[PLUG-TALK] Netflix neutrality

Russell Senior russell at personaltelco.net
Wed Mar 4 01:05:50 PST 2015

>>>>> "Keith" == Keith Lofstrom <keithl at gate.kl-ic.com> writes:

Keith> "Keith" == Keith Lofstrom <keithl at gate.kl-ic.com> writes: You can
Keith> move as much video as you want - if you choose to distract
Keith> yourself rather than learn something, it is your life.

Russell> A street analogy might be appropriate here.  Streets are a
Russell> neutral platform.  There is a network of interconnections with
Russell> access to many locations.  A local street owner doesn't get to
Russell> decide that a particular destination is undesirable and then
Russell> deny access to the streets on the basis of your destination.
Russell> There aren't Subaru streets, Ford streets, and General Motors
Russell> streets.  The streets are common carriers.

Keith> That is /exactly/ why we must not confuse "net neutrality" with
Keith> "netflix neutrality".  Of course streets are common carriers, and
Keith> everybody with a driver's license and an approved vehicle can
Keith> drive on them.


Keith> Comcast and other carriers are not "penalizing" Netflix because
Keith> Netflix pushes movies rather than web pages.  The carriers are
Keith> reacting to the equivalent of million ton, thousand trailer
Keith> juggernauts going way faster than the speed limit without
Keith> yielding to other traffic.

Um, no.  Bits all go the same speed.  Einstein made rules about that.
Someone might send more, but that's because the carrier's *well* paying
customers asked for them.  The entire reason the FCC acted was because
the carriers were beginning to exercise their power (otherwise
unfettered) to interfere and play games with their customers ability to
access third-party services, and the court told the FCC that the timid
way they tried to regulate against this behavior before wasn't legal
(and actually pointed them at the part of the statute they could use,
title 2).

Comcast *wants* to push video.  Their network is *capable* of pushing
video.  It's when they want to decide whose video (or <insert-content>)
gets to arrive that they step over the line.

The FCC didn't go nearly far enough, but it was a step in the right
direction.  Line unbundling should be the next step.

Russell Senior, President
russell at personaltelco.net

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