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I want to share an interesting conversation. I just had about net neutrality
Specifically, some of the technical motivations, both both for net neutrality, as well as against net neutrality
And if you're looking for just an overview of net neutrality
This is maybe not the right video to start with. I would recommend a quick video from CGP Grey
Which I'll link to somewhere over there
and I have to say I generally agree with the sentiment in in that video and actually many of the the similar videos that are
Out there that they kind of give an overview of net neutrality
But I was recently chatting with with friend and fellow youtuber Grant from the channel 3Blue1Brown
which by the way you should definitely check out. He does a phenomenal job of explaining all sorts of complex mathematical concepts and
In a way that will really make anyone love math
But but anyway we were talking recently about why if it seems so obvious that net neutrality is such a good thing
Why is it so contentious? So anyway, we decided to record the conversation. It's totally unscripted so if if we got any of the details wrong,
I'm sure you can read all about it in the comments
So I definitely think I can play the role of someone who kind of knows what net neutrality is
But still has a lot of dumb questions to ask to help you maybe illustrate it for people, but okay just for me, right
We just get a broad overview. What what is net neutrality. I'm actually curious what you think net neutrality is because I think
Because it's one of these things that I think I mean there's a lot of videos
there's a lot of things out on the internet that talk about it, and it's
slightly different depending on who who you're listening to
Okay
My understanding is if my computer asks the server on the internet for a packet right now from someone write that
When it goes through the routers and like my internet service provider to me um
it is not like it's not allowed in some legal sense to
offer more resources more routing resources towards packets from some service
versus packets from another service and
Instead it has to be completely neutral to where they're coming from or what data they consist of in terms of the resources that that
rather that the Internet service providers resources
Get allocated. Yeah, yeah, that's
That's pretty good pretty good where am I wrong? I think I think that's actually a pretty good definition
Of net neutrality is done. We're now you're done. Yeah
So I know I think what's interesting is is the question of whether you actually want that?
Why wouldn't you?
Suppose that you are requesting a bunch of packets from the network that are harmful
new
To the to the network at large or cause harm to your neighbors. Let's say that they use shared infrastructure and the network
What's it like is this like a virus type thing?
What's an example of me so I think so I think a good example is something that actually happened which was
When BitTorrent came out as a peer-to-peer file sharing?
System Comcast was limiting or in some cases blocking in some cases actually
Aggressively shutting down
Traffic can you give a little overview of what BitTorrent is and why it's distinct from other?
Sure, so people might be familiar with yes, a bit torn is a peer-to-peer file sharing system, which is
So if I have a large file that I want to share with a bunch of other people I can
Create a little piece of information and put that all on the internet that says like hey
I have this file you can come to me and there's a tracker that sort of tracks who who has pieces of that file and
Originally, it's just going to be me you can connect me
And you can start to download that file for me
And then other people that want to download it can connect to me and you
Download part for me apart from you and as more and more people download the same file may become part of this
You know shared distribution so that when you know an additional person comes along and wants to download that file. They could connect to
Potentially hundreds of people that all have that file and download a little piece from each
And the nice thing about that is that?
The constraint is no longer the end-to-end connection between a server and a client
But it is the essentially just the connection between
the client and that client service provider because from that point they could be pulling in from
Multiple different sources so as long as all my nature neighbors have the movie that I want to bootleg
What could be your neighbors? It could be other other people on different parts of the Internet that are connected different providers?
You could pull down all sorts of pieces of that so there's a couple of things that are
unusual about that one is
You know when you're downloading a large file. You know that's fine
There's lots of cases use cases for that and your necessary writer to know the people will occasionally want download large files
Say the engineer their networks to support that
But what's different about? This is once you've downloaded that large file
You're now serving that large file, and if it's a very popular file and one of the biggest use cases of this was
you know
you know stealing copyrighted movies so very large files lots of people want it sort of the black market type thing and
Everyone's downloading pieces then so once you've downloaded that you're now a server and so you are now pumping out
Copies of that file kind of as fast as you can and that's harmful in the sense that it's costing you more
It's costing the internet service provider more because they have they have made the bet when they engineered their network that you're going to be
uploading and downloading occasionally sort of in a bursty fashion
And this new protocol when icky when it you know sort of became popular now meant that you are downloading?
continuously and uploading continuously
And their network just wasn't engineered to to support that and and so the assumptions that they made about
You know being able to aggregate your traffic with your neighbors traffic
Yeah, no longer held okay, that make sense and so now what you're doing is
You know one sends harmful to your neighbors, but the other sense you probably feel some
Need a sense of entitlement so while paying for this connection that I ought to be able to use it mm-hmm
and
I think that's you know a reasonable thing to think
And this is an example you were putting up in an isp in the past heads
So comcast actually did this so they so what they what they did is they said okay?
This is harmful to our network most of our customers
Aren't using BitTorrent?
The ones that are
Probably are using it for illegal movie sharing and things not everyone. There's there's legitimate uses for BitTorrent
But you know they sort of made the assumptions not many customers
it's not the bulk of our customers if we
Slow this down by you know identifying what try like his baton traffic and throttling it or
One thing they were doing is they were actually sending they were injecting
Packets that terminated the connection. Oh really and spoofing the source address of those packets really and so it would shut down yeah, huh?
So they were doing that she just like aggressively just stopped the tart traffic so that's not just like
It's not constraining the pipeline's for that particular service right they're aggressively just like trying to get it off the network
It was an attack yeah
It was an attack against their customers in a sense to back up to where when I give a definition
I definitely wasn't positive is it a legal thing net neutrality is that's something that Comcast is required by law to
Abide by so the network Allah is this concept that is essentially what you describe that
Package shouldn't be differentiated or slowed down there
Shouldn't be you know talk about this fast lanes versus slow lanes, so some traffic's throttled some traffic's not or some traffic is
You know queued more
Generously and so forth so it's sort of this principle and
there have been attempts to
Put it in regulations, okay, and so the FCC made several attempts to do this
that were challenged in court and
ultimately
Overturned by the the DC Circuit appeals court that said like you can't do this the way that in our service providers
The regulatory framework that they're in the FCC can't can't actually enforce these net neutrality principles
unless they were to recategorize Internet service providers as
title 2
Which would then sort of categorize them as a public utility?
Inc because I really don't know a lot here. Yeah, what are they currently categorized as well actually they're currently today
I mean in a couple days. We'll see but today. They're currently categorizes as title - no
it's not was something that was a few years ago and
The FCC did but prior to that they were categories of title one which meant their information service providers they weren't
They work like public utilities. I recognize
I'm revealing a certain level of ignorance and even asking that about what is going on so hopefully that's reflective of
People watching so that it's kind of the questions. It's pretty. Yes pretty wonky. Yeah, right right, but so that very likely could change
Yeah, it's very likely that they're going to go back to this title one
Where you know it essentially can't be regulated so to the birds at the time when Comcast was treating BitTorrent, differently, huh?
That was that was legal. That was that was legal for them to do that was legal. It was kind of sketchy
I mean, I would I would say it's kind of catchy cuz they were welcoming they were spoofing packets
They were shutting down connections, and they were telling anyone
That's like a slippery slope thing right like you can start with that with BitTorrent if you want sure
There's a certain trust that everyone using Comcast then has that
That's the only right like what else are they shutting down and what are ya and what other things and in their cases of?
You know I think AT&T for example. This is an in the mobile space
You know they they prevented. I think it's FaceTime from working on iPhones hmm or maybe Skype. I think both of different occasions
So so these voice over IP applications on the phone AT&T said yeah
You can't use that on an AT&T iPhone because we would prefer you to use the phone services of competition. It's constrained competition
Yeah, and you're like well instead of getting the thousand minute plan
I'll get the 500 minute plan and I'll use this voice over IP and I'll pay less and
and so-and-so 18t
Said yeah, we're not gonna. We're not gonna allow that traffic and again
That's that was legal that was legal, and then right now yeah today
today yeah
December what is it 11th December 12 12?
Yeah, it's not and then potentially December 15
That could become legal again
Okay, and so that's kind of what's what's at stake here. Here's what I want to hear from you
I feel like if you're on the internet
And you're at all familiar with net neutrality every single person is telling us like it is a good thing this is
There is no question about it right it is only for purely nefarious evil incarnate reasons that anyone would ever vote
Against net neutrality right right if I was to ask you to just put on your devil's advocate of dazzled advocate shoes here and actually
kind of voice
And that someone would not want a net neutrality does that exist is there a case to be made yeah there is
and actually the BitTorrent one is an interesting example because
The one hand it's sounds very nefarious. They're shutting down this traffic. This is things that users want
But they were I think Comcast when they were doing that they were looking at this as you know we are trying to protect
the vast majority of our customers because if if you are the one person in your neighborhood who's
using BitTorrent you could be
You know sort of choking off the service to all of your neighbors. It could be you know 200 of your neighbors
Who are sharing the same bandwidth in your neighborhood?
and
you know you're using all that up because the the
Assumptions that they made when they engineered the network is that no one would be doing that so here
I am trying to just like watch Netflix or something like that and because some neighbor of mine is bit torrenting and just
Uploading and downloading way more than anyone expected to I'm just getting crappy er service, right
Right good and so and so the thing that Comcast would then need to do to remedy that would be to expand the number capacity
In that neighborhood and someone's got to pay for that right so that would mean the bill for everyone in the neighborhood goes up
So that the one person who's who is like way off the charts in their usage
gets the same service
Or they push you into another plan right now this isn't that the case right? Why isn't it that the person?
Who's just uploading downloading way more than usual that his bill is enough to?
2-foot the extra costs that this is this is incurring on the ISP
Yes, this is tricky because you're let's say you're paying for a hundred megabit per second connection
your neighbors paying for a hundred megabit per second connection
Comcast is engineering the network with the assumption that you're not
Not everyone is going to use a hundred megabits per second at the same time so
there's a
sort of a
There's sort of a lack of understanding
On the part of consumers as to what they're actually buying when they buy that hundred megabit per second connection because they're not actually getting
Guaranteed hundred megabit per second every single neighbor was trying to at one you're not gonna get it interesting yeah
Now you can buy dedicated Internet access
Mmm, and it'll cost you about $1,000 a month mmm, and that's with a three year contract
And it's very expensive to actually get our megabits per second you need guaranteed
Infrastructure is you need guaranteed infrastructure to carry that exactly so that's very expensive
and so
You probably don't want to pay
$1,000 a month to get hundreds per second you probably rather pay $50 a month to get hundred acres per second most of the time
Why would the solution then I mean obviously? I'm asking you to make this devil get it yeah
It is what devil's advocacy case
But why would the solution be to violate net neutrality as opposed to just making it transparent to people like your plan is a hundred
megabits per second
except if you were legitimately using that for like 12 hours of the day like there's some kind of calf all right
Like how much you can be exercising that maximum rate because realistically you're not expected to and
They should just be forward and honest about that rather than yeah
that's a that's another approach that they they could take and I think
There was there hasn't there has been discussion about that. I mean consumers basically don't want caps mm-hmm the idea that you'd have a cap
of
You know 500 gigabits per month, there's I don't know whatever kind of cap you might have
You know consumers kind of want an unlimited service or we want to believe we want to believe you have a concluded service
it's essentially guaranteed that we'll never exercise that right need and and the
You know the one or two people way off on the on the end that are that are abusing
The providers are call it abusing
I think the customers would say they're you think what they they're paying for
But the ones that are really off the charts. You know the bride is like yeah. We'll just limit the traffic
we'll give them will slow them down or
slow down the applications
Not to interrupt
But veteran seems like an interesting example just because this is a peer-to-peer type thing and then there's a whole pile of hype around
decentralized
possibilities with like blockchain and whatnot
And to the extent that that is an aspect of the future of the internet that you have a little bit more
Possibility for some services to be a decentralized in this way
And I think there's even a lot of things that just have a straight-up BitTorrent type flavor
When it comes to file sharing and things of that sort
Like do you see that as a little bit more on the horizon and would you see that as an example of like potentially harmful?
Harmful things that come about when you are very strict about net neutrality about abiding by it I
Wouldn't necessarily categorized as a peer-to-peer
I think the I also I understand what yeah that you're not saying that it was like necessarily dangerous to abide by it strictly
I'm sort of eking that out of you but
No, yeah, I mean I think the thing the thing that happened with BitTorrent, and yeah
We were going a little bit too far down that rabbit hole
But the thing that happened with BitTorrent was this was an unusual thing
This is an unusual new phenomenon on the network and at the time. It was causing problems and
the providers chose to deal with it in a
Particular way that once it became public
You know the look pretty bad
And arguably was bad, and and you could say well if you want to introduce new technologies
and you want them to be successful like you kind of need the providers to be able to step up and and
Deliver those packets fairly, otherwise. It's like well. You know there's there some cost to innovating or
Some cost to introducing some new protocol
Is there I mean, this is that's one example that it seems kind of compelling in its own way
but like compeltely which way I'm actually curious I
had never heard
Even in a devil's advocacy way a case for we're violating that neutrality might be an okay thing to do right
It's still my clearance
I think I mean there's a strong argument that that's not an okay thing to do because there's the BitTorrent users that are like hey
I'm paying for service, and I want to use BitTorrent mm-hmm and like why can't I do that you know?
This is this is a pipe. I'm paying for it. I want to send packets like let me send packets
What was what was compelling to me or like maybe in the direction of that was in?
As it's now a public cost to their neighbors right the right
I'm sure they're paying for that service, but unbeknownst to them they actually are
Throttling the bandwidth for their neighbors in a way that they don't want to be right
And maybe you could just say well like dice P
just has to pony up and
Actually provide what they claim that they're providing right and that which is gonna cost more in the bill
It almost seems analogous to me like in the case of a banking says like a reserve banking system where like you might ask that?
a
Bank has the cash on hand and everyone sees in their accounts
But realistically that's actually just gonna sort of slow things for everyone else and you know people that's obviously other side yeah
But there's a an oversubscription over subscription. I guess yeah, yeah reserve system versus over subscription
Yeah, there's there's an alligator, so we'll call that like a sort of a partial case
Against net neutrality. Yeah, just cuz it's a lot more
I don't know interesting if I hear you make more cases against net neutrality for the safe. Yeah well
I think another interesting thing to talk about it's not necessarily a case for or against okay is
there was
This this sort of conflict that came up between Netflix, and I think it was comcast
where
Comcast subscribers, we're seeing
Netflix slow down and
that was because you had comcast per season yet you had Netflix who was connected to a different service provider I
Think it was level 3 was the ISP that that they were using and so
Netflix's servers or connected to level 3
And then you know Comcast's customers were connected to Comcast and then level 3 and Comcast were connected together
okay, and the the
Arrangement by which Comcast in level 3 these two ISPs are connected together is sort of
Traditionally been a mutually beneficial arrangement right because level 3 has customers in this case Netflix
Comcast has customers in this case their subscribers, and there's a benefit to Comcast if their subscribers can access Netflix
There's a benefit to Netflix if they can access Comcast subscribers
so there's a mutually beneficial arrangement, and so there's
You know the the connection between those two networks is called a peering connection because the networks are seen as peers
And in particular these are generally referred to as like settlement free peering
settlement free meaning no one's changing
There's no money changing hands so Comcast and level-3 just have this like handshake agreement like we're providing each other this thing Yap
Hopefully the value is kind of even out right
So if we're sending a gig in you know a gig a bit of traffic between us, I'm gonna
Put it install a gigabit port on my router you're gonna
You know pay to install a gigabit port on your router
And we're gonna plug a fiber in between the two of them
And we're gonna send traffic back and forth and the traffic that that you send me
You know benefits you and the per traffic that I said you benefits me and vice versa
And so this is sort of mutually beneficial thing now with the rise of
Netflix and other like big video streaming services you've had the situation where
now the traffic coming from Netflix through level 3
Was
Significantly more and it's a definitely different character of traffic so similar to the BitTorrent where a BitTorrent
It wasn't just that it's a lot of traffic
It's a lot of traffic continuously
Which is something that the network was not engineered for because it's just a different route traffic profile
I mean I think I've heard Netflix
It's like a third of the internet measured in terms of bandwidth
And yeah tube is like another six Yeah
Right there 50% of the Internet as the data flying around is this type of proof transfer
And it didn't exist right then tell very recently right you know you know five 10 years ago
that wasn't the case and so all of this traffic just like pops up because Netflix and other video providers become
you know very
very large
And so now Comcast is looking at this it's like well
We can upgrade this port, but you're just going to put tons of traffic on our network
And we're not just gonna have to upgrade the port between us we're gonna have to upgrade our network. We're gonna have to upgrade our
distribution and and the connections are scriber subscribers
So if before they may have been over
Subscribing you know we're talking about that over subscription of maybe two hundred to one so if you're paying for 100 megabit connection
You might have two hundred customers all pay 400 mega connection that are actually sharing a single hundred megabits
That over subscription factor, no longer works
And so the infrastructure costs the Comcast would have go up significantly as a Comcast is looking at this and saying like
This is no longer this peering relationship was no longer mutually beneficial
This is gonna cost us a lot of money
Now on the one hand that's benefit. That's still beneficial to Comcast customers because if Comcast customers can't get to Netflix. They're gonna be unhappy
But it's also
Very beneficial to Netflix because if Comcast customers can't get to Netflix Netflix is not going to be happy
So essentially that set up this kind of standoff where Comcast is like we're not upgrading this port
Unless the Netflix you pay us ah so this is a different. This is not them
Purposefully throttling Netflix traffic right it's that
The onus would have been on them to add a lot more infrastructure
Because the times have changed Netflix came along and and to distribute Netflix is
Expensive mm-hmm and Comcast is like we're not paying for this ourselves, but is that a violation of net neutrality?
Because it's not as if they see that the packet is coming from Netflix and therefore do something different
it's just that the no but not directly a third of the packets coming from Netflix and and it's
It is a little bit discriminatory in the sense that all of the traffic coming from Netflix is coming through Netflix is is P
And so the period connection to Netflix is ISP Comcast can say like if I can upgrade that and so it disproportionately impacts
Netflix negatively
Well walk me through that just a little bit so because Comcast it's making these deals not just with Netflix is ISP
But with a lot of hundreds of eyespace. Yeah, so they can they can purposely choose to upgrade as needed or mm
Actually abide by this usual settlement free Pierceton right all of the others or negotiate some other settlement situation
And so if there's you know you know another connection to let's say Google
Who's you know sending that YouTube traffic?
YouTube is maybe less and Comcast like yeah, we can handle this or like this is you know our customers?
Want access to YouTube more or whatever?
Decision they might make that that's easier for them they may negotiate or they may negotiate with Google and Google's like yeah, we'll pay you
Because you know this isn't a completely fair
Situation Aloha of this peering arrangement
I don't know all of those all of those like peering agreements are are private
So you can only speculate unless things kind of bubble out to the public
So it's kind of like a higher-level form of
neutrality that implicit in this is that they're being neutral to all of the people they're making these agreements with and
Then if one of them is serving a different traffic type
Just by virtue of how they negotiate those agreements they can treat a certain traffic type differently is that an accurate some upper I?
Don't know that it's necessarily different traffic. I in this case it just sort of I
Think in any of those periodic payments like it's always negotiated
In some cases it turns out that it's settlement free and there's no money to changes hands
It's mutually beneficial to both sides in other cases. It's not
and it is more beneficial to one side than the other and that's just a negotiated agreement between the two ISPs and then
Money changes hands based on whatever that agreement is and in this case
In this particular case that I'm thinking of there was kind of a stalemate
where
You know Netflix kind of went public with this situation. I think even level three went public
because they were you know trying to upgrade this connection and
Comcast was sort of saying no we we want to get paid because this is gonna cost us a lot right yeah to support this
Now that the resolution what ended up happening to contest upgrade
eventually Comcast did upgrade and then eventually
Netflix paid there was Netflix who paid I think so fascinating I had no idea yeah
Hmm
What are some of the other okay so that but I guess that's not really case for that's just a
thing that you might not have thought about the
influences
Net neutrality type topics yeah, and you can I mean
I think I'm actually not sure I think you couldn't argue that that's not really an epic allottee question as much
Different flavor because you're not you're not necessarily providing a different
Level of service you're just charging
You know market rate for the transport mm-hm
you know where it gets weird at least and where it sort of like drummed up some of the the
Passions are around that neutrality is that while this is going on of course Comcast also has their own video service Xfinity
And that's working fine
And so there is this potential conflict of interest there or are you saying like well
You know Comcast gets to gets to use their own network for free why can't everyone else?
And I mean is that the case you would make that
Yeah, that's a tough one because I mean you you would you wouldn't?
Cuz you could say that like I mean Comcast as a video provider just you know I get to kind of play that side, huh
They paid for the infrastructure that they need that is adding value to them as a video provider on that end right and then something
To ask that they pay for that same extra value to add value to other people as video providers right right um
It's kind of
They also and this this is the other argument that people make
Who are against net neutrality?
And it's it's a pretty convincing argument, although. It's not the whole argument, so I'm just taking clear
There's more to it but
Comcast and other cable providers by and large built out their IP
Infrastructures
In part to support their own video products and so a lot of the expectation when they built the infrastructure was that
That would be
Paid back to them over time through their own video products because remember Comcast started as a cable company mm-hmm
And so they were already delivering
Essentially differentiated service right because you had cable as a completely separate service
From IP as it goes, and it was it was not video over
IP it was just video over RF mm-hmm along with IP over RF on a different channel essentially was how it was delivered and
Then Comcast other cable companies said hey we can save costs by getting
Rid of this video over RF infrastructure to get rid of all of that
consolidate on just a single IP infrastructure mm-hmm using our existing cable plant
and then stream our
Previous video service that was you know over RF over our own IP network
And the whole plan there was will carve out you know some amount of bandwidth for on our IP network to stream our video service
And so they made this big infrastructure investment with the expectation that they would be able to provide this sort of
you know multiple service sort of called triple play because voice as well as video and
Internet all on the same IP service and so they made that investment and and so that's sort of the argument of
Net neutrality might stifle innovation because it was it was this idea that we can convert our network to an IP network
so in some future instance where there's going to require a lot of infrastructure investment in order to provide a totally different type of
Internet experience, and you're asking who's going to be paying for that yeah
I mean, I think the hypothetical think about is like if you had if net neutrality have been in place
From the start and and then you you know and so you said to Comcast okay?
You have a separate video pipe into everyone's home, which is the your traditional?
Legacy cable network you also have IP
If you expand your IP network and start delivering your video over
IP you need to provide that same level of service to all your competitors
Comcast may never have made that investment the first place and they may have kept their IP
stream much smaller
We do not think that they still would have ended up growing it because of the demand from streaming from other services
It might not have been commercially viable for other services to even
Hmm, so you like it could be the case that the youtubes out there, and the Netflix is out there starting up
We're dependent upon
Comcast and other cable providers bet that if they switch to an all IP infrastructure and expense ignore I
So 2005 Internet goers like going out. What's this new site youtube.com
There's just extremely slow for them to actually see the skateboarder crash huh, there's like ah this. I'm going back to reading articles
Yeah, possibly
Is a little contrived to actually paint it like that because
Hindsight's 2020 almost feels inevitable that this is what consumer demand asks for that
ISPs are gonna need to bend over backwards to provide it yeah, another interesting analogy is DSL
Oh so-so DSL digital subscriber line was or is
You know a pack of service over traditional copper telephone lines so old-school 100 year old telephone technology
You know dry comp repair coming into your house. You can put packets over that and
Because that was part of the old telephone network that was
That was originally regulated under title 2
And so from the start so from the you know
from the 90s when the internet was your residential internet was starting to get built out DSL was regulated and
to be competitive
Part of the way that that regulation worked was if a phone company
Builds out a DSL infrastructure to build a DSL access to someone's house
They have to call unbundle that which is they have to be able to take that DSL connection?
from their central office to the customer's house and
Provide that piece of infrastructure to
competitive
ISPs mm-hmm
And so you had this proliferation of they were called seelix competitive local exchange carriers
Which were you know competing with the ilex which are the incumbent local exchange carriers that we're coming in
putting equipment into you know the
traditional
Bell
central offices and offering Internet access across the Bell System DSL lines
And so that was this that wasn't very regulated I mean that was that was net neutrality essentially like this DSL
Line is here, and it is I think there was even like a regulated price
That was there was there
And I think the the reason the fact that that was regulated is potentially one of the reasons the why?
cable modems
And and things like fiber to that to the home like Verizon's FiOS
took off
and and really
That technology grew much more than DSL
Because if you're the if you're the phone company you own that DSL line
You're incentive to upgrade that technology, and say oh, how can we get you know faster encoding and and you know more efficient?
And go further distances or or build out like a hybrid fiber
System is just one slower
It's much lower because as soon as you build that and you make that investment all your competitors have access to it too as well
Whereas if you say we're gonna build a completely different like FiOS for example?
Instead of Verizon saying and we're gonna build out this DSL so all our competitors can use at this that we're gonna build a fiber
Network something that doesn't yet have the same thing that doesn't like do it exactly
And so they build and they cable companies didn't have those rules either and so they rarely did
and then I think in 2005 the the
DSL
unbundling requirement went away, but
And so there are competitive DSL offerings out there now, but that wasn't an early success
So that's a that's you know potentially an argument against net neutrality
Does that is that kind of an inevitable little cat-and-mouse game there as something new comes up where there's not rules
Surrounding how that is a new way to send data
Around right the rules don't yet apply and the natural market forces are gonna. Take place before it can be treated well
I mean, that's what happened with the internet yeah, and a lot of things
Yeah, like do you see that as a cycle that will continue? I?
Mean that requires innovation new technologies and things
the Internet like that kind of unleashed a lot of new technologies so you had things like DSL and fiber and
hybrid fiber cable networks and all these other things that could be explored and you know DSL you had this strict regulation and
My hypothesis is it wasn't successful because of that mm. And these other other things sort of one out, but that's because those other things
Existed they were viable
You know as the as the technology and the industry matures
You know you can't just
Pull a new innovation out of thin air you're saying you've got to make sure that there is gonna be the return on that investment
For whoever puts it in right. There's a risk that an enforcement a lot of these things like
Even if it is the case that they're like yeah these should be treated like public utilities
And there's a certain like people have the right to
their each packet be treated equally
We have to acknowledge that that is a potential cost on innovation
Maybe it's worth it, but that's a potential cost yeah, that's a potential cost in that and that's the interesting thing
I mean, there's definitely like I I've been kind of talking anti net neutrality for a while, and I don't want and yeah, I don't
There's and we can't been either as well known to be against net neutrality
No, no, no that'd be his reputation that persists on the internet from this point forward. Thank you for that
No, I mean, there's I mean we could go on and on about the things I mean the I
Think any other the other example I gave about uh
You know AT&T mmm-hmm. You know not allowing Skype. Yeah on their phones like that's terrible clearly like just
that's anti innovation everything right yeah an adversarial exactly yeah, and
And then there's you know all these other questions. I think one of the big concerns that people have is around censorship
It's like you know you could have
your ISPs
You know kind of making calls on what you can and can't see and that's that's the the big fear
There hasn't been content-based censorship that I'm aware of but
But that's certainly a possibility yeah, I mean a lack of precedence is no right
That's not comforting yeah, right?
so I mean part of the reason that it's a little more interesting for me to hear from you because you do have such a
Strong background the networking and you're gonna be able to speak about this more than a lot of others
If there's even a devil that advocacy is is I think people like watching this and going around on the internet
They already know the cases for net neutrality and they're all and I don't I don't disagree with any of them
they're all valid but in any any circumstance where there is like a
Thing that a lot of people feel very fervently about mmm. There's a little light bulb that goes off my mind that says
Should we just should we check what the other cases and should we put aside the?
Tendency to let go what their peers my people that really dressed and kind of give this a critical eye and say
You know if someone's going get this is it for purely selfish reasons
Yeah, maybe that's a lot of notice behind it
But you know is there is there may be a little more nuance to this story and that that becomes a lot more
Interesting one because it actually becomes a more compelling way to convince people right if they look. There's probably people legitimately against net neutrality
for a couple of reasons II turn that right and
And the way to the way to turn them to your side is not to put a big black bar on the top of your
Website that's like call your Congressman right now like right. Well. That's even if you effective the effective to get people a cup
Yeah, get people to call their congressmen, but I don't think that changes minds right. I don't think acts like that or
Kind of internet getting the mob together to do a thing
I don't know that changes minds it amplifies the minds that are already in one direction
Yeah
The only might actually change someone's mind is be very clear that you understand what the avianna point is
Articulate it as intelligently as you can be as a strong man and that
And there are valid points on both sides like all the arguments that everyone's well aware of for net neutrality are true
The arguments against it are true to you know networks. There. Is there's value in giving networks the ability to
You know to do some of these limiting things for
You know network management purposes
- you know allocate costs
appropriately, you know so if Netflix comes along maybe Netflix oughta be paying some share of the distribution costs for their product because
There are significant distribution costs for their product, and then you know there's a concern that that's like anti-competitive
There's anything competitor
But there's also the concern that there's anti innovation because if some new startup comes along they're gonna have to pay that same cost
Well, I mean but if the cost is tied to usage yeah
Then that seems fair to me. It feels like a trade-off like it is anti innovation potentially unlike the isp side
Like the image that you painted if net neutrality existed from the start right fair hum
And given that there's a cost that has to be incurred feels like whoever
Has to front that cost you can always point into whatever that industry is like it's anti into innovation for that industry
Yeah, someone's paying the cost and it's just like we gotta be we gotta acknowledge
Who we are giving a leg up to and who we are mmm forcing to pay that right, right
It's probably worth it right like my personally I would be for net neutrality and that seems like
As you're allocating okay?
Where do I want innovation to happen as I'm pulling the levers here and there for which ones am I?
Okay, slowing down just a little bit so that these others can like race ahead
Yeah, they balance out, but it's not but if you have some service like like that toy. Let's say yeah, Victoria
Yeah, bit turns actually good example where there's a very small number of users who?
Want it mmm most people don't want it, but it raises the cost you know the distribution cause for everyone well
I feel like this is the solution that just has to be that like that
I don't pay for a hundred megabits per second no cap the I
Just like that. I'm given a cap, and then I'm also totally
This is how much you could like the ISPs would love to to do that after my game Kevin naive here their consumers
Don't want that mmm. You don't want a cap on clean
I don't know
I mean if you as a consumer are very aware that like your normal usage
And even your extreme usage doesn't even approach that cap unless you're using BitTorrent
There is something psychological about having a cap and I mean
My guess if an ISP started rolling out pricing models like that there would be a revolt mmm
And they know that and that's why they don't do it, and they do these other traffic management things
Or would like to be able to do traffic meant to
to sortie that
But it has the negative effect right of tamping down something like the torrent or Netflix that could become very popular right so
There's like things like that on the horizon more I mean episode oh, I hope there are cool new innovative things that
potentially require
You know different engineering of the network to support, and then yeah, then there's that question who pays for it mmm under net neutrality
It's like well the ISP pays for it, so it's distributed among all of the the providers customers
Even if it's a small number of people who use it
Mmm, and if that's the case then
You know what happens?
That's true, yeah
Well, I don't I don't know how that feels actually
It feels like we've been if you like being faced with the truth that I don't really want to think about it well
I think the family
I think at the end it's like it's nuanced right which is why if you look at both sides
so there's the there's the title to side where it should be you know you know a service writer should be titled -
Which gives the FCC lots of ability to regulate them so all of the attempts that the FCC did before they were titled - were
You know shot down in court
It's a title to give them all this room - to regulate
However the FCC has not done a lot
They have not they have not used their enforcement power, so they've kind of taken a light touch
They said yes your title - so be careful
But yeah, and so we're not going to enforce
Everything we could do under - like if so you could do all sorts of draconian things under title 2
And they're choosing not to because a lot of it just doesn't even make sense because title 2 is
I mean as a title 2 of the Telecommunications Act. I think 1939 or something so
Gives you some sense of how applicable it is to the Internet
But
That's like a joke yeah
Yes, so it's not like super
And it gives them all sorts of weird powers that lawyers could leave read all kinds of power into that they could do all kinds
of things - is peace
and basically what the FCC did under
You know Tom wheeler who I think that's right could be
Misremembering, but when whenever they stay switched to to title to they said look at the title - but we're gonna
Take a light touch. We have this enforcement power
But you know you know you know the deal with net neutrality
What a GP is saying with this change back to title one is
Internet service providers like you understand the market issues. You know that the people want net neutrality be nice
But we're gonna we're gonna like loosen the leash a little bit, but we kind of expect you to
You know to to use your new freedom wisely
I don't know that he's exploitable. He said that but he yes said like you know we we kind of you know that the
ISPs have have committed to net neutrality principles
Which is kind of weaselly it's like well. Maybe they have maybe they haven't like they say they have because like why wouldn't they?
Someone could easily respond like if that's what if that's what you want to happen
What would be wrong about just enforcing that to happen rather than letting it right on right?
well, we're following principles right, but that's the thing it's like both sides of it are actually kind of hedging mm-hmm so the
Put them title too, and we have all this enforcement authority
But we're not going to use it mm-hmm unless we need to yeah versus the we're not gonna do anything
But we're gonna trust them not to not to overstep
Yeah, when you use the word trust and ISP in the same sentence very sketchy yep
And that's that makes a lot of people nervous
Which is why people are very very insistent on the you know a little bit tighter control
My I don't know personally
I'm not super worried about the reclassification as title one because of the ISPs are kind of on notice hmm if they go too far
The political pressure to reclassify as title 2 again is gonna be
So strong well people are looking for them impetus at that point yeah, and it could swing national politics
And you know you could get another president that comes in who is more
Favorable maybe yeah, that's the main thing like people have that lever mmm and so is peas
Recognize like if you know yes, we have the they'll they'll have this freedom
To potentially do things that are not completely in line with net neutrality
But I think they recognize
Assume that the highest peace would recognize that if they go too far and they do things like block Skype on your iPhone
Well, it's like
The regulators are going to come in and come down hard on them
That's not tonight. That's my hope hmm, so we're just gonna sit in this Mexican standoff
indefinitely
Which doesn't feel bad to me because there's like computer. I mean, there's who's competing interests on both sides
There's value to this there's value to that
I like yeah, everyone should be a little bit nervous and watching their back and hopefully everyone does the right thing and
I mean, I don't know it's all right. Yes. How is that?
Side of accuracy we really have a better understanding of the Mexican standoff
We're putting ourselves in and the reasons why you might want to be comfortable with it. I mean that's why yeah it
Helps me sleep at night. I don't know
All right, that's fair honestly
And it's different. It's very different. I think from the take that at least that I've heard from a lot of other online creators
Yeah, it's necessarily that different to conclusion right you're not
I don't I don't disagree with any of any of the extreme positions on either side
I think there's I think there's a lot of credibility to
To both of those positions, which is which is why there's this conflict, right?
Yeah, it's like if if it were obvious that one side were right then we wouldn't be having a debate
Easy to lose out of that I think though
Should we call it an end let's do it. Thanks for doing this yeah, thanks. It's fun