I’m listening to the House debate on the Markey Amendment with the fraudulent “net neutrality” regulations. Listening to these guys describe the Internet is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever experienced, like the blind men and the elephant.

Some yahoo from W. Va. is talking about a “two-lane Internet” now. Like a one-lane road is better? His poor momma.

Guy from Texas says “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Amen.

Inslee from WA. says there’s a non-discrimination principle in the DNA of the Internet, that all bits are equal. He better not learn about the TOS header, or check the ping times between yahoo and everybody else.

Lady from Tennessee, Blackburn, says Markey bites because she Googled net neutrality and nobody can agree what it means. She must have read hit #1, Wikipedia. Check it out.

Anna Eshoo, one of my former representatives, is drooling about equal access and “profound change to the Internet”. She doesn’t understand the difference between speed and QoS. It’s about The Future, dude. Google’s bitch is calling Republicans crooks. Takes one to know one.

Charlie Gonzales is talking to bloggers: “this is not about you”. And he’s right, it’s about Google and Yahoo. Markey takes sides, choosing Google over the Internet. He also says it’s driven by hostility to the phone company, there’s no doubt about that.

Dingell lies about the Markey Amendment, saying it preserves the status quo. Sorry, dude, but there is no law today, nor has their been on in the past, forbidding QoS tiering. This is the fictitious history that Google’s coalition has written for the Internet.

Ferguson says Markey’s Amendment is a solution in search of a problem, and they don’t know what the neutrality word means. He’s also against common carriage price controls, but that’s sort of tangential because Markey goes way overboard. He talks about Network Neutering. He’s a hero.

Some other dude points out that Markey’s approach regulates the Internet. They’re running out of speakers in support of the Amendment.

Democrat Gene Green says the Four Freedoms are in the bill, and says Markey means higher prices for consumers, Google gets a free ride. HDTV takes bandwidth. Right on.

Markey is down to his last speaker, himself. He says the debate is a travesty. His amendment is the travesty. Now he’s drooling about car dealerships, Ferraris, and toll booths. He misrepresents his amendment as “preserving the status quo.” That’s more like horses than cars, dude. Fundamental change is happening, and we don’t want that, do we? Oh, and our choices? Forget it, you need to pay for access to the Internet. Preserve the status quo! Moron.

Barton is doing the close. He points out that “net neutrality” the term didn’t exist nine months ago, and nobody knows what it means. We all want an open Internet, and we all want broadband. So how do we get it, by shackling the phone companies with a flat fee structure, how do you get that? Markey says a Ferrari has to sell for the same price as the Taurus.

Let’s get the US in the broadband game, dude. That’s real Net Neutrality. Great close.

Markey Amendment fails on a voice vote.
Excellent! Conyers the clown wants a recorded vote, a fundraising ploy.

That was the best 10-minute debate I ever heard. The votes and all that will be updated shortly.

9 thoughts on “Smackdown!”

  1. Here is the post I’d like to read from you — how do you (personally) benefit from a monopoly? How do you benefit from the worst IP connectivity in the 1st world? How do you propose to solve the problem that the government has created a telecom OPEC right here in the US that can dictate price and quality to us as individual consumers? Are you an AT&T stockholder? An employee? How are you benefiting? Your vitriol isn’t rational. The arguments sound like the kind of thing that AT&T PR agencies dream up.

    Net Neutrality might not be the smartest rallying cry, but there is a problem here. The givernment has given the telecommunications companies monopoly access to our homes, via right of ways and subsidies. In exchange we used to regulate them. The regulations are going away. So you’ll have unregulated monopolies. That hasn’t EVER worked. What is your solution to getting fair pricing, high quality service, and accountability for their actions from the telecommunications industry?

  2. I’m a network engineer and inventor. I invented the twisted-pair & active hub system for Ethernet that you use today, and for past decade I’ve been working on Quality of Service for home networks, wireless networks, and the Internet. I know enough about packet networks and QoS to recognize that the regulatory scheme proposed by the Googoo-turf alliance was totally inadequate even for its stated purpose.

    The problem wasn’t the poor rallying cry, it was a failure to grasp the essential points of the problem.

    Trying to discredit my points of view by speculating about my employer shows how bankrupt your whole approach to this issue is. And for the record, I have no connection to AT&T or any other phone company.

    PS: Two companies competing for business in one market is not a “monopoly”.

  3. Richard, I’ve been reading your blog during most of the Net Neutrality debate and now that the legislation issue seems be quieting down I’d like to hear your opinion on something.

    If some sort of traffic prioritization is in the future of the internet then should the ISP’s be the ones who get to determine which traffic gets put on the priority tier? Is there a way for content providers themselves to indicate that the type of data they are sending out requires cleaner bandwidth and for the ISP’s to use that flag to tier that traffic? This would seem to keep the ISP’s out of a ‘gatekeeper’ role.

    In my opinion, if the ISP’s open up the prioritization process to content providers then it would go a long way towards making it seem like they are not interested in prioritization just for the money.

    — Tom

  4. Richard: I accept your statement at face value – that you are not a paid shill of the telecoms. Sorry to accuse you but the fact is that there are now MANY “astroturf” bloggers and commenters out there, paid by telecom. This is a great example of what scares me about giving complete control over this precious part of our future to one (ok two) companies.

    Tom has a good point – love to hear your response. I wrote about this on my blog as well. Packet prioritization is not in itself the problem. The problem is WHO gets to decide which packets are prioritized. Why should AT&T decide that their VoIP traffic gets prioritized and the service I buy from SunRocket gets degraded? Why shouldn’t I as the consumer get to decide?

    To the point about “two companies” not being a monopoly, here is a tidbit from an economics website on Duopolies:

    duopoly theory (1838)

    First posited by French economist Antoine Augustin Cournot (1801-1877), duopoly theory examines the interaction of two firms in a market: each firm’s output and prices are determined by the decisions of the other.

    Cournot’s model examined the reactions of the firms based on their output decisions, concluding that if one firm altered its output the other firm would also change its output by the same quantity.

    Eventually both firms would expand to an equilibrium point at which they would share the market and only retain normal profits.

    A later model by Joseph Bertrand (1822-1900) concentrated on price changes and concluded that if one firm altered its price and the other firm followed, both firms would eventually reach a position from which neither would wish to depart (equilibrium).

  5. Tom, in the QoS systems I work on, the client is the one who specifies the QoS parameters that the network enforces. This is the model we use with WiFi and with DiffServ on the Internet. So the whole picture is like this: you subscribe to your ISPs QoS service, and that entitles you a certain bandwidth allocation per day or per month.

    When you use a QoS-enabled service, such as TV streaming or VoIP, your software tells your ISP that you’re going to use X bps in chunks of Y bytes. The ISP tells you OK, and you start your stream, and then you tell him when you’re done. While your stream is blasting out or back or out and back, the ISP does an accounting and if you go over quota they either bump up your allocation or spread your stream across normal and high-priority queues.

    There’s no way the ISP should be deciding whether a given stream will have QoS or not, because he can’t even know what the application’s requirements are unless somebody tells him. This model also should work if initiated by the other end, obviously.

    This doesn’t strike me as scary, but I suspect ignorance of how QoS streams are setup and managed is one the main things that scares Neuts.

  6. Right, tshelton, a duopoly isn’t the ideal configuration, but we already have multiple choices for TV with cable and satellite, and the potential of wireless broadband as well.

    We only have two choices for broadband in most markets because people are basically satisfied with them, not because it’s technically impossible to add a third and a fourth. What do you suppose the practical limit is for broadband alternatives? I’d guess it’s somewhere around three or four.

  7. Richard, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Would you be up for expanding on what you mean by this: “There’s no way the ISP should be deciding whether a given stream will have QoS or not’? Isn’t this what the discussion is about? ISP’s determining who gets to have those QoS type agreements?

    I don’t have a problem with your, or anyone’s, improved architecture of the internet; my concern is with entities such as ISP striking deals that allow QoS with their partners but not with competitors. Would an ISP be right or wrong if they choose to respect DiffServ markers of their partner’s traffic but not of their competitors?

  8. I’m not opposed to ISPs making contractual agreements to provide QoS-enabled services to anybody who wants to buy one, I’m just saying that traffic classification based on stream contents is an inexact science. NSPs already provide different service levels to their various customers and have for a long time. This is part of today’s “neutral” Internet.

    I think an ISP has the right to handle DiffServ markers any way they want, because before you use DiffServ you’re supposed to do some specifying of the stream. If you’re requesting a service level you haven’t contracted for, you don’t get to use it unless the other guy pays for it. The only issue I have with this is a truth-in-advertising one. If you’ve paid for QoS and requested it appropriately, then you better get it. If you haven’t paid for it and they give it to you anyway, that’s their choice but they aren’t required.

    But I don’t have a problem with tiered service agreements, you see.

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