[opendtv] Re: Commissioner Clyburn: What Happens Next with Net Neutrality?
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2017 08:25:41 -0500
On Dec 22, 2017, at 7:46 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
I donâ€™t mind "paid prioritization," for the Internet access part of the
bandwidth from the ISP, as long as the user is paying. For example, in
principle, a household should be able to decide which of the services it uses
should be given priority, say in a large household.
Wow. Bert is starting to move on and look at the REALITY of where we are headed
with respect to Net Neutrality.
Sadly it looks like Commissioner Clyburn won’t let go. She continues to offer
nothing but false narratives and fear mongering, as is apparent if you read
this release. SAD.
The issue of paid prioritization is multi-faceted and complex - many common
practices have been called paid prioritization - for example Comcast placing
Netflix edge servers in their facilities.
Some have said that the provisioning of inter networking bandwidth for
streaming services is a form of paid prioritization. For example, some claim
new start-ups will not be able to compete with the big streaming services that
use CDNs, or build out their own distributed platforms, like Apple, Google,
Amazon, and others, who are building data centers around the world.
It’s called the cost of doing business. Nobody hosts complex websites and
services for free. Amazon’s most profitable business is AWS - the back end for
all of the Amazon sites and for many competitors. As your online business
grows, the cost to host that business grows.
Here is another way to look at the issues, reported in 2016:
A new report from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory figures that those data centers use an enormous amount of energy —
some 70 billion kilowatt hours per year. That amounts to 1.8% of total
American electricity consumption. At an average cost of 10 cents per kwh, the
annual cost of all that juice is on the order of $7 billion.
Other estimates say as much as 7% of U.S. power consumption is related to the
Internet; the DOE report only looks at the power for the server farms, not the
modems, Wi-Fi and devices used by consumers. There are predictions that this
will increase to 20% of power consumption by 2030.
Somebody must pay for all of this. At the extreme, some Net Neutrality
proponents are advocating that the big edge providers, like Amazon, Google, et
al should subsidize the costs from smaller start-ups to level the playing
I guess you could call this corporate socialism. I call it Social Darwinism, as
it would require heavy handed government regulations and new taxes to
implement, which would just bog the entire Internet down...
Bert’s notion that a household could decide what they want prioritized is
interesting, but I’m not certain as to how it could be implemented at a
practical level. We saw the fake news about this kind of prioritization in
Portugal, but that whole thing smacks more of clever marketing than any actual
prioritization - i.e. you just pay to raise the data caps.
The other side of paid prioritization is when an edge provider helps to
subsidize its subscribers, rather than its competitors. My zero rated DirecTV
Now bits on AT&T cellular are a prime example. I don’t consider this
prioritization - I think of it as a “bundle” that provides lower cost since I
am buying multiple services.
The Net Neutrality zealots like to portray this as returning to the old “cable
model,” however, in reality many business use similar incentives. Amazon Prime
gives you “free” 2-day shipping, Prime Video, and other services in their
I also donâ€™t mind the concept that an IPTV service can give its IPTV
subscription service either a separate slice of spectrum, or a higher
priority level, than its Internet access ISP service. That distinction was
already made years ago by the FCC, and it was a good distinction to make. The
rules that apply to Internet access are separate from what applies to the
walled garden service.
Yup. It’s the way the hybrid fiber/coax systems work. But Bert raises an
interesting point. As the cable bundle faces new competition from VMVPD
services, should the industry do deals with Netflix, Apple, Amazon, et al to
provide a pipe that is separate from your broadband party-line service?
I’m still seeing significant QOS/buffering issues with DirecTV Now at random
times. I don’t know if this is local congestion or the WAN links from the
servers in Colorado. And I don’t know if AT&T is building out a Content
Delivery Network to deal with the wide area issues.
Clearly, as more and more people move to VMVPD and SVOD services, congestion on
the party line systems will become an issue. Then again, if these systems
dedicate more bandwidth to broadband and the speeds increase to gigabit, it is
likely that these issues will just go away, along with the data caps. The
cable guys are already looking over their shoulders at the coming competition
from wireless broadband, so it is unlikely they will do the kinds of things
Commissioner Clyburn is concerned about...
What should really piss people off is the idea that your monopolistic ISP
should start getting in bed with different Internet sites and services, like
these guys have a habit of doing with cable TV channels, also on their
Internet access ISP slice of spectrum. Deciding what users get to watch, in
what "bundles," at what price points. If we had ample choice of ISP, MAYBE.
Nothing has changed in terms of the relationship between the congloms and
program distributors, other than a few attempts to go direct, like Hulu. Even
here, the congloms are working with DirecTV Now, Sling-TV and Sony PS Vue. The
bundles will continue with one significant change. They will be smaller,
cheaper, and focused on networks people want, not hundreds of rerun channels.
For that people are moving to SVOD - any library program, any time, without ANY
As wireless broadband comes online, the competition will intensify, and new
forms of bundling will likely emerge. For certain we will see combined
cellular/fixed wireless broadband and content packages.
Comcast just announced they will invest $50 billion in a variety of projects.
No doubt this will include content at NBC Universal, improved broadband
infrastructure (possibly with overbuilds in some markets) and significant
investments in Wi-Fi and cellular to be able to compete with Verizon, AT&T and
the rest of the wireless telcos.
It is also worth noting that the cable guys are already getting in bed with the
streaming services in terms of co-location of edge servers, which is to be
expected AND DESIRED.
And for the naÃ¯ve people who claim that wonâ€™t happen, wake up. Even if
they resist their urge to play these games immediately, they have proven to
be unable to control themselves long term. Even going to the extreme of
bragging about it, in court.
It’s time to let go of all the fear mongering and contempt Bert.
You obviously do not understand how real competition works. Worse yet, you
don’t want real competition:
- you prefer for the government to regulate monopolies and oligopolies.
- you prefer to pay the monopoly rents that heavy handed regulation guarantees.
- you prefer to let regulators choose winners and losers, and to block and
Courts, do the right thing.
Chairman, we donâ€™t want Internet access to emulate the cable TV service you
seem infatuated with.
It does not and will not overall. TV is just one internet application that the
network is evolving to support. Many new applications will emerge as innovative
companies create the next big things, like autonomous vehicles, and the
Internet of Things.
The only thing the Chairman is enfatuated with Bert is DEREGULATION.
But you cannot change the characteristics of the well regulated oligopoly that
controls most of the content we watch. Their behavior is not going to
“fundamentally change” just because we are changing the underlying distribution
infrastructure. They will bundle, they will continue to place their best
content behind pay walls, and they will likely take over what is left of the
FOTA broadcast TV business when the ownership caps are raised by the Pai FCC.
Please step down and give the FCC back to the people, and not to your three
or four very special interests.
The FCC does not belong to the people Bert. It is an Executive Branch Agency
that has blocked, throttled and driven the cost of communications up for nearly
a century. All the while claiming that everything they do is “in the public
I agree that the agency is captured by special interests. That is what it was
designed to do. I gave the e-book version of “The Political Spectrum,” by
Thomas Hazlett, to several friends for Christmas.
Please read it Bert.
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