Why I will downgrade my broadband.

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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:32 pm

http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... or-months/

Just more fuel for the fire. As long as Comcast has TV subs to protect, they'll continue to groom how bandwidth is used to their advantage.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:40 pm

derFunkstein wrote:Just more fuel for the fire


Indeed. :roll:

derFunkstein wrote:As long as Comcast has TV subs to protect, they'll continue to groom how bandwidth is used to their advantage.


Did even read the article?

It's like you guys only have one setting...
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:51 am

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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:20 am

derfunkstein wrote:As long as Comcast has TV subs to protect, they'll continue to groom how bandwidth is used to their advantage.


Referencing the latest article cited by Ryu, I heavily suspect that the recent slow decline in the ISP rankings for Comcast/Verizon are more than likely the result of how Netflix is grooming the bandwidth used to its advantage. In other words, Netflix hasn' been on-the-ball with purchasing more of it to get to their customers on Comcast/Verizon in order to control costs and push those ISPs towards accepting OpenConnect.

Why do I think this?

1) Because Netflix is heavily promoting OpenConnect in order to control that very same cost.
2) Netflix is in a bind because it has no leverage (and thus no real cost control) for content costs, which are rising. In fact, that's such a problem for them that they've begun producing their own content, which isn't exactly cheap either. Additionally, the last time it tried to handle changes to subscription fees the attempt backfired. Bandwidth is, like, the one cost Netflix can control.
3) Netflix knows that any perceptible decrease in quality/connectivity will directly and automatically be blamed on Comcast/Verizon, not Netflix, and that it will increase pressure on Comcast/Verizon to accept OpenConnect.

Hence, I believe neither Netflix nor Comcast/Verizon are degrading connectivity, rather, Netflix isn't paying (on their side) to further upgrade it. Without continually upgrading, the general rise in demand coupled with the extra resources used by "superHD" would automatically result in slowly degrading average bandwidth.

Of course, I can't prove my suspicions any better than the numerous Verizon/Comcast conspiracy theories, but I feel that my view has better support from the little we do know. :P
Last edited by Glorious on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:30 am

The Egg wrote:If that is the point of contention, then lets take a step back from all the technicalities, and just look at it from a purely logical standpoint. Logically, I have a very hard time believing that Netflix would intentionally do something which results in lower performance of their own service. If the average user starts noticing poor performance, it's a 50/50 coin toss on whether they're going to blame the ISP or Netflix themselves. Those are really bad numbers, and they don't play to Netflix's favor.


It isn't a 50/50 coin toss. Not even remotely. Virtually everyone on the internet, other than apparently Ryu and me, automatically blame Comcast.

Even the Ars Technica articles cited by Ryu, which make the same sort of points we do, still continually prefaces everything with "OF COURSE you blame the ISPs, and they really suck too! but actually it's a kind of complicated, it really isn't the case everyone makes it out to be, and here is some evidence for which I won't connect the dots but actually implicates Netflix"

I exaggerate, but look:

ArsTechnica wrote:Verizon could be throttling Netflix and Amazon, but there’s no actual evidence of it


I mean, really? That's like this:

Generic Newspaper Title wrote:Man could have raped child, but judge exonerates him


:roll:

That Peter Bright guy at Ars Technica is clearly trying to introduce some sanity into the the situation, but it is so ridiculously toxic towards Verizon/Comcast that he has to spend paragraphs establishing his bonafides as their opponent (as any right-think individual obviously would be!) before he can even get to the point, which is how Verizon/Comcast probably aren't even at fault, there is no actual evidence to say they are, netflix is conspicuously silent and not actually blaming anyone, etc...

The Egg wrote:If you take an ISP like Comcast for example, they're an absolute monstrosity with tens of millions of customers, and represent a huge chunk of Netflix subscribers. Do you really think that Netflix would gamble with that number of subscribers, and just keep their fingers crossed and hope that people blame the ISP? Not only would half of the subscribers NOT blame the ISP, but many of them don't even have an alternative because Comcast has a monopoly over large swaths of the US. Even of those who blame the ISP and have an alternative (you're talking about an increasingly small number), many causal users may simply stop using Netflix.


It's like you guys don't even read what I say before jumping on the bandwagon to dispute it.

I've said, REPEATEDLY, that I don't think Netflix is deliberately "throttling."

Here. Let me cite a thing called "evidence:"

Glorious wrote:We're not saying that Netflix *IS* doing that, mind you, just that's it's really hard to tell. That's the entire point of the Ars Technica article that Ryu cited.


Glorious wrote:Look, as I said, it's not that we are saying that this *is* happening. I don't actually think that netflix is doing that.


Now, what I just said in the previous post is just that Netflix is holding back on upgrades, which, because of increasing demand/usage, would effectively be degradation by omission. In other words, they're not intentionally sabotaging their connection, they're just not being quite as aggressive at increasing capacity to deal with increases in usage. It isn't something drastic that would immediately alienate their customers, but something rather subtle and pretty-much invisible to their generic users. However, it would be quite obvious to Comcast/Verizon as well as the kind of informed customer who is likely to lobby not only the government, but the ISPs, towards Netflix's advantage.

I have to repeat that: their average customer likely wouldn't even notice. If you guys remember, a few years back there was a study that demonstrated that a considerable percentage of people who thought they were watching HD content were actually still seeing SD. Likewise with how Verizon/Comcast TV can successfully offer "HD" channels that are over-compressed so badly the effective resolution of anything even remotely dynamic is probably worse than SD. I know I've personally seen macroblocking so bad I thought someone turned on a shader to make everything look like blurry 8-bit sprites.

So, if you guys could start actually reading what I write instead of knocking the *SAME* strawman down, over and over and over and over again, I'd appreciate it.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:08 am

People are generally going to "side" with Netflix because (as I've said before) is that it makes little sense for them to throttle their own bandwidth. Even if it's unintentional (too high demand vs. available upstream bandwidth), it still hurts them. In fact, it limits the number of customers they can actually service (fewer customers = less revenue). If you get a bad connection to Netflix, it doesn't really matter who is to blame. You can't use what you're paying for, so you are much more likely to stop paying for it.

An ISP not only has the controls to throttle bandwidth, but they have a financial incentive to do so, too. It artificially reduces peak bandwith demand, allowing them to go longer without upgrading their own network. On top of that, you usually don't have a lot of choice when it comes to ISPs. You can usually get one cable option or one DSL option. So even though the customers might drop Netflix, they aren't necessarily going to drop internet service because they don't have a choice (or the alternative choice comes at a price premium or lower bandwidth).

Netflix might be pushing OpenConnect, but again, this is more of a solution to something that isn't technically their problem, and the result helps everyone involved (not just Netflix). They can puchase and pay for better connections from the servers to the 'net, and it also makes sense for Netflix to pay for the upgrade considering that it directly increases the number of customers it can service, and they can judge that by the number of subcriptions (although increasing their local bandwidth wouldn't matter much if the bottleneck is on the customer's end). This is compared to the number of customers ISPs can service, which is essentially static. Their equation has more to do with maintaining enough bandwith for peak demands and maximizing number of customers in their service area(s).

So again, I acknowledge that the throttling might be on Netflix's side, but it just seems very unlikely. Any throttling between Netflix and its subscribers is risking a lost subcription, and if we add in content costs that you mentioned, it makes each lost subcription hurt that much more. Let me put it this way: if I were to assign liklihood of blame, I would say the conservative split is 75/25, where it is 75% likely that the ISP would be to blame and 25% that Netflix is to blame. I weigh it this way because from a business perspective, Netflix has the most to lose and the least to gain from throttling.

PS: On the subject of Netflix changing subscription fees, are you referring to the attempt to split Netflix into two units? My understanding was that had more to do with putting physical media in one bucket, where logistics has more to do with shipping and receiving, and digital media into another bucket, where logistics are bandwidth and such.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:26 pm

Glorious wrote:It isn't a 50/50 coin toss. Not even remotely. Virtually everyone on the internet, other than apparently Ryu and me, automatically blame Comcast.

I think you're completely wrong. The average person is only vaguely aware of what services they're paying for, and the vast majority have absolutely no understanding of how those services work. For instance, my boss at work repeatedly refers to his Comcast On-Demand as "the Netflix", and my parents refer to Netflix as "the Roku". For users like these, poor streaming performance is just going to sour them on the whole experience in general, as they don't have enough understanding in the first place to deduce that their ISP might be at fault.

For users who have more of an understanding, the kneejerk reaction is probably to blame Netflix (mine was). Reason being, I can see my 55mbit connection going full-speed (or even exceeding it) with every other connection or file transfer. I then see Netflix struggling to pull off a fraction of that, and it's the only service performing poorly.

So not only are you wrong about the 50/50, I think the actual numbers are probably even higher in favor of blaming Netflix (whether directly, or by just being soured on the whole experience).
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:49 pm

All I know is I dumped Comcast in favor of a local fiber ISP and now I can stream at 1080p at 9PM. It's amazing - when I was still on Comcast it was a blurry, muddy mess after 5pm or so. According to the PS3 it was streaming at resolutions like "240p" and "360p". I haven't moved since February 3rd when we got installed. Same router, same PS3, same wireless network. Nothing changed except the "last mile provider" and suddenly things are OK. As far as I can tell all I gave up was a few channels I never watched anyway and Comcast's on-demand service that rarely worked on the first try (usually the first try resulted in an 8-character error code saying to call customer service).

I do think most people who don't pay attention just think Netflix is the problem. I did some asking around and when people with this provider said they never had problems with Netflix being blurry did I even start researching.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:41 am

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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:28 am

I'll bet the impending Comcast/Time-Warner merger gave both parties incentives to quickly come to an agreement. Netflix because they're facing the prospect of having to negotiate with an even more powerful Comcast down the road, and Comcast because they don't want to be seen as a corporate bully, since this would make it less likely for the Time-Warner deal to get regulatory approval.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:42 am

superjawes wrote:Netflix might be pushing OpenConnect, but again, this is more of a solution to something that isn't technically their problem, and the result helps everyone involved (not just Netflix).


I disagree, for the reasons I've stated previously.

1) It *is* their problem.
2) It doesn't help everyone.

superjawes wrote:So again, I acknowledge that the throttling might be on Netflix's side, but it just seems very unlikely. Any throttling between Netflix and its subscribers is risking a lost subcription, and if we add in content costs that you mentioned, it makes each lost subcription hurt that much more. Let me put it this way: if I were to assign liklihood of blame, I would say the conservative split is 75/25, where it is 75% likely that the ISP would be to blame and 25% that Netflix is to blame. I weigh it this way because from a business perspective, Netflix has the most to lose and the least to gain from throttling.


Again, for the reasons I've stated previously, I don't believe there is any "throttling" occurring on *either* side.


The Egg wrote:I think you're completely wrong. The average person is only vaguely aware of what services they're paying for, and the vast majority have absolutely no understanding of how those services work. For instance, my boss at work repeatedly refers to his Comcast On-Demand as "the Netflix", and my parents refer to Netflix as "the Roku". For users like these, poor streaming performance is just going to sour them on the whole experience in general, as they don't have enough understanding in the first place to deduce that their ISP might be at fault.


Maybe I am wrong, but I explicitly said "virtually everyone on the internet." FFS, you even quoted that. The evidence for that claim is this thread and many others beside.

The people who say Comcast On-Demand is "the Netflix" very likely aren't on the internet complaining about it. Their misunderstandings are essentially invisible, because that sort of misunderstanding completely precludes any sort of effective lobbying or coherent social message altogether.

Yes, they might sour on the experience, but the reasons are so convoluted and misapplied that there is no socio-political force behind them. I mean, chrissakes, even surveys (which suck) are incapable of capturing that sort of consumer malcontent! Like I said, that sort of problem is effectively invisible. Especially since that kind of consumer probably wouldn't even notice the problem!

The Egg wrote:For users who have more of an understanding, the kneejerk reaction is probably to blame Netflix (mine was). Reason being, I can see my 55mbit connection going full-speed (or even exceeding it) with every other connection or file transfer. I then see Netflix struggling to pull off a fraction of that, and it's the only service performing poorly.


And, of course, those were the kind of users I was speaking about. :wink: They are the only ones who matter in this discussion, because not olnly are they the only ones with a voice, but they are the ones who "explain" everything to everyone else. And the utterly ubiquitous "explanation" is blame comcast/verizon!

The proof of that is, yet again, your own admission, this thread and many others, and how ars technica articles that attempt to explain the complexity of the situation have to spend paragraph after paragraph kowtowing to the "EVIL" ISP narrative before they can even attempt to explain how that picture doesn't exactly fit. :roll:

The Egg wrote:So not only are you wrong about the 50/50, I think the actual numbers are probably even higher in favor of blaming Netflix (whether directly, or by just being soured on the whole experience).


Riiiight, because the consumers who call netflix "Roku" can actually make a meaningful assignation of blame in the first place. :roll: Your argument here is clearly self-defeating.

If the people who have half a clue reflexively blame Netflix, it doesn't matter if those without any clue blame their missing "nintendo tapes" or their faulty "Xbox cube stations". The former group are making a meaningful accusation, the latter is just empty noise because you can't (definitionally!) know what it is they are blaming (if they are actually blaming anything at all, which I doubt)

Article wrote:The arrangement comes as federal regulators are wrestling with an issue known as "Net neutrality" concerning broadband providers and whether they can slow down traffic to particular websites, potentially forcing content companies to pay for faster Web service.


Article wrote:As part of the deal, Netflix will deliver its movies and TV programs to Comcast's broadband network directly as opposed through third party providers, giving viewers faster streaming speeds for watching movies and TV programs.


Article wrote:It also could force Netflix to strike similar arrangements, known in the industry as interconnect agreements, with other major broadband providers like Verizon and AT&T.


Gee, one of these statements is not like the others... :evil:

The ignorance of the media, how it burns! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

JBI wrote:'ll bet the impending Comcast/Time-Warner merger gave both parties incentives to quickly come to an agreement. Netflix because they're facing the prospect of having to negotiate with an even more powerful Comcast down the road, and Comcast because they don't want to be seen as a corporate bully, since this would make it less likely for the Time-Warner deal to get regulatory approval.


Maybe, but since this agreement is clearly Netflix paying for intra-network co-lo, it is:

1) Completely and ridiculously precedented
2) Entirely unrelated to network neutrality

As I've said, from the beginning, Netflix is the not the savior of the internets. They are business trying to make money, and if it is cheaper to pay Comcast to host them intra-network than it is for them to pay cogent to transit to Comcast, the answer is clear: Yes!
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:00 am

Glorious wrote:
superjawes wrote:Netflix might be pushing OpenConnect, but again, this is more of a solution to something that isn't technically their problem, and the result helps everyone involved (not just Netflix).

I disagree, for the reasons I've stated previously.

1) It *is* their problem.
2) It doesn't help everyone.

Maintaining the network to the end user, and the associated speeds, is not Netflix's responsibility. Therefore, it is not "their problem." It hurts them, but it's not something they should have to shell out money to fix. OpenConnect can ease some of the issues of getting data to end users, so they are happy. The ISP doesn't necessarily have to overhaul its network, so it is happy. And assuming this keeps people subscribed to Netflix, netflix is happy.

Again, for the reasons I've stated previously, I don't believe there is any "throttling" occurring on *either* side.

When we have people conducting tests resulting in variable performance across different services, there is definitely some sort of "throttling" going on. Somewhere in the path between Netflix and the user is a bottleneck. If there wasn't one, then this thread wouldn't even exist (referencing OP).

You seem to take issue with every single detail that does not fit into your own explanation, even when I was intentionally trying to present why "people on the internet" feel the way they do, and even when I'm trying to see things from your perspective and explain why I disagree. I you aren't going to budge then there really isn't a discussion to have here.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:08 am

Well this is the opposite of good news. Now more than ever I'm pleased to have left Comcast, the (as jbi put it) "corporate bully".
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:16 am

just brew it! wrote:I'll bet the impending Comcast/Time-Warner merger gave both parties incentives to quickly come to an agreement. Netflix because they're facing the prospect of having to negotiate with an even more powerful Comcast down the road, and Comcast because they don't want to be seen as a corporate bully, since this would make it less likely for the Time-Warner deal to get regulatory approval.

It's kind of an odd way to avoid being "seen as a corporate bully," IMO. That merger worries people because of how much power Comcast will have in the business, and this deal sounds a bit like Comcast is flexing said power...
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:48 am

superjawes wrote:Maintaining the network to the end user, and the associated speeds, is not Netflix's responsibility.


I've said it a dozen times, I guess I'll say it again:

YOU ARE ENTIRELY RELYING ON THE UNPROVEN ASSUMPTION THAT THE PROBLEM IS ONLY ON THE CONSUMER ISP SIDE.

Once again, Netflix must pay for its internet connection too! What part of that do you refuse to understand?

superjawes wrote:Therefore, it is not "their problem.


Until you have PROVEN your assumption, or even provided the slightest bit of supporting evidence, you cannot justifiably say that! :o

superjawes wrote: It hurts them, but it's not something they should have to shell out money to fix.


My contention is that Netflix tried that exact same sort of line on Cogent, who disagreed. :wink:

superjawes wrote:OpenConnect can ease some of the issues of getting data to end users, so they are happy


No, Netflix is happy because they wanted a free-ride from Comcast, who not only disagreed but actually managed to get Netflix to agree to pay for the exact same thing.

huh. How about that?

superjawes wrote:the ISP doesn't necessarily have to overhaul its network, so it is happy.


The issue isn'tthe ISP's network (if it was, OpenConnect wouldn't actually help Comcast, would it? The overhaul would still be necessary!).

The issue is the ISP's interconnects with Cogent's network.

If you don't understand that, it's not surprising that you can't understand my argument.

superjawes wrote:And assuming this keeps people subscribed to Netflix, netflix is happy.


No, netflix is happy because it just got a free ride.

...and I am unhappy because it ghettoizes the internet.

OpenConnect is EXPLICITLY ANTI-NETWORK NEUTRALITY. It is also a blatent misnomer, because there isn't anything "open" about it, it's specific to Netflix and ONLY Netflix. For instance, if I wanted to have my servers hosted at any given ISPs, I'd have to pay for it. Netflix's "OpenConnect" policy wouldn't be "open" to me, as they were (*OBVIOUSLY* FFS) only asking for themselves.

Indeed, JUST LIKE I WOULD HAVE TO DO, Netflix found that Comcast wanted them to pay up as well!

And lookit! They just did!

superjawes wrote:When we have people conducting tests resulting in variable performance across different services, there is definitely some sort of "throttling" going on.


?!?!!?1 What?

Dude, that's absolute nonsense. What you are saying doesn't follow even remotely.

The internet isn't some gigantic network hub where everyone is using the same access medium, there are innumerable different networks and therefore paths and so you cannot, ABSOLUTELY CANNOT, blindly assume that is "all the same."

superjawes wrote: Somewhere in the path between Netflix and the user is a bottleneck. If there wasn't one, then this thread wouldn't even exist (referencing OP).


Sure, and it *might* just be Cogent. Why? Because perhaps Cogent isn't interested in spending massive amounts of money upgrading its interconnects with Comcast and Verizon for the benefit of one really big customer that is EXPLICITLY trying to jump ship and cut Cogent out of the loop via "OpenConnect."

You see, if I were Cogent, I'd be asking for *BIG* money to do those sort of upgrades, because I'd be deathly afraid of being left holding the bag!

Netflix wouldn't want to pay, because it's trying to get out of that situation in favor of "OpenConnect." And so, the performance of the existing interconnects would slowly degrade under the weight of increasing traffic without concomitant upgrades.

Which is EXACTLY what I said last time...

superjawes wrote:You seem to take issue with every single detail that does not fit into your own explanation, even when I was intentionally trying to present why "people on the internet" feel the way they do, and even when I'm trying to see things from your perspective and explain why I disagree. I you aren't going to budge then there really isn't a discussion to have here.


No, there isn't. Not until you understand the fundamental nature of the internet. You are operating under several complete misconceptions that you refuse to re-examine.

For an example, you actually said that OpenConnect would help everybody. That's nonsense. It makes the internet worse for anyone who isn't a big corporate player because the positive externality of ever-increasing network interconnects would greatly slow down. The vision of everyone connecting to everyone else faster and faster would be damaged because the biggest drivers of bandwidth growth would be cutting special deals WITHIN existing networks, meaning the benefits only go to those already within that network.

superjawes wrote:It's kind of an odd way to avoid being "seen as a corporate bully," IMO. That merger worries people because of how much power Comcast will have in the business, and this deal sounds a bit like Comcast is flexing said power...


:o

The power of "We don't do system hosting for free?"

What a bully they are!
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:08 am

Really, though, the biggest misconception you guys have is that you honestly seem to believe in free money.

Seriously.

I'll demonstrate. Let's say that Netflix won the day! Whooo! OpenConnect is now required by The Powers That Be. Every ISP now must host Netflix for free, with all the costs that implies.

ISPs make all their money by charging their customers, us, for internet service, right? And Netflix is now an intra-network "service" that your ISP is providing for you, right? And as we all (should) know, money is fungible, right? 8)

So, thank the FSM for OpenConnect and how those ISPs can no longer force us to pay for a connection to Netflix! That would have been obscene!
8) 8) 8) :lol: :lol: :lol: 8) 8) 8)

Bonus points if anyone makes the (obvious) analogy to this situation and TV providers with specific channels. :wink: ( I personally can't wait for people whining about how they can't have their internet "a la carte" :o )
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:19 am

You know, sometimes I try hinting at things so I don't have to beat people over the head with them, but it appears that I am being too subtle.

For instance, remember when I said this?

Glorious wrote:That Peter Bright guy at Ars Technica is clearly trying to introduce some sanity into the the situation, but it is so ridiculously toxic towards Verizon/Comcast that he has to spend paragraphs establishing his bonafides as their opponent (as any right-think individual obviously would be!) before he can even get to the point, which is how Verizon/Comcast probably aren't even at fault, there is no actual evidence to say they are, netflix is conspicuously silent and not actually blaming anyone, etc...


Yeah. That wasn't a throwaway line...

I had to go look though my internet history, but I found the article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the ... e-verizon/

article wrote:The analyst, Doug Anmuth, told Re/code Tuesday that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is confident that Internet providers won't dare to provoke the wrath of users by slowing down access to films and TV shows. More importantly, Re/code reports, Netflix itself hasn't observed anything to suggest that Verizon is throttling bandwidth.


But, DISREGARDING WHAT NETFLIX ITSELF THINKS, there is definitely some throttling going on.

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :evil: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:25 am

Me: "I'm trying to see things from your point of view, but your points just don't make sense to me."
You: "YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!"

See how this is going nowhere? I've worked through my logic, I've tried to see things from your point of view, but you keep flipping tables every time a make a point that doesn't fit your specific understanding or description of how the world works.

If your purpose was to "educate" people so that we can see things from your point of view, you are severely undermined by your tone.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:40 am

superjawes wrote:Me: "I'm trying to see things from your point of view, but your points just don't make sense to me."
You: "YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!"


I'll cop to the over-capitalization, and the overuse of punctuation (and much more besides), but I don't just scream that people are wrong.

I explain how. I cite evidence. I construct counter-factual situations to elaborate upon other people's suppositions. I do numerous things.

Yes. I should be nicer, but my problem is that when I examine other's people points of view on this particular issue, they're just plainly incoherent. Furthermore, I find this particular issue to be exceedingly tiresome because for far too many people (albeit not you) it's turned into the worst sort of self-assured group-think.

superjawes wrote:See how this is going nowhere? I've worked through my logic, I've tried to see things from your point of view, but you keep flipping tables every time a make a point that doesn't fit your specific understanding or description of how the world works.


But the argument of "perspectives" only goes so far. At some point there is indeed a real world, full of real things that have real interactions.

What am I saying is that numerous people have not only fundamentally misunderstood that world and how it works, but that they frequently don't even read my statements correctly. To the point where they attempt to refute things I've explicitly disclaimed numerous times. That's frustrating.

superjawes wrote:If your purpose was to "educate" people so that we can see things from your point of view, you are severely undermined by your tone.


Well, sure. But that's (unfortunately) nothing new.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:49 am

Glorious wrote:I am unhappy because it ghettoizes the internet.


Could you elaborate on this?

I mean, what are your fears/hopes wrt the whole situation, what should ISPs, transit providers, the FCC, etc, ideally do?

Given what little I understand, this deal seems to paint dark skies over the transit business (and/or it incentivizes further consolidation of backbones and ISPs).
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:46 am

Jambe wrote:Could you elaborate on this?

I mean, what are your fears/hopes wrt the whole situation, what should ISPs, transit providers, the FCC, etc, ideally do?


Let's start with a practical suggestion: The FTC should disallow any Comcast/Time-warner merger. Period. The FTC should not allow the giant ISPs to become anymore gigantic through acquisitions as opposed to attracting new customers. This isn't just ideal, it's something completely within the Government's power and the Government should absolutely prevent it without question.

Onto my ideal world: ISPs shouldn't be in the business, either provided for "free" (e.g. OpenConnect) or provided by fee (e.g. the recent Comcast-Netflix deal), of hosting content providers on their internal network for the sole purpose of reaching their internal customers. That situation is what I refer to as a ghetto. I'll explain more later.

I only favor the idea of Netflix paying for internal hosting as opposed to Netflix getting it for "free" via "OpenConnect" because:

1) OpenConnect isn't Open. It is simply a big player trying to get a special deal only for themselves solely by virtue of their size and clout. That's 100% the type of anti-competitive, 'Big Bad Business" behavior everyone loves to condemn. It's not magically different because we like Netflix and hate Comcast. It's a hideous misnomer of a clearly monopolistic action.

2) Money is fungible. If Netflix was hosted for free, that means that Comcast alone bears the cost. If Comcast isn't allowed to charged for "tiered service", that automatically, inevitably, and irrefutably means that the cost will just be amortized across all of Comcast's current internet subscribers, regardless of whether or not those subscribers equally subscribe to Netflix. In other words, by saying that Comcast should host Netflix for free and that Comcast can't specifically charge customers for using it, you've just turned Netflix's costs into the generic cost of connecting to the internet for Comcast subscribers! Which is unfair because it 1) means people who don't use it pay for it and 2) Netflix makes a larger profit because I doubt they're going to drop their fees to match. In effect, we're talking about a transfer payment between non-Netflix using Comcast Customers and Netflix shareholders, and people, ludicrously, see this situation as PRO-CONSUMER and ANTI-MONOPOLIST! :o :o :o

3) "Free" doesn't exist. TANSTAAFL. I'm sick of calls that regulators should enforce utterly absurd impossibilities, or that people should support the same. It's dangerous, misguided, and actually somewhat insane. I'm not trying to take this into R & P, but we already have IRS agents making people swear oaths on penalty of perjury that they didn't make common sense market decisions that completely fall within the purview of Judge Hand's famous dictum on tax avoidance. Leaving aside the infeasibility of any such certainty, or the inherent ambiguity, this facile approach to regulation should be "considered harmful." :wink:

But, ultimately, I am opposed to the idea paid or unpaid. I'm just saying that if it is going to happen, it'd better be paid. However, I don't think it should happen *AT ALL* because:

4) It damages the "internet" and turns it into a bunch of ghettos. The internet is literally defined as a "global system of interconnected computer networks." What Netflix is trying to do damages the "internet" because it removes much of the need for those interconnections in the first place. If all the big drivers of bandwidth cut special deals for intranet hosting, that means the "internet" doesn't grow, just the Verizon network, the Comcast Network, or the $BIG_ISP network. Instead of numerous different providers, commercial AND residential, constantly growing and increasing their connections to each other, the individual networks will just become beefier and jam-packed with internally-hosted content providers. The following is far-fetched and ridiculous, but it illustrates a real temptation: What if Netflix ceases to bother to have an internet presence at all, and is only available via the various ISP intranets? What if they then offer to help alleviate IPv4 Address Space Exhaustion by claiming some IP range (maybe even a currently non-routable one) and then just letting each individual network independently route to it? That's the sort of "ghetto" I am talking about: where members of each network are essentially stuck within that network, with numerous restrictions on their ability to get out of it. It's a troublesome trend, rendered terrifying because many of the people who think they are fighting against it are literally helping it come about!

5) It is anti-competitive. This is related to 4, but more specific. You see, Netflix is using Comcast (or vice versa) to leverage Comcast's captured residential customer base. This means that commercial ISPs, like Cogent, are at a competitive disadvantage because generally speaking commercial customers (unlike residential customers) have a lot of choice in how they get their internet. It isn't because Cogent is inherently inefficient, or any other market force, but rather because Cogent doesn't have any way to chain its customers to its services like Comcast and the other big ISPs. Netflix and Comcast shouldn't be able to effectively steal Cogent's business because they can take advantage of customers who don't have much of a market choice. That's not only bad form, but unhealthy for the internet at large.

5A? The continuing bifurcation of "residential" versus "commercial" internet annoys me, because I like the idea that there shouldn't be any (well... port 25, etc... yeah ok) difference between the two. Indeed, I (and many others on this forum) regularly rely on that concept. The diminution of commercial-class internet towards ISPs doing it directly for their customers will likely increase the forces encouraging the emergence of internet-access "classes" in which residential customers have a diminished and more restricted "content-receiver" class of connection. This is a greater trend and more complicated, but what we are talking about here will definitely help tip the wrong side of the scale. No thanks, that would really suck for me.

6) It removes an essential positive externality. When everyone is increasingly building interconnects with everyone else, we all benefit from the enhanced connectivity. Netflix isn't doing it for us, but it's obviously a very big driver behind the the growth of those interconnects. Unlike a negative externality, where the people bear the ill-effects of business processes that have nothing to do with them, a positive externality is where people bear the good effects of business processes that have nothing to do with them. The growth of internet infrastructure is a boon for everyone, a net benefit for society. It's hard to appreciate, understand, or even scope how huge that effect is, but I think it's MASSIVE and that we probably won't properly appreciate it until it's gone (which hopefully won't ever happen). Just an example: What if, a decade or so ago, the predecessors of Netflix had done something similar in regards to the networks of their day? What if AOL's model of self-hosting had won out (remember keywords?) and all the big sites of the day the internet were individually hosted within each ISP network? :o The internet, as we understand it, would likely not exist. Heck, Netflix probably wouldn't exist (it started with mailed DVDs, but only and explicitly as a bootstrap to the "watch instantly" concept. Hence the name NETflix, which hasn't changed since its inception)!

Jambe wrote:Given what little I understand, this deal seems to paint dark skies over the transit business (and/or it incentivizes further consolidation of backbones and ISPs).


Yes, it does. But that's only more true if Netflix managed to get the same deal for free (OpenConnect)!

That's my frustration. People think the problem is that Netflix had to pay! NO! The problem is the deal, paid or unpaid, which paid actually being slightly better.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:01 pm

Thanks for writing! I think I grok the ghetto thing. That last sentence threw me, though...

4 seems to be a pretty tough issue. Calling back to your "ideal world" para, what you're saying (correct me if I'm wrong) is essentially that transit/backbone entities need protection from what seems like a natural tendency for media distributors and ISPs to get as close together as possible. Do I follow correctly? In this specific Netflix/Comcast deal, Cogent got shafted because Comcast could offer Netflix a better deal in Comcast's intranet than Cogent could offer them in terms of transit. Right? We like to read conspiracies into everything, but I have no trouble imagining that the natural course of the market can just produce shtty results sometimes, no connivance necessary.

Do you think e.g. Verizon's acquisition of MCI was good? I think it's prudent to worry about a future in which ISPs own most or all of the net infrastructure in broad regions, but surely that's already the case in some areas, or at least damn-near it. Am I wrong about that? Do we need a bit of vigorous T.R.-esque trustbusting?

On a related note: what do you make of the municipal broadband/wireless stuff constantly in the news?
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:22 pm

My data supports my decision making.

Comcast (quoted as a 20mbps connection to the internet) provided me with an approximately .66mpbs connection to Netflix.
Local crappy DSL service (quoted as a 3mpbs connection to the internet) provides me with a ~ 2.0mbps connection to Netflix.
I did this study over a couple of days. At Peak hours Comcast was not providing enough Quality of Service to support any Netflix viewing.

If Netflix were shorting on their end, how come it works better on the slower carrier? They have the capacity.

Throttling aside, motives given competing content aside, I consider myself lucky to be able to have competition that provides me with a minimally acceptable alternative service. That said, I'm not getting the portion of the internet that Comcast doesn't compete with nearly as quickly. 3mbps is slow, it's "not great" (swear filter dodge) that Comcast holds my market hostage to an order of magnitude speed gap. If only LTE didn't have two orders of magnitude lower cap than I need to support my home.

My opinion is that a company should not be able to advertise the sale of a connection speed to the internet if you cannot provide that connection speed to something on the internet. In other words, the internet is not just the "last mile" of service. If only the False Claims Act, or something with equal legal footing, could be used against ISPs.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:44 am

SpotTheCat wrote:My data supports my decision making.


Hey, whatever works for you, works for you. That's obviously inarguable.

SpotTheCat wrote:Comcast (quoted as a 20mbps connection to the internet) provided me with an approximately .66mpbs connection to Netflix.
Local crappy DSL service (quoted as a 3mpbs connection to the internet) provides me with a ~ 2.0mbps connection to Netflix.
...
If Netflix were shorting on their end, how come it works better on the slower carrier? They have the capacity.


Because, as I've been saying, the problem might be Netflix's connection to Comcast.

Just as an example, I could have a 100 gigabit connection to the internet, but if the person I'm communicating with is on a 56k modem, that won't help me, will it?

You ask why the one carrier works better than the other, well, again, there are different networks involved and the connection from Netflix might be better from one than it is from the other. It's easy to wave your hand and say "the internet!" or "the cloud!" but in either case there is a physical reality lying underneath.

SpotTheCat wrote:Throttling aside, motives given competing content aside, I consider myself lucky to be able to have competition that provides me with a minimally acceptable alternative service. That said, I'm not getting the portion of the internet that Comcast doesn't compete with nearly as quickly. 3mbps is slow, it's "not great" (swear filter dodge) that Comcast holds my market hostage to an order of magnitude speed gap.


Again, you are blindly assuming that Comcast *MUST* be the problem, when 1) Netflix's CEO doesn't say that and 2) facts on the ground suggest heavily otherwise.

So, <shrug>. Believe whatever you want, I guess.

SpotTheCat wrote:My opinion is that a company should not be able to advertise the sale of a connection speed to the internet if you cannot provide that connection speed to something on the internet. In other words, the internet is not just the "last mile" of service. If only the False Claims Act, or something with equal legal footing, could be used against ISPs.


Again, the "internet" is not some monolithic entity and thus what you are saying is technologically facile. If you want to try and sue Comcast in court because you don't have a full 20 megabits of bandwidth to some Pakistani goat-herder using RFC 1149, have fun. :wink:
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:23 pm

Lets revive a few points. Comcast is now being paid by the consumer, the service provider that sends out said Netflix traffic, and also paid by Netflix directly. That's 3 separate parties. Comcast is now effectively paid by the receiver, the sender, and the middle-man.

I don't see how that is remotely justifiable. That's JUST for Netlfix traffic as well. So should Google start paying Comcast for Youtube (as well as all the internet bandwidth providers that host Youtube traffic) as well? And Hulu? Where does the absurdity stop?

Also, in reply to an old post: cable ISPs do have plenty of bandwidth to spare... just look at TWC in Austin, TX. With Google Fiber now rolling out TWC overnight increased every service tier by anywhere from 50% to six times it's former level, and upload bandwidth by as much as 4x. Which is ironic given the lowest tier had a 5GB data cap a month back in 2012... http://www.pcworld.com/article/2099908/ ... looms.html
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:16 am

Kougar wrote:Lets revive a few points. Comcast is now being paid by the consumer, the service provider that sends out said Netflix traffic, and also paid by Netflix directly. That's 3 separate parties. Comcast is now effectively paid by the receiver, the sender, and the middle-man.


Nope.

The whole point of the Netflix deal is that since they are hosted on Comcast's internal network they don't need to go through Cogent to get to Comcast anymore.

So, the consumer pays Comcast and Netflix pays Comcast for the internal hosting, which must have been cheaper for Netflix than paying Cogent otherwise Netflix wouldn't have done it.

Kougar wrote:I don't see how that is remotely justifiable. That's JUST for Netlfix traffic as well. So should Google start paying Comcast for Youtube (as well as all the internet bandwidth providers that host Youtube traffic) as well? And Hulu? Where does the absurdity stop?


When people stop pretending the internet is "free."

It isn't.

All of those services have to pay their own service providers to transit to the various consumer ISP networks (like Netflix used to pay cogent to get to Comcast). It's easy to think of the internet in the abstract; of just a bunch of virtual lines intersecting clouds and iconographic computers. But, in concrete reality, someone has to buy and maintain both the switching capacity and the real communication lines that run between it. That is tremendously expensive, and the INTERnet, as the name itself suggests, is just a bunch of INTERconnected NETworks. It isn't some entity conceptually separate from those networks, on the contrary, it's merely the collective aggregation of all them, most of which are privately owned.

Hence, someone was ALWAYS paying someone else. The idea that Comcast is double, or triple charging, assumes that internet is just some monolithically indivisible commons instead of the aggregation, through collective agreement and negotiation, of bunch of independently controlled networks.

In other words, Netflix doesn't really exist "out in the cloud." Your packets aren't just shot out into the namelessly ineffable aether and magically received and returned via the same. There isn't some great 10' wide cable trunk labeled "TEH INTARWEBZ" that Netflix built a giant facility around and gets to use for free! Even if that was true, where would the trunk even go? Again, when they draw network diagrams those clouds are conceptual simplifications, not depictions of physical reality. :wink:

Kougar wrote:Also, in reply to an old post: cable ISPs do have plenty of bandwidth to spare... just look at TWC in Austin, TX. With Google Fiber now rolling out TWC overnight increased every service tier by anywhere from 50% to six times it's former level, and upload bandwidth by as much as 4x. Which is ironic given the lowest tier had a 5GB data cap a month back in 2012... http://www.pcworld.com/article/2099908/ ... looms.html


More competition is always a good thing. :)

But, honestly, what you are talking about is a separate problem, known as the last mile. It's not related to the problem of peering/network neutrality.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:31 pm

Glorious wrote:
Kougar wrote:Lets revive a few points. Comcast is now being paid by the consumer, the service provider that sends out said Netflix traffic, and also paid by Netflix directly. That's 3 separate parties. Comcast is now effectively paid by the receiver, the sender, and the middle-man.


Nope.

The whole point of the Netflix deal is that since they are hosted on Comcast's internal network they don't need to go through Cogent to get to Comcast anymore.


That's incorrect on both points. Comcast isn't hosting anything from Netflix. They simply agreed to a direct connection between Comcast and Netflix's servers, cutting out transit providers entirely. Netflix actually offered the options of direct peering, caching, or locally hosted servers before all this and had been repeatedly turned down by Comcast.

Secondly, Congent/Level 3 still have to pay regardless of Netflix caving in to demands. http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... -networks/ & http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03 ... isp-tolls/ In particular Netflix still has to pay Congent, Level 3, and anyone else it uses for traffic distribution because Comcast does not serve all of Netflix's customers.

Glorious wrote:When people stop pretending the internet is "free."

It isn't.


Of course it isn't free. Netflix pays its transit providers, and we pay both the ISP and Netflix. Transit providers have arrangements at the internet backbone. And I believe ISPs pay a little back into the Internet backbone. Comcast had a final net income of $6.8 Billion last year, and that will only go up this year after more middle-men and Netflix agreed to pay up. Yet Comcast refused to upgrade it's own infrastructure to handle the loads until Netflix agreed to pay up just to allow the direct connection.

By your argument, how are Cogent, Level 3, and other transit providers supposed to function economically if they are required to pay every single last mile ISP connected at any point down the chain from them? If their only source of income is their source of traffic yet they are required to pay for their own internet infrastructure + fees to a dozen ISPs, that's going to make internet services a lot more expensive. AT&T and Verizon are already forcing transit providers into their own payment arrangements using the same delayed infrastructure upgrade tactics that Comcast pulled. This isn't how internet economics work when transit providers connect at the other end to the internet backbone.

I don't see it any different than a toll road. Lets say I build a toll road, and charge the traffic going between two cities. My toll road functions as a transit provider between the cities and is no different than Congent or Level 3 as they provide the underlying infrastructure that gets data traffic from Netflix to ISPs. So as the toll road owner I'd be paying one of the cities (IE Comcast) just to have my toll road feeding their city traffic. That's just absurd. The economics seemed fine until Comcast decided $6.8 Billion in pure profit wasn't enough to warranty upgrading its own infrastructure, and used that to blackmail both transit providers and Netflix. Next up may be Youtube, or probably even Valve's Steam service. Given every single Dota 2 update consumes 3% of total mobile + land based internet traffic for a brief period, I'm sure Steam would be a very tempting next target.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:53 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/t-rejects-netflix ... ector.html
AT&T Sr. Exec. VP Jim Cicconi wrote: "As we all know, there is no free lunch, and there's also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix."
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:31 pm

Kougar wrote:That's incorrect on both points. Comcast isn't hosting anything from Netflix. They simply agreed to a direct connection between Comcast and Netflix's servers, cutting out transit providers entirely. Netflix actually offered the options of direct peering, caching, or locally hosted servers before all this and had been repeatedly turned down by Comcast.


However it is done, they are now have direct access to Comcast's internal network. I *explicitly* said that they weren't paying for transit anymore, I was just wrong about the hosting actually being internal. Thanks for informing me, but there isn't any material difference.

Kougar wrote:Secondly, Congent/Level 3 still have to pay regardless of Netflix caving in to demands. http://arstechnica.com/information-tech ... -networks/ & http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/03 ... isp-tolls/ In particular Netflix still has to pay Congent, Level 3, and anyone else it uses for traffic distribution because Comcast does not serve all of Netflix's customers.


Yes. Which is why I EXPLICITLY SAID: "they don't need to go through Cogent to get to Comcast anymore."

:roll:

If you are going to "correct" me, it'd help if either had a material point to make or, you know, an actually correct one. :wink:

Kougar wrote:Of course it isn't free. Netflix pays its transit providers, and we pay both the ISP and Netflix. Transit providers have arrangements at the internet backbone. And I believe ISPs pay a little back into the Internet backbone. Comcast had a final net income of $6.8 Billion last year, and that will only go up this year after more middle-men and Netflix agreed to pay up. Yet Comcast refused to upgrade it's own infrastructure to handle the loads until Netflix agreed to pay up just to allow the direct connection.


I've addressed this argument, and all you guys ever do is just repeat it endlessly without even once addressing my criticism.

Glorious wrote:Sure, and it *might* just be Cogent. Why? Because perhaps Cogent isn't interested in spending massive amounts of money upgrading its interconnects with Comcast and Verizon for the benefit of one really big customer that is EXPLICITLY trying to jump ship and cut Cogent out of the loop via "OpenConnect."

You see, if I were Cogent, I'd be asking for *BIG* money to do those sort of upgrades, because I'd be deathly afraid of being left holding the bag!

Netflix wouldn't want to pay, because it's trying to get out of that situation in favor of "OpenConnect." And so, the performance of the existing interconnects would slowly degrade under the weight of increasing traffic without concomitant upgrades.


Kougar wrote:By your argument, how are Cogent, Level 3, and other transit providers supposed to function economically if they are required to pay every single last mile ISP connected at any point down the chain from them? If their only source of income is their source of traffic yet they are required to pay for their own internet infrastructure + fees to a dozen ISPs, that's going to make internet services a lot more expensive. AT&T and Verizon are already forcing transit providers into their own payment arrangements using the same delayed infrastructure upgrade tactics that Comcast pulled. This isn't how internet economics work when transit providers connect at the other end to the internet backbone.


:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

DUDE: The WHOLE POINT of this arrangement, from Netflix's point of view, is to CUT OUT Cogent et al. Heck, Netflix was originally trying to get out of having to pay anyone!

And, now, suddenly, this is about how you supposedly care about Cogent? :roll: :roll: :roll:

Do you understand what this is even about?!?

kougar wrote:I don't see it any different than a toll road. Lets say I build a toll road, and charge the traffic going between two cities. My toll road functions as a transit provider between the cities and is no different than Congent or Level 3 as they provide the underlying infrastructure that gets data traffic from Netflix to ISPs. So as the toll road owner I'd be paying one of the cities (IE Comcast) just to have my toll road feeding their city traffic. That's just absurd. The economics seemed fine until Comcast decided $6.8 Billion in pure profit wasn't enough to warranty upgrading its own infrastructure, and used that to blackmail both transit providers and Netflix. Next up may be Youtube, or probably even Valve's Steam service. Given every single Dota 2 update consumes 3% of total mobile + land based internet traffic for a brief period, I'm sure Steam would be a very tempting next target.


I'm sorry, but Comcast's profit level isn't exactly an argument by itself.

And, as I've said ENDLESSLY the Last Mile problem is, not, AT ALL, the same issue as Network Neutrality. Furthermore, as I've said, REPEATEDLY, falsely conflating the two is only going to make what you fear MORE LIKELY. :(
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