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View Full Version : cable versus DSL: who is benevolent towards p2p?


eclectica
2004-11-24, 19:55
I went to the laundromat today and I noticed on the TV a commercial by Verizon DSL. It was advertising its DSL for $30 a month compared to RIAA / AOL-Time Warner cable's $45 a month, and it also boasted newer faster speeds than before of 3 mbps. I paid close attention to the advertisement for any hint besides pricing of some other benefits of DSL, that it tends to be more p2p friendly, but I saw none. I was thinking that it would be a good promotion for them in their commercial, to say that your DSL would allow you to download music or videos. For the most part it is an unspoken benefit of a fast internet connection, to be able to acquire all sorts of files "on demand". p2p filesharing has been a great benefit to ISPs providing high speed service, as an attraction for new customers. It is the reason many people choose to get a high speed connection. I can understand that the ISPs don't want to advertise that benefit because it would make them responsible in some way, and then when their customers get civil lawsuits filed against them from the RIAA for sharing lame material that it claims ownership to on the hard drives of others, the ISP may then be expected to defend them.

Mac used the theme of "Rip, Mix, Burn" to sell its computers with CD burners in 2001. It was criticized by record companies as advocating what they call "piracy", or p2p filesharing. But the real essence of p2p filesharing is not "rip, mix, burn", but rather SHARING. While no company has used the concept of sharing as a selling point directly, it really isn't necessary as those of us who have been raised with good values know that sharing our stuff is the right thing to do.

The DSL providers Verizon and SBC have done well compared to other ISPs to protect their customers from the thousands of frivolous lawsuits filed by the RIAA, by trying to protect in Court the identity and privacy of their customers. But the ISPs can do more than they've done, by providing some kind of indemnity and support for their customers who are sued. Most people have chosen to settle, not because they are wrong, but because it is financially easier for them to settle than to fight to uphold their innocence in court. I would like to see the ISPs provide paid lawyers and legal assistance for their customers who are sued, so that there would be less incentive for them to settle. There are also some technical things the ISPs can do to help, such as quickly purging their IP logs so that a lawsuit based on an IP address would have no basis.

A pattern emerges when comparing cable companies to DSL companies, in regards to their benevolence towards p2p filesharing. For the most part it has been the DSL providers who have been more benevolent towards p2p filesharing than the cable companies. There are a number of reasons why.
A cable user who uses p2p will slow down the bandwidth with others on the shared coaxial cable. A DSL user does not share bandwidth, except on the DSLAM at the central office, which is easily upgradable. The cable company would have to run more coaxial cable in the field to upgrade its total bandwidth; the DSL company would only have to upgrade its DSLAM capabilities.
Many cable companies are family owned. DSL providers are telephone companies or ISPs, which have as their corporate structure a system of merit and promotion. The family owned structure behind many cable companies is not unlike royalty, lacking oversight or merit. They see their business as a way to "take the money and run" in the short term without any long term commitment or sane oversight. So they have no problem doing what they can in the short term to maximize their profits even when alienating their p2p users.
Service versus disservice: telephone companies by nature tend to provide their customers with services, while cable companies have the mindset of providing a disservice. While both companies typically have a line running to every customer, the telephone company has a unique line for every customer while the cable company has a shared coaxial for the neighborhood. So the telephone company provides you a service but the cable company has those services already working on the coaxial, and has to provide disservices by blocking channels and features from customers who don't pay premium prices or have illegitmate cable boxes. So it follows that in their attitude towards customers, the telephone company will try to give to their customers a service while the cable company will always be seeking a way to provide a disservice and block premium channels. This general attitude affects their other operations to the point where cable companies more likely see port blocking and other crippling things such as ISP p2p traffic control services provided by Sandvine (http://www.sandvine.com/solutions/p2p_policy_mngmt.asp) as desirable and acceptable from a business perspective. They would willingly cripple what they perceive to be a minority of their customers, namely p2p users, for the majority of their customers which they perceive to be non-p2p users. In fact their business model is one lacking vision because they do not want to expand the capability of their network but instead have chosen to do what they can to keep their customers from using p2p services.
"Video on demand" has a different meaning depending on whether you have a cable company or a telephone company as your ISP. The cable company may try to get you to pay extra for a movie, but for the DSL telco, "video on demand" means getting your movie by way of BitTorrent or eMule. A cable company would lose potential sales if people were to download their movies through p2p rather than pay for their own premium services.

assorted
2004-12-03, 15:33
I briefly thought of switching back to Verizon from Time Warner because of the lawsuit, but reluctantly decided against it.

I had Verizon a few years ago. The experience was miserable. Getting installed was a nightmare. It took 3 weeks of constantly being on hold with people in Texas, when the problem was a switch on a box outside my house simply had to be flipped.

Once installed, upload was a whopping 8k/s on average. Downloads could get up to around 50k/s, from what I remember. Back then, Verizon cost just as much as cable.

On cable, I'm paying the same I was paying for Verizon, but with far, far better customer service. Better still, my upload is about 45k/s on average and my download averages in the 100s and can get as high as 200-300k/s.

It's nice that Verizon is now trying to make up for their disastrous beginning in this market, but it's going to take a lot to convince me to switch back.

eclectica
2004-12-04, 06:07
I started out with Verizon ADSL on a 640/90 kbps plan and then when they upgraded their standard speed to 768/128 kbps I asked them to upgrade me and they said that they did, but I actually remained on the 640/90 plan. So I called to complain and they said there was nothing I could do because according to their records my speed had been upgraded. They refused to double check their work and verify it was done. I then dropped them for Earthlink ADSL, which is now giving me 3000/384 kbps. Verizon also offers such speeds now.

DSL speed can be fast if you live close to your central office. If you want to know where your C.O. is, enter your area code and exchange on this page and it will show it as a red star on the map:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/areacode.adp
If your phone line is shitty quality you will also have slower DSL speeds.

Would you be able to say no to the lure of Verizon's Fios FTTP (http://www22.verizon.com/ForyourHome/Fios/fioshome.asp)? It is not widely available yet.

assorted
2004-12-08, 01:31
Would you be able to say no to the lure of Verizon's Fios FTTP (http://www22.verizon.com/ForyourHome/Fios/fioshome.asp)? It is not widely available yet.

That would be something I would gladly switch back to Verizon for.

nicobie
2004-12-14, 01:37
Right now I'm paying $30/month for Verizon DSL. It avregas 690 k. d/l.

Come April my little city (pop 60,000) will have WiFi running at a promised 2 - 3K for $20/month. Optical cable will be coming here, via the city, in 18 to 24 months too.

Can't wait.

eclectica
2004-12-28, 03:20
Today I got my January 2005 edition of Wired magazine in the mail. It had two good articles in it: one about BitTorrent, and the other one about release groups. The magazine sums up the effect that BitTorrent has for getting movies, which it describes as being like video on demand.

With the closing of a few Bittorrent .torrent hosting sites such as Suprnova recently, not only were the downloaders adversely affected, but less noted, the ISPs were as well. It was beneficial to the ISPs when people were using .torrent files from verified sites. That allowed users to download files that they wanted with success most of the time. Now with those verification sites taken down, they have to try numerous variations of a file, wasting their time and more bandwidth, in order to get a good version of the file they are looking for.

.torrent files are not illegal any more than ED2K hash links are, because they only contain information about files, rather than actually containing infringing material. I have confidence that they would be found to be legal in the highest courts of most countries, and the sites that were closed didn't have to. Given the realities of the situation though, it is hard to uphold one's innocence unless one has the resources such as lawyers necessary to fight for it in the courts.

The DSL telcos claim they want to compete with the cable companies. They have lagged behind in their bandwidth until recently, when they started offering decent speeds in their ADSL plans. And Verizon claims it wants to enter the video market with its deployment of Fios fiber to the premises. I think their plans to compete by offering video of their own is a bit of a pipe dream on their part. If they really want to compete they don't have to play the same game, but they need to think outside of the box. I would like to see some bold competition come into play, rather than the lip service competition that is made just to please the stockholders.

I would like to see the telco ISPs start hosting their own verified .torrent files for their customers. Where Suprnova fell, the DSL telcos should pick right up, because they have the ability with their lawyers to fight for the right to host that type of material. It would be a beneficial move for their customers because they would be helping them get more out of their internet.

In addition to pleasing the customers and saving on its bandwidth, the DSL ISP would have an adverse effect on its cable competitors, because fewer people would want to "pay per view" when they can get it provided already through their one fixed monthly fee. It's about giving the customer better value.

One thing that I found outrageous from reading the Wired article, was that AOL/Time Warner uses peercasting developed by a company known as Kontiki (http://www.kontiki.com/solutions/media/), when an AOL user downloads a movie trailer from the AOL/Time Warner owned Moviefone (http://www.moviefone.com). This means that AOL users act as peers to upload pieces of movie trailers they've already downloaded to their fellow AOL peers. It saves bandwidth for the company. The outrage in it is that they are being forced to share shitty Moviefone movie trailers, not voluntarily, yet RIAA/AOL/Time Warner is totally against p2p filesharing, except when it is for its own benefit to save its bandwidth costs.

Unregistered...
2005-05-28, 00:05
FiOS sounds to good to be real, think twice before jumping in. I worked in Verizon DSL market before when it was first rolled out, keep in mind before switching to anything new that Verizon rolls out They roll out their products before they are actually ready, that's why the customer experiences turn into nightmares. They are behind the 8 ball and try hard to play catch up. Best advise, wait

eclectica
2005-09-26, 21:38
The FCC supports a principle of "network neutrality" that has been released to the public 2005-09-23 in this document here:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-151A1.pdf

Here is the relevant section:

The Communications Act charges the Commission with "regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio." The Communications Act regulates telecommunications carriers, as common carriers, under Title II. Information service providers, "by contrast, are not subject to mandatory common-carrier regulation under Title II." The Commission, however, "has jurisdiction to impose additional regulatory obligations under its Title I ancillary jurisdiction to regulate interstate and foreign communications." As a result, the Commission has jurisdiction necessary to ensure that providers of telecommunications for Internet access or Internet Protocol-enabled (IP-enabled) services are operated in a neutral manner. Moreover, to ensure that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable, and accessible to all consumers, the Commission adopts the following principles:

To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.

To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.

To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.

To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

This principle of network neutrality seems to apply to telecommunications carriers more strongly than to information service providers. This would be another reason why the DSL telcos would tend to be more benevolent to filesharing. It is because they can not block competing services such as Voice over Internet Protocol, due to the principle of network neutrality that affects them more so than the cable companies.

Yet with the evolving market, the difference between a cable company and a DSL telephone company has become blurred, with cable companies offering phone service and telephone companies such as Verizon trying to offer both telephone and television service over fiber lines, with their FTTP FiOS deployment. I wonder then how the FCC would classify a company such as Verizon, and if it would still be bound by the principle of network neutrality.

There is an article in the Wall Street Journal located here (http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112731531212247388,00.html) dated 2005-09-22 which reports that Verizon has entered into a partnership with Disney to provide "content", that will include their attempt to stop what they refer to as the "piracy" of Disney content by Verizon's customers. This shows to me what I feared, that when a company starts to offer its own paid content, that it will have financial incentives to try to stop the filesharers using its network to get that same content for free. In other words, Verizon may start acting more like a cable company and become less benevolent in its treatment of p2p filesharers. I have posted that article also here (http://www.tatom.org/documents/WSJ-2005-09-22-Verizon-Disney.htm), if the link isn't working.

I sent some questions to Eric Rabe of Verizon, in an email this afternoon. If I get a response from him I will post it here later on in a subsequent post. Here is what I sent:

To: eric.rabe @ verizon.com
Subject: Verizon's content deal with Disney
2005-09-26 @ 19:18 GMT

Monday, September 26 2005
Attention Eric Rabe:

I have read an article in the online version of the Wall Street Journal dated 2005-09-22 that is located at the following link:
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112731531212247388,00.html
I have some questions and comments for you, and I hope that you have the time to review and reply to them.

1. According to the article, "Disney will be able to identify suspicious customers through an Internet coding system.". Could you explain how that "internet coding system" will work, and if it will violate their privacy?

2. According to the article, "Mr. Rabe said the company could shut off service to customers who have been repeatedly warned that they are infringing on Disney copyrights.". Will Verizon independently verify the accuracy of Disney's claims, and how will it do that?

3. Does Verizon lose money when its FiOS customers acquire their Disney content through filesharing networks rather than through the Disney TV channels it provides?

4. There is an FCC principle known as "network neutrality" that telecommunications carriers are expected to abide by. This means that Verizon, when regarded as a telecommunications carrier, should not block potentially competing services its customers may use, such as Voice over Internet Protocol. A recent statement of that principle was issued on 2005-09-23 by the FCC and can be read here:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-151A1.pdf
Does Verizon with its offering of FTTP FiOS still consider itself to be a telecommunications carrier, or does it now regard itself as an information services provider that is no longer bound by the FCC principle of network neutrality?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

-Tom Rogers

eclectica
2006-03-03, 03:31
Senator Ron Wyden introduced legislation today in a proposed bill called Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 that would force companies to have network neutrality. There is information about the legislation here:
http://wyden.senate.gov/media/2006/03022006_net_neutrality_bill.html

Internet Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, S. 2360 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:S.2360:)

BOB MONTGOMERIE
2006-03-08, 20:31
I went to the laundromat today and I noticed on the TV a commercial by Verizon DSL. It was advertising its DSL for $30 a month compared to RIAA / AOL-Time Warner cable's $45 a month, and it also boasted newer faster speeds than before of 3 mbps. I paid close attention to the advertisement for any hint besides pricing of some other benefits of DSL, that it tends to be more p2p friendly, but I saw none. I was thinking that it would be a good promotion for them in their commercial, to say that your DSL would allow you to download music or videos. For the most part it is an unspoken benefit of a fast internet connection, to be able to acquire all sorts of files "on demand". p2p filesharing has been a great benefit to ISPs providing high speed service, as an attraction for new customers. It is the reason many people choose to get a high speed connection. I can understand that the ISPs don't want to advertise that benefit because it would make them responsible in some way, and then when their customers get civil lawsuits filed against them from the RIAA for sharing lame material that it claims ownership to on the hard drives of others, the ISP may then be expected to defend them.


some advertisements here hint at downloading movies and music and the likes. however... they do it in a very subtle way... often they say "Now you can upload and share your latest family movie" or "Share your latest mixes with your friends"...

people then just decipher these messages as "download/upload hollywood blockbusters and the latest albums"

but this is coming from a non p2p user (HTTP is for me)... with 800kb/s up, 6 meg/sec down... from a semi-large warez board... leading some team... on the internets...

MR GREEN!!! http://img320.imageshack.us/img320/7328/icon100ok.gif (not directly hosted with anyone except for a free image hoster who dont give 2 shits so long as your using the service)

AND I AM NOT A DILDO DU W/E