Net Neutrality and the SAFE Network

Last time I checked 10GigE was still expensive for my home LAN, so I would disagree.
LAN is essentially free up to 8 MB/s, but then it gets slightly more expensive, and after 120 MB/s bandwidth is far from free.
And that’s without the cost of laying cables, buying carrier level switches and cabling it all up.

If ISPs knew how important the internet would be come, they would’ve implemented NN a long time a go. What would be the consequence of that? No youtube, no netflix and certainly no github, let alone bittorrent. If these companies/individuals had to pay for the amount of traffic they’re generating and for the packets to be delivered with the same priority like a fortune 500 company, do you think we would have these services today?

They’re already getting paid by the customers for providing an access to the internet and now they want even more money. Why are they not charging their customers more for using more bandwidth?

I don’t think you can compare fedex to an ISP at all, those are completely different business models with entirely different costs. One is digital and the other is transportation of physical goods, these are entirely different things.

Without net neutrality SAFE network won’t be a success, so I don’t see why you’re against it?!

EDIT: One additional thought about the comparison between fedex and an ISP. The correct comparison would be like this:

You order a package at amazon. Amazon adds 5 € to the price for delivering the package to you via Fedex. So the customer essentially pays fedex 5 € (or less) for the delivery of the package. Now, because amazon is sending more and more packages each year, instead of increasing the price to 6 or 7 dollar, they want money from amazon to deliver the package with the same speed as they did before. If you don’t, or can’t pay that fee, because you’re new to the business, fedex still charges 5 € for the delivery, but is basically saying “We’ll deliver that package in the next couple of days. Maybe.”

They don’t do that because DHL wouldn’t increase their prices and competition is a pain if you personally have to deal with it. By charging amazon for the delivery, they’re putting the “free market pressure” onto them.

And at this point we haven’t even touched the argument that the way the internet is structured has had a huge impact on society and this model offers a great value to society and levels the playing field.

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Some have implemented caps and are doing that, but usually such ideas are attacked by content providers who pretend to act out of concern for their users.
The current trend has been to destroy choice and competition through this NN nonsense. And it’s well known why: because the likes of Google and Netflix are giving more money to the lobbyists than the telcos.

How is it different?
I can ask FedEx to mail a DVD to you or I can send you the same over FTP.
It costs money to build and operate infra to perform the service. Airplanes, cables, routers, call centers…
Transferring a handful of TCP/IP packets is almost free, but the post office doesn’t charge you “extra” for the weight of the stamp either.
If you have a slow network at home and have to transport couple of DVDs from one room to another within 1 hour, the cheapest way to do that may very well be to burn 5 DVDs, despite the “free” cost of your slow network.

I can’t tell, maybe we should ask Al Gore :smile:
But maybe we would have MaidSafe instead of YouTube, because the cost of creating a new YouTube without freeloading on the telcos’ infra would have been prohibitive and VC money would instead flow to MaidSafe-like projects.

Excessive cost of bandwith is not the issue for customers. Any business that charges too much will attract competition.
Amazon probably doesn’t make any profit from billions of dollars they invested in their cloud services, they charge their customers for bandwidth (!) and their customers despite the cost of bandwidth still manage to provide viable free and commercial services to the world. According to the NN crowd, Amazon should have 0 customers, or most of them would be barely surviving because they’re taking all their customers’ profits via the ridiculous bandwidth charges, etc. But in the reality they’re the largest cloud company in the world.

Why wouldn’t they charge maidsafe like projects if they’re charging youtube? The ISP doesn’t care whether it’s youtube or maidsafe in this scenario. Either you can pay to have your packages delivered in realtime or you don’t, doesn’t matter who you are or what your service is. You’re using bandwidth, that’s the argument, isn’t it?

I know for a fact that some of them are planning these things: Pay 5 bucks a month and you get unlimited access to youtube. Want to access dailymotion or another video plattform? Well, screw you. Want to BUILD a new plattform? Good luck with that. Until now, you could do that with relative ease, without NN that won’t be possible anymore.


That’s also the point I don’t get about the argument. I already pay for the bandwidth why do you care how I use it? If I pay for a 56k connection and want to download a movie it will take forever and that’s my problem. If I want it faster I need to pay for a faster connection. Even if the amount of data that comes from these services are clogging up the network, when the user pay for it what’s the problem?

Of course clogging up the network affect all users but that’s a problem for the ISP to figure out. If they sell a certain amount of bandwith their network can’t afford to give that’s their business decision and it’s their problem to fix. Some ISP are getting wiser about this and offer unlimited download in off hours to reduce the load on the network in busy hours, that’s a smart move and totally in the power of an ISP to make. They could also fix the problem with a more dynamic pricing strategy. I would love a service with a pay as you go plan that is not a total ripoff.

I understand that the laws around NN goes deeper than that and there might be some very smelly thing in there but in regards to the main argument, I don’t see the problem.

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In earlier posts on this forum I said I expect that will happen (e.g. here) once NN is implemented and I think that’s fine. Please understand, for me the problem is not to pay, but to not be able to pay more to get a better service than my neighbor (who may be a competing MaidSafe farmer). If NN and one size fits all is implemented, that destroys any incentive for me to tune my farming rig, or to buy a better farming rig and provide better service to MaidSafe users, because my neighbor with his crappy setup will get the same crappy network service like me.

In this topic I claimed that building a YouTube-like service would have been more competitive with MaidSafe if YouTube had to pay for their traffic. But with YouTube and NN (of sorts), where they freeloaded on the infra, we (the consumers) effectively subsidized Google. There should be no subsidies for anyone, period. It should be left to the market. And then I could get a fair price and also pay less tax because there’s less need for an army of public servants to protect me.

I believe you, but that’s not a problem of a free market, but of a rigged market. That’s exactly why the last thing you want to do in this kind of messed up environment is to give even more power to the worst kind of people who are solely responsible for this situation (the government).
Management of private companies has duty to generate as much profit as they (legally) can. There’s nothing wrong with that and as I said earlier the moment they start squeezing their customers too hard, customers go away to a new, cheaper/better provider. The problem is when the government makes this process more difficult or impossible.

That’s the point I can’t agree with. Youtube and alikes are not freeloading on anything. It’s the user who pays the ISP for the ability to get something out of these services. The data is paid for. These services aren’t pushing data unto an ISP without a customer’s consent. Without customers, they are just servers sitting idly. Not to mention that these services also pay to upload their data.

IPSs charge to get the data from the servers unto the network and from the network unto the customer’s computer, what is it they don’t like about their position?


I think we’re getting somewhere. I think the internet is a fantastic invention because it levels the playing field, because it doesn’t differentiate between poor and rich people and for ONCE gives people without money the same access. For me, this is great and I’m very thankful that the inventors of the internet decided to make it public domain instead of cashing in on it. In this environment everything evolves around the best ideas and dedication, not the most ressources and I love that.

First of all, youtube started out as a three men operation before it was bought by google. And again, if youtube had to pay for traffic, so would everybody else, including maidsafe and early facebook, etc. So what would’ve likely been the case? Only those with huge amount of money would’ve been able to afford for that kind of traffic, not necessarily the ones with the best ideas.

What do you mean with giving power to the government and why are they responsible for the situation we’re in? They’re not involved at all. Nobody forced ISPs to the unwritten laws of NN that we have since the beginning of the internet, so why are they responsible for this situation? ISPs have nobody to blame but themselves for this situation. They didn’t estimate the rapidly increasing demand for bandwidth, otherwise consumers would pay more for their internet access.

One last question, did you read my EDIT about your fedex example with amazon? I’d like to hear your thoughts on that. :slight_smile:

Correct me if I’m wrong but Youtube did pay to upload its data. You can’t upload gigabytes of data without paying for it, the data doesn’t teleport itself unto the cloud. And every user of Youtube did pay to get that data out of cloud. There’s no free rider. Am I missing something?

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Sure, I meant it in the context of paying for faster and more timely delivery of their traffic, the premium access. Should’ve made that clearer. The cost for the traffic is part of the renting cost for a/the server that you(tube) have, So no, there are no free riders.

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There seems to be a lot amount of back and forth here about whether the political push for “net neutrality” is a good thing or not.

Step out of the political squirrel cage thinking for a minute. Net neutrality is impossible with current technology and infrastructure following the current mode. The fact that it can even be influenced directly by political action should tell you as much.

SAFE technology offers an opportunity to get superior performance, even on a biased infrastructure, at least in terms of privacy, security and freedom. Technical performance as well, hopefully.

Eventually, with mesh, cubesats, software defined radio, etc., we can develop an infrastructure that is beyond political influence, open source and owned by all who contribute. But for now, we can have something that is rather neutral and helps move the scene in the right direction.

I’m not sure I follow. Why do you think net neutrality is impossible with current technology? It’s basically just QoS on a local/global scale. Add deep packet inspection to the mix and you’re more than capable of identifying the individual packets and prioritize them.

Did you read the article that started this thread?

What you seem to be referring to as making “net neutrality” possible is completely the opposite of what I refer to as a “neutral medium” in the article. What you say seems to make my point rather than refute it. But maybe I’m missing something technically.

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To be honest, no, I hadn’t read your article, but did so now. My first reply in this thread was in response to @janitors opinion on NN. If I understood your article correctly, when you’re talking about net neutrality your talking more the actual content that might get filtered out because it is deemed inappropriate or offensive, e.g. more related to freedom of speech and decentralisation. If that’s correct I’m not sure if net neutrality is the best term to use, because this has a completely different meaning to most people.

The term net neutrality is, for me at least, associated with the definition that you quoted from wikipedia, I’ve said that before, but the way maidsafe seems to work is not neutral if you ask me, because it favours content that is popular. If the demand for a file gets bigger, more nodes cache it and therefore it loads faster than content that is not as popular. That is net neutrality inside the SAFE network. Even when the network is up and running, there still is the case to be made for NN outside of the SAFE network. As long as we don’t have a mesh network that spans the globe (which I don’t see happening in the foreseeable future, if ever), we still need the “old internet” to get our SAFE packets around. Without NN, this will become increasingly hard, because there is no company that can pay an ISP to transport SAFE packets as fast as youtube and facebook packages. Even with SAFE, we still have to use the old infrastructure that is subject to the goodwill of ISPs to do the right thing.

I don’t disagree with most of what you say, but it’s a lot more complex when it gets down to it.

For instance, I don’t think it’s in the interests of ISPs or even high-bandwidth providers like Netflix to want to screw “the little guy, who just want’s he/her internet to work well.” Given current models, there is a good argument to be made that if some need and want a lot of high-bandwidth services, there’s no real problem building out delivery lanes to deliver it, and charging participants more, via fees to those content providers who produce it. This would take traffic off the other lanes which will otherwise be forced to carry all the traffic for everybody. Otherwise, those who are happy with email, instant messaging, standard web surfing, etc., won’t be forced to pay higher prices for building out the whole highway.

I may not have all the technical aspects of this, but I do know that that is how it has been presented at times. If that’s true, I don’t have a problem with “non-net neutrality”.

The whole subject is a political puppet show, I fear, and whenever the flames of passion are fanned for political action, I get wary.

My point about the SAFE Network is that, rather than getting into a political/social control stance to solve many issues, it seeks to make it irrelevant to a large degree.

Making politics irrelevant is always a far better choice than taking a political stance, which is always choosing sides in a battle that you’re almost always better off not fighting at all.

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I don’t think it’s about screwing the little guys either, it’s about screwing the competition and getting a piece of the cake that they’re (ISPs) missing out on.

What you’re describing is the basic model of how our society works. I’m paying for a lot of stuff with my taxes that I don’t necessarily agree with, but I’m ok with that. That is, literally, the price we have to pay to live in a society to support the minorities, regardless of whether we agree with them or not. The same is true for (health) insurances, the fact that I rarely need to see a doctor makes it possible for older people to get get good health care and hopefully it’s still the same when I’m old and sick.

That is, or should be, the same argument when it comes to content on the internet. Who will decide what will get on the fast lane and what doesn’t? The ISPs will decide. Today it’s only that you have to pay extra for netflix. Next year there will only be packages where you can choose between package A) wikipedia, youtube b) facebook, tumblr c) amazon and netflix. Every other site is so horrendously slow that they’re basically unusable. That would mean the death of every opensource/volunteer programm. It would mean that a youtube 2.0 from 3 unknown guys without the big bucks won’t stand a chance anymore.

I mean, look at what facebook is doing with in India. They’re claiming that they’re bringing internet to people who wouldn’t have access to it otherwise. While that may be true, the real reason certainly is to make sure that their own market grows and to give them an advantage over the competition. The internet is not the same for these people as it is for us. Internet means Facebook, wikipedia and the three other services that are included. With this model, there won’t be a indian Mark Zuckerberg that makes another Facebook, simply because he can’t afford to get his foot into the door. This is a major shift in how the internet works. Today anybody can become successful on the internet because chances are equal, without net neutrality only the big players, or those who can buy access are able to rise and flourish.

And again, as long as SAFE Network uses the infrastructure of the normal internet and therefore the infrastructure of the ISPs who want to abolish net neutrality, they’re subject to this change. If they decide to prioritise only those who pay, SAFE network won’t be able to succeed because packages will be delivered so slow that it won’t matter how good the SAFE network itself is. The success of SAFE network is very much dependent on net neutrality. without it, it won’t be able to have the impact we’d like it to have.

I understand. As I’ve said, I can argue the matter with equal (almost) passion from either side. I just think that there are layers underneath that should be examined.


2x now has come the notion that company management has a duty to earn as much profit as possible for the share holders or even a duty to make a profit. This is utter nonsense. And its only in the code to prevent tax games. Even Neutron Jack recognized that shareholders are way at the back of the list of stake holders.

Also its not telco’s private infrastructure. The market belongs to the public and much of then land is leased and all of it subject to imminent domain. They are utilities and they are not to collude and with their local monopolies were always subject government control on rates. And the rates and the performance in the US is horrid. $80 a month for what is covered by real infrastructure with no cost to the average end user. These are communication systems, the greed of people throwing their money at them is the least of concerns. This talk of no neutrality would be like a free way and road system where you had to pay tolls per mile because of useless private property games.

How about this: I’m not YouTube’s customer or shareholder.

Apparently you got 3 likes for this so it seems most people are on the same page here - redistribution and subsidies are bad only if you’re getting screwed, otherwise it’s OK!

Also, please consider what you claimed: that Larry and Zuck needed our help, so we had to provide even without being asked. What kind of reasoning is that???

You’re mistaken, but if you can’t break through that belief, I won’t try to persuade you about this NN stuff either - it’s OK.
By the way, I’m curious - do you also think that the minimum wage supports the underprivileged and poorest workers?

It would’ve been nice if you told why I’m mistaken about that…

I don’t know why you’re trying to bait me into a completely different debate without finishing the first one. Minimum wage has absolutely nothing to do with this, so if you want to discuss the implications of minimum wage, please be so kind and open up a new topic. In the meantime, let’s try and stay on topic here.

btw, you also haven’t answered my question regarding your fedex example. :slight_smile: