The FCC is considering changes to the US version of Net Neutrality which they will be reviewing 05/15/2014 and expect to put in place before EOY 2014.
The proposed changes (and there have been numerous attempts to change the rules) include some sweeping alterations to this concept as it's implemented in the USA.Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
There are several interpretations of what's coming down the internet pipe with these changes.
QoS Slices (Quality of Service). If you pay more you get more.
This means that if you want faster uploads or data throughput, you can buy a package from your ISP with the "improved" times.
It also means that "customers" like, Netflix, Google, Facebook and other mega corporations will be able to buy QoS Slices for their products. Which means you get your streaming movie from Netflix faster. Sounds pretty good.
But and there's always a but...
If you are a smaller company who cannot buy a big QoS slice, they won't be technically slower than they are now, but they will surely seem that way.
Also, if you are a end-user and your ISP wants to charge you more, you will get a nice notice detailing this (provided by the rules) but if you only have one ISP that services your area, you will have little recourse about paying the rate if you wish to remain connected.
Will Turbine be able to buy a bigger QoS slice than WoW or SWTOR? Would it make a difference? Maybe on the initial download of the program but perhaps not in other ways. Many of the "lag" issues are issues of graphic updates in the PC and not caused by problems with the QoS level of the existing pipe. Even if Turbine buys into a higher QoS slice, the download speed of the client is still a bottleneck. They might be forced to buy into a bigger QoS slice, just to avoid the "appearance" of being a slow connection.
If every company buys into a bigger QoS slice, the pipeline remains the same as today. The object of this rule is to allow some companies to move their data faster than others. It's a restriction for those who cannot afford to buy in and a big perk to those that can.
The added expenses for companies like Netflix for buying that big pipe QoS slice will be paid for out of the CEO's bonus? Right? LOL! Someone will pay and it won't be the CEO of Netflix. You can very well guess who will be funding the new Net Not-Neutral Rules to be adopted in the US.
(* formatting went wonky on the C&P you can check the official FCC blog directly for correct format if it looks odd)
Setting the Record Straight on the FCC’s Open Internet Rules
by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman April 24, 2014 fcc.gov
There has been a great deal of misinformation that has recently surfaced regarding the draft Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that we will today circulate to the Commission.
The Notice proposes the reinstatement of the Open Internet concepts adopted by the Commission in 2010 and subsequently remanded by the D.C. Circuit. The Notice does not change the underlying goals of transparency, no blocking of lawful content, and no unreasonable discrimination among users established by the 2010 Rule. The Notice does follow the roadmap established by the Court as to how to enforce rules of the road that protect an Open Internet and asks for further comments on the approach.
It is my intention to conclude this proceeding and have enforceable rules by the end of the year.
To be very direct, the proposal would establish that behavior harmful to consumers or competition by limiting the openness of the Internet will not be permitted.
Incorrect accounts have reported that the earlier policies of the Commission have been abandoned. Two points are relevant here:
- The Court of Appeals made it clear that the FCC could stop harmful conduct if it were found to not be “commercially reasonable.” Acting within the constraints of the Court’s decision, the Notice will propose rules that establish a high bar for what is “commercially reasonable.” In addition, the Notice will seek ideas on other approaches to achieve this important goal consistent with the Court’s decision. The Notice will also observe that the Commission believes it has the authority under Supreme Court precedent to identify behavior that is flatly illegal.
- It should be noted that even Title II regulation (which many have sought and which remains a clear alternative) only bans “unjust and unreasonable discrimination.”
The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the “commercially unreasonable” test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity.
To be clear, this is what the Notice will propose:
- That all ISPs must transparently disclose to their subscribers and users all relevant information as to the policies that govern their network;
- That no legal content may be blocked; and
- That ISPs may not act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.