.
This is from a real conversation I had this week:
"What it boils down to is do you want to have us control our own laws and decisions and borders, or have to take orders from some bureaucrat in Brussels that doesn't understand us?"
Yes, I would rather have decisions made by people in Brussels that understand what they're doing.
>Yes, I would rather have decisions made by people in Brussels that understand what they're doing.
Yay structural unemployment in the eurozone! The folks at the commission and at the ECB sure know as hell what they are doing since the EU is a sui generis structure and the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment absolutely did not hurt western economies and destroyed the industrial tissue of those countries. I am being sarcastic.
Now, without any offense, you sound like someone who has red a wikipedia page about the European Union and who nows consider everyone having dissenting opinion to be a stinky redneck who does not deserve a voice.
Maybe that's not what you wanted to convey, in that case I apologise, but to be honest, at this point, I have met so many pseudo-smartass people who think they understand everything that I have very little hope you don't fall into that category of people. Thinking technocracy will magically solves all your problems is lazy, at best.
How could shifting more towards Ordoliberalism (=government regulation to maximize competition plus a social safety net) be a bad thing? Quality of life is rather high in Germany after all.
Is there in fact evidence that unemployment is intentionally maintained in order to suppress inflation?
Even if your assertions are true, how would Brexit address any of these things and generally how would a balkanized Europe be more prosperous let alone more globally competitive than a unified Europe?
Or is the objection merely to some wholly imaginary threat to the purity of the anglo-saxon race and culture and an unthinking and instantaneous embracing of anything nationalist and right leaning?
Yes. Yes it is. Everyone who disagrees with you is emotionally driven and intellectually dishonest.
The goal we object to was the attempt to build a giant country. The EEC should have stuck with the tariff free zone and free movement (of workers, not all citizens, as it was originally). Instead they grew into a 28-nation wannabe superpower with a currency, flag, central bank, law-making powers, etc. Now Juncker is pushing for an EU army. The whole project has departed from reality and is going to collapse in a few decades, sadly taking down the free trade zone with it.
Honestly, how would that be bad? After all the UK consists of Wales, England, Scotland and N. Ireland. People of the past opposed that unity so much they were willing to die to try to prevent it yet on the whole that unity has been undeniably positive.
For the EU for example, how could having an single foreign policy be a bad idea in any way? How does having an EU flag do any harm what so ever? I'd claim that point in particular shows the issue very much is emotionally driven.
And what will make it fall apart except people voting to leave it on grounds as trivial as having a flag?
Likewise such an extreme step as dismantling the entire EU project rather than just fixing the monetary problem can't really be justified rationally and looks pretty overwhelmingly like emotionally driven nationalism.
You seem wilfully ignorant: you focus on my non-essential point about the flag, for example, and ignore the obvious issues with the EU (which a cursory Google search will help you find).
Stiglitz identified the fundamental crossroads: the only fix for the Eurozone's monetary problems is fiscal union. Thing is, if that happens, there'll be further crises and further demands for integration. None of this will make the Germans and Greeks resent each other less, and the endgame is a resurgence of nationalism.
I'm a capitalist, not a nationalist, and it's very obvious to me that the EU should have remained a trade union of independent countries.
Because you might disagree with it? How can you be so narrow-minded to not even fathom people having different fundamental beliefs? Why don't Israel and Palestine just merge into one country called Unicornia? Why don't all people just separate religious beliefs from government, or conversely, why don't we all just switch to the correct(tm) religion?
One country may not want to support terrorists while another wants to support them because they are 'freedom fighters', how do you propose they operate under the same foreign policy?
I was hoping there was some coherent argument in favor of Brexit that I had not heard and that maronthewall might be hinting at. Clearly I was in error in that hope.
And as objectivistbrit so defensively denied:
'...emotionally driven and intellectually dishonest...'
is shown very clearly again to be very much at the core of the Brexit movement
To summarize though:
1) I don't believe I know any better than anyone else, it's just that I feel this was the wrong decision for a variety of reasons, and I'm very scared for the future based on this result.
2) I am a smug jackass that knows significantly less than he thinks he does, and I use long words in a futile attempt to disguise this. But I am not a pseudo smart-ass. Frank that works across from me is, and no-one sits with Frank at lunch.
3) I think the EU makes terrible decisions. I just think that they try to make the correct ones with the best of intentions and fail. I think this is vastly preferable to making the wrong decisions for questionable reasons and succeeding.
There is a saying that goes "the path to hell is paved with good intentions".
That requires having people in Brussels who understand what they're doing - at least better than local politicians. But I'm not sure how exactly you ensure that. If we assume you are right that the people around you (excepting you, of course) are woefully misinformed and so are local politicians, where would the enlightened folks in Brussels come from, who would elect and appoint them? If you plan to keep the democracy around and not replace it with absolute monarchy with people as well informed as yourself at the helm (how do you ensure that btw?), I don't see how exactly that may work.
It is a great delusion that democratic mechanisms and limited federalized government are the way to put the best people on top and manage the system most efficiently. They are not. They are the safety valve to mitigate the effect of so-so and worse people being on top. And this mechanism is necessary because there's no viable solution so far that can identify "best" people (whatever that may mean, we have no idea for that either) and put them on top.
I utterly agree with all of the points made above, I simply feel that if it's a case of "better the devil you know than the devil you don't", then I would choose "don't" any day of the week based on a lifetime of experiencing local politics.
Honestly, the thought of any increase in power to local politicians terrifies me, based on their track record alone.
That is not that important because the people on top can only prescribe, the population has to substantiate the plans. Therefore it is important that the population can be informed beforehand to agree with the plans.
> Yes, I would rather have decisions made by people in Brussels that understand what they're doing.
Julia Reda is a MP inside the EU parliament. She was voted in their and is not some bureaucrat. The voter turnout in Great Britain was 36 % in 2014, so it is partly their own fault if the do not feel represented by their representatives.
Günther Oettinger however was rescued from an historic loss of the conservative CDU against the Greens in the state of Baden-Württemberg  where he was minister-president (governor in the US). It was the first time the Greens were the big partner in a coalition to govern a German state. Oettinger screwed up a big project to rebuild a train station followed by many protests, police scandals and so on . His genius argument why Stuttgart should not have a terminal station, when Paris has one, is that there are no people living west of Paris. The CDU lost the election on the topic of nuclear energy and Oettinger was then of all places appointed to be Commissioner of Energy. People also ask themselves why Germany sends the one person with the worst English skills to an international parliament and make fun of it .
So yeah, you could definitely argue, that the commission could benefit from directly elected members. Although it is not undemocratic: The members are appointed by the governments. Great Britain also had nice, prestigious positions: Commissioner of Foreign Affairs (10-14) and Commissioner of Finances (today), while Germany only got energy and internet.
If everything is a human right, nothing is. At this point, what's the difference between a "human right" and a nice thing?
The thing about centralized government is that it's great when you agree with what they're doing, but it's terrible when you don't. Ask yourself how happy you would be with European governance if they primarily didn't implement policies that you personally considered wise.
People have different ideas about what's fair. The hinge of democracy is the simplicity by which a people can make their will known and have that will executed, at least within their own region.
More local governance makes individual will much more important. Consider that a representative's attention is evenly divided by the quantity of his constituents, because each constituent has an equal quantity of votes. Thus, a smaller quantity of constituents means more individual influence in government. That's generally a positive thing. Therefore, jurisdictions should be broken into the smallest workable units, and the amount of power concentrated within a jurisdiction should be correlated with its localness.
Nice thing: iPhone 6+
Human right: freedom of movement
Nice thing: Maserati
See the difference?
As for your second part about localization of politics, the tyranny of the majority is much more severe in hyper-local settings. Global issues like human rights cannot be entrusted to local governments whose local majorities are prone to divisiveness and discrimination.
Who they can be entrusted to? There's a lot of countries with severe human rights issues, and I don't see many examples of super-governmental bodies having much progress in fixing them unless local government is on board with it. In fact, it's almost always impossible to do without local government participation.
These countries each take part in the UN, without showing any signs that they respect the universal human rights declaration.
I'd suggest fixing that part of the human rights situation should have a higher priority than making monopolist abuse and unfair trade in communications about human rights.
Not really. I understand that you've differentiated between tangibles and concepts (and I probably should've said a "good law" instead of a "nice thing" to prevent this obvious conclusion), but the concepts can be moved up to exclude most tangibles. For example, perhaps "smooth, comfortable transportation" is a human right just as "neutral communications" are. In this case, budget transport carriers would be a violation of human rights, just as budget phone carriers deciding to charge either more or less for different traffic sources (as in T-Mobile's BingeOn promotion) apparently is.
Under the old guard, neither "neutral communications" nor "smooth, comfortable transportation" would be considered a "human right". They would be considered nice features. "Human rights" would simply be a very small core of natural, inviolable principles, the rights to which all men inherently possess, and are mandatory for a functional society (and you could perhaps argue that "neutral communications" is included in "free speech").
Since no man inherently possesses the ability to access the internet (he requires external devices for this), it is not a human right, which is a right fundamental and intrinsic to all humans, which the government can only restrict and has no power to grant (because they are granted naturally ("by their Creator", as in American founding documents) as an intrinsic part of being human) (people also do not have a "human right" to food or shelter -- they have to get those things on their own if they want them).
We can perform legislative tasks without exaggerating every issue into the category of basic human rights.
>Global issues like human rights cannot be entrusted to local governments whose local majorities are prone to divisiveness and discrimination.
There is no hard definition to what qualifies for "discrimination". At its most basic, discrimination is simply making choices, and everyone has to do that dozens of times a day. "Discrimination" in the political sense usually refers to making it illegal to make certain choices based on certain criteria -- what are those criteria and which choices should be restricted? That sounds like something for the local government to decide.
As for divisiveness, I've actually found that most localities are mostly one way or the other. They share a common culture. That's why there are only about 6 battleground states in the U.S. (and even then, that's usually the case because the state includes roughly equal numbers of people in 2 divergent cultures -- one rural/suburban and the other urban). The fact that politics is so divisive today, to the point where we are in total legislative gridlock, is evidence that we need more localization, not less.
Urban communities can make laws that sound good to them, rural/suburban communities can make laws that sound good to them, everyone can live in the way they see fit, and survival of the fittest will eventually prove out one method as superior. Competition between the jurisdictions will encourage friendly, popular laws and prevent excessive governmental intrusion.
W.r.t. urban vs. rural communities and localized politics, those communities are less homogeneous than you seem to think. It's not terribly uncommon for people to find themselves trapped in a rural community when their personalities and values are more suited to an urban community, but they can't afford to move until they become adults and save up money, which may never happen.
There are floors of dignity below which no human should be allowed to fall, and allowing every rural community to set its own standards for human rights only makes sense if everyone in those communities has total freedom and means to leave, and total awareness of the other options available to them. Think of isolated, repressive fundamentalist or polygamist communities, for example (not that every fundamentalist or polygamist group is necessarily repressive, but it is certainly common).
Because even at this point, Net Neutrality is still less well protected by the EU than it was under our own national legislation.
I cannot in all good conscience support a union that has the power to undermine our civil rights. If Brits don't want those civil rights, that's their choice.
Brussels is not a force for good simply because in this case it would be an improvement for the Brits.
If you have concrete examples of poor civil rights in the UK, by all means share them, I'm not pretending things are perfect here, and would be happy to get a better grasp of where things could be improved.
Likewise the continued push for mass surveillance (see: DRIPA, the defunct Draft Communications Data Bill and the seemingly inevitable Investigatory Powers Bill) is another - the most recent legislative attempts have been to make legal what the state has been doing illegally for many, many years. What worries me is that there is no common-law right to privacy in English law; our modern privacy rights stem almost exclusively from the ECHR and the EU.
The recent clampdown on the rights of trades unions is a third example. Despite an historic low number of days lost to industrial action, the government has been making it much harder to legally strike, or even to _fund_ trades unions (for example, imposing high thresholds on ballots and attempting to remove the option of payroll funding for union membership).
The European vision of capitalism is where you can own, say, a cafe or mobile app, and do what you want with it. However, something like a telecoms network or search engine is too important to be kept in the hands of ruthless big business, and the state needs to step in to control who said businesses deal with.
They talk about preventing monopoly, but even with infrastructure, technological shifts mean any purported monopoly constantly faces real competition. (Witness how IBM lost out to Microsoft, which lost out to the internet companies).
Private investment and private innovation is the best way to build infrastructure, and if the state wants to control how the infrastructure is used (and prevents the owners from cutting special deals with their largest potential customers), investment money stays away.
This has happened with pharmaceuticals - one reason there's been so much investment in viagra and plastic surgery is that more useful medical patents tend to be seized by government. It's also happening in the case of European telecoms: the net neutrality rules provide a disincentive to invest in 5G.
(That article is negatively slanted, but gives a decent overview). Here's the actual report by the telcos:
Yes, I would rather have decisions made by people in Brussels that understand what they're doing.
I'd be happy to swap my overpriced RCN internet with TalkTalk or not have to get a new wheel on my bike every year thanks to the pot-holed roads of New York.
And if you do try to innovate, you get lots of vested interests attacking you on every corner and tons of regulations you have to comply with and some new ones that would be lobbied into law and introduced specially to suppress you. Look how much pushback companies like Airbnb or Uber are getting.
"In this context we must highlight the danger of restrictive Net Neutrality rules, in the context of 5G technologies, business applications and beyond. 5G introduces the concept of “Network Slicing” to accommodate a wide-variety of industry verticals’ business models on a common platform, at scale and with services guarantees.
Automated driving, smart grid control, virtual reality and public safety services are examples of use- cases with distinguished characteristics which call for a flexible and elastic configuration of resources in networks and platforms, on a continuous basis, depending on demand, context and the nature of the service. According to the telecom industry, BEREC’s draft proposal of implementation rules is excessively prescriptive and could make telcos risk-averse thus hampering the exploitation of 5G, ignoring the fundamental agility and elastic nature of 5G Network Slicing to adapt in real time to changes in end-user / application and traffic demand. The 5G objective of creating new business opportunities and satisfying future end-user needs would be at risk, with a regulation not coherent with the market demand evolution.
It is paramount to ensure 5G monetisation to drive investments. Monetisation can take place across the entire value chain with end-users, service providers and industry verticals in order to ensure fair returns, speed up adoption by end-users and ensure consumers are not alone in picking up the bill for the innovation that will help the business cases of the service providers. Operators should also be free to mix and manage different technology generations, mobile or otherwise, that are enabling 5G mobile technology to serve their customers optimally."
Not a single operator is going to delay rolling out 5G or decline to invest in 5G due to network neutrality.
Furthermore none of the given use cases are require general Internet access. I don't care what they do with those closed networks and network neutrality does not even apply to closed networks.
On a sane planet, one not following clown world logic, it would be obvious that the telcos are telling the government to stop extorting them.
The telcos are of course under no obligation to invest in 5G. Do you know of any 4G provider that isn't?
However, according to Julia Reda above, the policies around zero-rating are still pretty unclear, and it seems they will be decided on a case-by-case basis (not great, but may be a little better than in the U.S., where the FCC seems to have no interest in dealing with zero rating at all).
It does cover this (search for zero-rating) although in a way that I find hard to summarise.
But it starts well:
>This Regulation aims to establish common rules to safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment
of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-users’ rights. It aims to protect
end-users and simultaneously to guarantee the continued functioning of the internet ecosystem as an
engine of innovation.
Any source for this? I've only ever seen providers offer free Spotify membership, not free data.
Edit: Thanks for the responses. I had no idea this was happening.
They stopped offering this to new customers on August 2nd, 2016.
 https://www.telekom.de/hilfe/mobilfunk-mobiles-internet/mobi... (in German)
http://www.o2.cz/osobni/spotify/ (in czech)
Look for "APPS COM TRÁFEGO ILIMITADO" (Free data apps).
You can see the apps below.
I'm not even sure it's legal, but people don't really care/see it as a problem.
"Kein Datenverbrauch" == Zero Rating.
That's why we have laws that forbid companies to pollute the environment, restrict child labor and the like. Consumers will choose the short term benefits for themselves over the long term benefits for the society.
I think you're missing the implication of the point.
If there is 'a lot of competition' - it makes cartel-like or colluding behaviour among carriers difficult, thereby facilitating de-facto net-neutrality.
Customers don't have to be aware of it.
And it's a reasonable argument: ensuring healthy and fair competition is almost always better than legislative controls, usually because regulations are often poorly conceived and effectuated, or at least, the market changes rapidly and the regulations fail to adapt.
I think that a reasonable net-neutrality law should probably be made both in Europe and in the US, that said, I'm weary of it being too onerous.
My position is also pragmatic: 'more competition' is unlikely in an industry with such massive barriers to entry etc..
Can you explain this further? I struggle to see how you get from "a lot of competition" to "de-facto net neutrality", and how that would continue indefinitely.
It seems to me that we had de-facto net neutrality from the outset but that over time, as the industry matured, the large players started to talk about colluding. It has taken pro-neutrality lobbying and legislation to maintain neutrality in what was previously a free market.
You hinted at it in your comment: "the large players started to talk about colluding"
Only a when there are a 'small number of large players' is this kind of collusion possible.
When there is a lot of competition, the entire layer of the value chain becomes weaker.
It's a problem because they control a scarce resource: the airwaves, and also a kind of scarce resource: access rights for fibre etc..
Well to paint it as an extreme, if there was so much competition that you could change ISP's within minutes then considering the fact NN is so important to many people there will always be ISP's looking to offer that because people will leave the ISP's that don't.
I don't see the point. If Google decides to pay to providers to speed up Google content. How having more carries solves the problem? Is not even worse as then Google will have more power to bring carriers to its side?
What will happen with little content providers? Can they compete once they are slow?
I see that is more difficult for carriers to agree on something, as the more they are the more difficult it gets. But I don't see hot it facilitates net-neutrality on, for example, the situation that I describe.
The Internet doesn't work that way. If Google wants their services to work better at particular ISP they pay for bigger pipes to the ISP and/or install content caches at the ISP and everybody is better off.
This honestly isn't true, because if we had a marketplace for ISPs, most consumers would pick the cheapest option, which would probably be the one that subsidizes it's revenue from charging companies like Netflix. Some smaller companies that don't care about full market access wouldn't pay, and then you're at a tiered internet structure not unlike cable packages.
He's only saying it's a "red herring" because ISP monopolies and net neutrality are different issues.
The marketplace doesn't work that way. Neither Netflix or any other content provider has any interest in paying any ISP for the pleasure of serving their customers. Netflix would just refuse to pay the low cost ISP and tell it's customers to change ISPs if they complain.
The only reason Netflix is paying Comcast is because Comcast has enough market power and captive users to blackmail Netflix into paying them, lest Netflix be denied access. If there was any alternative to Comcast, Netflix would just say screw that.
The general idea is that a free market is more flexible and quicker to react than the government. It would be quicker to shape itself to the demands of the consumers. This could cover issues like net neutrality, antiquated infrastructure not being upgraded, etc. Prices would also probably go down.
I think this is an important issue alongside net neutrality. I also believe that some extra government regulation is necessary for utilities and essential services, so I'm not against government interference.
In general, the consumer benefits most when an industry has a lot of competition in it.
The thing to understand about net neutrality is it's a transfer of power from business to government. The devil is in the detail. If you look closely at the laws involved there are vague clauses that allow for extra government censorship and control in the future.
In basic terms, net neutrality sort-of makes sense in the US and makes less sense in the EU. It's a poisoned chalice created and pushed by do-gooders.
And is the common people the group who is the victim of the poisoned chalice?
I'm more concerned about app neutrality. Apple is extorting 30% from app makers and enforces rules to ensure their dominance over my phone.
Net neutrality is (partial) remedy for lack of competition. Cure that and a lot of the reasons for net neutrality disappear. However, it is not realistic to expect true competition in the US telecoms market anytime soon.
One reason a lot of people see net neutrality as a solution in search of a problem is that net neutrality was the default before and it hasn't been egregiously abused to date. I'm sure a lot of people will agree it's a problem once they get some first hand experience of it.
> Hypothetically, ISPs could try extorting and controlling the entire internet, but realistically it's not going to work.
I don't know. Comcast seems to be doing a pretty good job at it in the US.
> I'm more concerned about app neutrality. Apple is extorting 30% from app makers and enforces rules to ensure their dominance over my phone.
You do know you can sideload apps on your phone?
Yes, I know it's not ideal, but at least it's possible.
The example of US federal government does not exactly support this point.
Medical applications (remote operations rooms were mentioned)
You have to give to telecoms - they built the infrastructure and are desperate to design some services that could become additional source of revenues. For now, it seems, the door is shut - maybe with the new automation coming they could dig it up - akin to "you don't want your house to send fire warning to city grid too slow, do you?".
These are the first 9, the other 10 are here: https://gist.github.com/daveloyall/a1112bb70412d77bebc809090...
This Regulation aims to establish common rules to safeguard equal and
non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet
access services and related end-users’ rights. It aims to protect
end-users and simultaneously to guarantee the continued functioning of
the internet ecosystem as an engine of innovation.
The measures provided for in this Regulation respect the principle of
technological neutrality, that is to say they neither impose nor
discriminate in favour of the use of a particular type of technology.
The internet has developed over the past decades as an open platform
for innovation with low access barriers for end-users, providers of
content, applications and services and providers of internet access
services. The existing regulatory framework aims to promote the
ability of end-users to access and distribute information or run
applications and services of their choice. However, a significant
number of end-users are affected by traffic management practices which
block or slow down specific applications or services. Those tendencies
require common rules at the Union level to ensure the openness of the
internet and to avoid fragmentation of the internal market resulting
from measures adopted by individual Member States.
An internet access service provides access to the internet, and in
principle to all the end-points thereof, irrespective of the network
technology and terminal equipment used by end-users. However, for
reasons outside the control of providers of internet access services,
certain end points of the internet may not always be
accessible. Therefore, such providers should be deemed to have
complied with their obligations related to the provision of an
internet access service within the meaning of this Regulation when
that service provides connectivity to virtually all end points of the
internet. Providers of internet access services should therefore not
restrict connectivity to any accessible end-points of the internet.
When accessing the internet, end-users should be free to choose
between various types of terminal equipment as defined in Commission
Directive 2008/63/EC (1). Providers of internet access services should
not impose restrictions on the use of terminal equipment connecting to
the network in addition to those imposed by manufacturers or
distributors of terminal equipment in accordance with Union law.
End-users should have the right to access and distribute information
and content, and to use and provide applications and services without
discrimination, via their internet access service. The exercise of
this right should be without prejudice to Union law, or national law
that complies with Union law, regarding the lawfulness of content,
applications or services. This Regulation does not seek to regulate
the lawfulness of the content, applications or services, nor does it
seek to regulate the procedures, requirements and safeguards related
thereto. Those matters therefore remain subject to Union law, or
national law that complies with Union law.
In order to exercise their rights to access and distribute information
and content and to use and provide applications and services of their
choice, end-users should be free to agree with providers of internet
access services on tariffs for specific data volumes and speeds of the
internet access service. Such agreements, as well as any commercial
practices of providers of internet access services, should not limit
the exercise of those rights and thus circumvent provisions of this
Regulation safeguarding open internet access. National regulatory and
other competent authorities should be empowered to intervene against
agreements or commercial practices which, by reason of their scale,
lead to situations where end-users’ choice is materially reduced in
practice. To this end, the assessment of agreements and commercial
practices should, inter alia, take into account the respective market
positions of those providers of internet access services, and of the
providers of content, applications and services, that are
involved. National regulatory and other competent authorities should
be required, as part of their monitoring and enforcement function, to
intervene when agreements or commercial practices would result in the
undermining of the essence of the end-users’ rights.
When providing internet access services, providers of those services
should treat all traffic equally, without discrimination, restriction
or interference, independently of its sender or receiver, content,
application or service, or terminal equipment. According to general
principles of Union law and settled case-law, comparable situations
should not be treated differently and different situations should not
be treated in the same way unless such treatment is objectively
The objective of reasonable traffic management is to contribute to an
efficient use of network resources and to an optimisation of overall
transmission quality responding to the objectively different technical
quality of service requirements of specific categories of traffic, and
thus of the content, applications and services transmitted. Reasonable
traffic management measures applied by providers of internet access
services should be transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate,
and should not be based on commercial considerations. The requirement
for traffic management measures to be non-discriminatory does not
preclude providers of internet access services from implementing, in
order to optimise the overall transmission quality, traffic management
measures which differentiate between objectively different categories
of traffic. Any such differentiation should, in order to optimise
overall quality and user experience, be permitted only on the basis of
objectively different technical quality of service requirements (for
example, in terms of latency, jitter, packet loss, and bandwidth) of
the specific categories of traffic, and not on the basis of commercial
considerations. Such differentiating measures should be proportionate
in relation to the purpose of overall quality optimisation and should
treat equivalent traffic equally. Such measures should not be
maintained for longer than necessary.
When we converse in person, the medium (air) doesn't discriminate. Let's have a 'Net like that.
What are you talking about?