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PoppaJohn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:59 am    Post subject: Take (Y)OUR gripes to Washington Reply with quote Back to top

This new thread is NOT a "**** box" about politics, or politicians. We had enough of that before the last election. Rather it is a place to begin CONSTRUCTIVE action to solve a SERIOUS situation.

From the thread on telmex, the article http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050303.html and other questions, seems as if political action may be required in order to address the problem.

Failure to take action will be complicity in our own destruction (and Vonage's) by silence.

Not being one to rant and run, I sought permission to begin the thread, and limiting the discussion to politicians stand on the issues about Voip. Thus it is not partisan, but issue oriented.

I believe that every person using Voip should know the rules of the game as they are evolving, and be able to make an informed decision. Good discussions on the topic will help insure the future of Voip.

I believe that this forum will be a good place to begin.

The battle lines have been drawn by IPs blocking Voip. You can see it in other threads. The real issue is how to fight and win the war, and not sit around crying and sucking our thumbs because we as a Voip community have been complacent.

I posted this on another forum:
Quote:
The argument used by those who are restricting non-native packages is similar to the use of dual speed limits on roads. You will be able to travel at 70 MPH if you are a citizen of that state, using their roads. If not, then your max speed is a rigidly-enforced 55 MPH.

Like it or not, the Internet, and broadband in particular, will need to be regulated eventually. To see the reason why, you need to reread your high school history books.

The big guys are doing what Standard Oil and other monopolies once did: They rigged prices so that people had to play by their rules or go without.

As crazy as it sounds for a conservative to say, action from Washington is the only, and needed answer.In order for deregulation to work, there needs to be a level playing field.

Otherwise, we will end up with a a Microsoft-type of monopoly on Voip. That is because while macs are a superior, more stable OS, they much fewer applications that can run on them. Therefore, 95% of computers users are forced to have a windows-type of OS.
(Analogy, not a debate starter)

Therefore we must let our politicians know about the issue


How may we solve the problem? We must not ignore the elephant in the living room.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I urge all to contact your US Senators
Here is a link to the senator's web forms. Maybe if they knew how their constiuants felt, they could represent us as they should.
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This is absurd. Cringley's opinion piece is full of holes and the analogy of the road system is seriously flawed.

Cringley doesn't even mention that this plan will drive customers from the offending ISPs to new competitors backed by emerging technologies such as FIOS and WiMAX. No ISP is going to risk their core business for a small cut of the third party Voip pie. Current ISPs who are implementing this technology are doing so for a service that is separate from their broadband service and selling that service at a much higher price point than third party Voip.

To bring Telmex into the equation is an even better illustration of why government regulation won't help. Do you expect that the US is going to take Mexico to the WTO over this issue?

There are plenty of free market examples of how even road systems are opened up under the free market. There are privately operated toll roads which provide an optimized route for increased cost. More importantly the Internet is unlike the road system because roads exist in real space, are typically owned by the public and generally exist as a single optimal route from point A to point B. None of these things are true for the Internet.

If you are interested in regulating government granted monopolies on last mile Internet service where no competition exists, I suggest you do that at your local level, the only place where it is applicable. If you attempt to regulate that at a higher level you will delay the implementation of broadband services and deny any type of digital phone service to many people. This was clearly shown when the FCC tried to impose unfair open access provisions on ILECs which resulted in a significant decline in investment for DSL from those ILECs.

The free market will do a much better job of ensuring the success than politicians in Washington will ever do. Many of those politicians are already in the pockets of large established firms and will continue to strive to protect those firms from competition when allowed to do so.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have just read the article FCC to Dress Naked DSL. Some would point out that this counters the argument I made that regulation of the last mile should be done at the local level.

This article discusses the FCCs decision to strike down local/state regulations requiring ILECs to provide DSL service unbundled from phone service. There is no argument from me that this decision is going to harm some Voip subscribers.

However, the reason the FCC decided to take this action was because the ILECs would not have generated enough profits from new DSL investments to justify making those investments. The FCC is attempting to bring broadband access to as many people as possible.

The problem is a simple economics one, ILECs can add DSL to a line in served areas for very little money and Internet access for even less. Thus the apparent cost of DSL is low $30. However this cost is subsidized by the phone service that is sharing those copper lines.

We could correct this problem if DSL's true cost without the phone service were known, and the ILECs were allowed to charge competitors that cost, however there would be no competitors at that point because very few people would be willing to pay that much more for broadband.

So the question is:

Is (POTS Cost + DSL Cost) greater than
(DSL Cost + Voip Cost + unkown cost of DSL subsized by POTS)?

Since local and state governments jumped in and regulated services out of existance, that is prevented the investment in deploying DSL to new areas, it was necessary for the FCC to strike down those regulations.

It is a shame that local authorities didn't have the foresight to regulate in such a way as to pass on the true costs of DSL to competitors and that those competitors didn't have something to offer (like Voip) that could have offset the higher cost of naked DSL.

Competition for broadband will now not come from open access to DSL or Cable, but from other new types of last mile ISP services. That being said, some ILECs still intend to offer naked DSL, they will just have more control over pricing thus being able to pay for expansion into additional areas.

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PoppaJohn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti posted:
Quote:
This is absurd. Cringley's opinion piece is full of holes and the analogy of the road system is seriously flawed
.

Saying that something is flawed, and proving it are different items.

How else is anyone to interpret the facts that ISPs ARE blocking, and that the "remedies" are fixed only when the suckers, er, customers uses the native interfaces?

The Internet is also called "the Information Highway", and it travels at the speed of light, so the road analogy is apropos.

scerruti's analysis:
So the question is:

Quote:
Is (POTS Cost + DSL Cost) greater than
(DSL Cost + Voip Cost + unkown cost of DSL subsized by POTS)?

Since local and state governments jumped in and regulated services out of existance [sic], that is prevented the investment in deploying DSL to new areas, it was necessary for the FCC to strike down those regulations.


is much like the sand supplier for the poured concrete setting the differing tolls and speed limits on the roads. It is also supporting a person's paying either $1.00 $0.75 or $0.50 for a bag of M&Ms depending upon the time of day. That is what the telcos and some cell telcos do. (cells are only illustrative). It is the same bag of M&Ms.

Quote:
To bring Telmex into the equation is an even better illustration of why government regulation won't help. Do you expect that the US is going to take Mexico to the WTO over this issue?


That is absurd because it confuses the issue. Naturally, one can't legislate what goes on in Mexico. They can't clean up their own corruption, but the FACT that they are being nasty, and that it can happen via other ISPs should cause us to be very concerned.

If we accepted scerruti's arguments at face value, then electricity would be still be denied to rural areas. It took the REC, as part of the New Deal to get electricity to farms. That is not politics, but plain history.

As in the 1930's as now, sometimes the free market needs a kick in the pants to get started doing what is right. the current regulations favor copper telephone wiring and pricing, as most of us have in our homes. Unfortunately, most of us fail to know that virtually 90% of our telephone and cable connections outside our house is digital, and not going through copper lines.

scerutti's argument would hand back to ma bell total control over our communications. Anyone want a party line?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:45 pm    Post subject: Regulation Reply with quote Back to top

First I look at all the taxes and fees that are included in my landline phone bill. Then someone is telling me how good it would be if Government regulated Voip!! It don't compute.

Every time the Government gets involved in anything it cost me money. I just can't afford for them folk to "Fix" anything else.

Once upon a time I just dialed "O" if I had an emergency. An operator would come on the line and would dispach a cop or fire engine as needed. It was free. Now I gotta dial "911" for the same thing. I get a tax tacked onto each phone line monthly plus I have a tax added to my property taxes for this service!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

PoppaJohn wrote:
scerruti posted:
Quote:
This is absurd. Cringley's opinion piece is full of holes and the analogy of the road system is seriously flawed
.

Saying that something is flawed, and proving it are different items.


I had an entire paragraph explaining how seriously it was flawed.

PoppaJohn wrote:
How else is anyone to interpret the facts that ISPs ARE blocking, and that the "remedies" are fixed only when the suckers, er, customers uses the native interfaces?


We just had a case where the FCC settled a port blocking case. Your claim that the only remedy is to use the native interface is wrong. You have failed to justify the need for legislation using this point.

Show a single current case where an ISP by prioritizing traffic is degrading Voip service. It just isn't happening. Besides, you might as well argue that Cable companies should be limited in the number of channels they carry because it takes available bandwidth away from Internet customers. If they are offering a separate service, isolated from their broadband service, tied to specific hardware on the customer's premise, you can't even argue it's non-competitive. The FCC has already ruled they have the right not to sell access to these lines.

PoppaJohn wrote:
scerruti's analysis:
So the question is:

Quote:
Is (POTS Cost + DSL Cost) greater than
(DSL Cost + Voip Cost + unkown cost of DSL subsized by POTS)?

Since local and state governments jumped in and regulated services out of existance [sic], that is prevented the investment in deploying DSL to new areas, it was necessary for the FCC to strike down those regulations.


is much like the sand supplier for the poured concrete setting the differing tolls and speed limits on the roads. It is also supporting a person's paying either $1.00 $0.75 or $0.50 for a bag of M&Ms depending upon the time of day. That is what the telcos and some cell telcos do. (cells are only illustrative). It is the same bag of M&Ms.


If there were a limited number of M&Ms available at any given hour of the day the price would fluctuate with demand. The same pricing structure is available for any similar product, your can buy electricity in bulk cheaper at night and in places with water shortages water prices vary during different seasons.



PoppaJohn wrote:

scerruti wrote:
To bring Telmex into the equation is an even better illustration of why government regulation won't help. Do you expect that the US is going to take Mexico to the WTO over this issue?


That is absurd because it confuses the issue. Naturally, one can't legislate what goes on in Mexico. They can't clean up their own corruption, but the FACT that they are being nasty, and that it can happen via other ISPs should cause us to be very concerned.


Then why did you bring it up Telmex in the first place?

PoppaJohn wrote:
If we accepted scerruti's arguments at face value, then electricity would be still be denied to rural areas. It took the REC, as part of the New Deal to get electricity to farms. That is not politics, but plain history.

As in the 1930's as now, sometimes the free market needs a kick in the pants to get started doing what is right. the current regulations favor copper telephone wiring and pricing, as most of us have in our homes. Unfortunately, most of us fail to know that virtually 90% of our telephone and cable connections outside our house is digital, and not going through copper lines.

scerutti's argument would hand back to ma bell total control over our communications. Anyone want a party line?


Legislation that provides economic incentives to provide services in unserved areas are completely different than legislation that would limit what services a business offers to customers.

Voip as being offered by third party providers for connection to PSTN is not significantly different than any other telephone service. Its main differentiator at this point is price. You want laws to protect its cheaper price for you at a cost to the Internet service providers. That would be blatant redistribution of wealth.

I don't use any Bell service. Your claim that ma bell would have total control over communications is spurious and even laughable in the face of competition from cable and new technologies.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I will be writing letters and e-mails to both State and Federal congressmen, senators, governor, the White House, and last but not least - the FCC.

Although we must stand up for our rights, because no one else will, I believe that the activities of those who disdain us do it out of a business purpose rather than a political one. For instance, lets say that the companies in question succeed in their packet tagging scheme. This will open up an avenue for new broadband companies to step in and fill the void left by the greedy.

However, I am not advocating that political action be abandoned. On the contrary, it should be our first line of defense. These matters will come to court one day soon. Already there is trouble in Florida with the state desiring to tax Voip usage. This may be difficult to do as New Jersey may not feel obligated to comply. Yet, taxing items purchased on the internet is a reality in Colorado. So, the danger does exist. It will surely find its way to the Supreme Court some years from now and we will see what sort of precedent is created.

We must be doing something right if the wolf packs smell money. After all, thats what all this comes down to, money!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Poppa wrote:

Quote:
scerutti's argument would hand back to ma bell total control over our communications. Anyone want a party line?


scerruti replied

Quote:
I don't use any Bell service. Your claim that ma bell would have total control over communications is spurious and even laughable in the face of competition from cable and new technologies.


Please understand that analogies are not facts. This makes two incidents where this has happened.

Nevertheless, your misunderstanding actually makes my point clearer. Ma Bell and the cellulars charge by time of day, etc. It was a cash cow. They WERE the Microsoft monopoly, and charged whatever they wanted. We had to have a phone, and pay the piper, or do without.

The fact that you use cellular also proves the point. Verizon and Cingular merged. FYI Verizon is a baby bell that is on growth hormones, and they want a big piece of the pie, charging so much for this air time, and so much for that air time. Both companies were charging different prices for the same bag of M&Ms.

Would their price structure drop because they were more efficient? Not if someone didn't stop them.

scerruti claimed that there was a whole paragraph in refutation.
Quote:
However, the reason the FCC decided to take this action was because the ILECs would not have generated enough profits from new DSL investments to justify making those investments. The FCC is attempting to bring broadband access to as many people as possible
.

I saw nothing in the cnet.com article stating the above. check it out. http://news.com.com/Source%3A+FCC+to+dress+%27naked%27+DSL/2100-1037_3-5627726.html?tag=st_lh

However in fairness, he did write this:
Quote:
Cringley doesn't even mention that this plan will drive customers from the offending ISPs to new competitors backed by emerging technologies such as FIOS and WiMAX. No ISP is going to risk their core business for a small cut of the third party Voip pie. Current ISPs who are implementing this technology are doing so for a service that is separate from their broadband service and selling that service at a much higher price point than third party Voip.


I appreciate his being articulate on newer technologies. And I suspect that he may be in a large city where there are more than one cable company available. There the argument holds.

Many of live in a one ISP (with broadband) town, and there the argument falls. Both require new equipment, and WIMAX is just rolling out in Tokyo.

Broadband is here in the US now. Both the above show promise, but have yet to be rolled out on a big scale, like broadband.

Here is another article quote from cnet:
http://news.com.com/Verizon+to+hike+DSL+price+for+month-to-month/2100-1034_3-5611205.html
Quote:
Beginning March 22, the nation's largest phone company said it will increase prices for its non-binding subscribers from $34.95 a month to $37.95. Verizon said the bump is meant to persuade monthly customers to commit to its one-year plan, which costs $29.95 but penalizes subscribers for canceling prematurely. [emphasis mine]

[now the fine print:]
Verizon gives the monthly customers the $29.95 rate only if they subscribe to the company's unlimited local and long-distance phone plan--$44.95 to $59.95 per month, depending on the state--or the unlimited local package, ranging from $21.95 to $32.95.


Yeah, lets trust ma bell to screw us over with this!

This is NOTa personal attack, scerruti, but your argument seems to want to hand over control over to ma bell. That does concern me. There are many of us in the out lying districts that have no cellular phone service. I used to live in Bradford County, PA, one of them.

I know what it is like to be screwed over by local phone companies with poor service, and mediocre internet because the only way to get on the internet is through a 56K modem, connecting at 33k if you are lucky.

That is why I am passionate about the issue.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I understand you are passionate about this issue, but I don't understand you solution.

What are you asking legislators to do?

Let's look at Cringley's claim. ISPs are going to tag packets for their service in such a way as to give their service priority. In order for them to succeed they will have to tag packets in the customer's home so as not to be competing with the customer's gaming or file sharing.

Unfortunately for them this means they have to run a separate virtual or physical line to the customer's premise. These tagged packets can not be transmitted through your current broadband modem. If they were the customer could tag any packet they wanted and prioritize all of their traffic.

By the way, this is how DigitialVoice from the cable companies currently works. They provide a separate connection for their voice terminal that is not shared even if you have broadband.

Once the traffic hits their main network fabric then the tagged traffic and the untagged traffic are mixed. However, rarely is this the point of congestion. Congestion typically occurs on your DSL line or local cable segment or it occurs at the switches between carriers networks. Since this packet tagging is inside single ISPs at this point the tagging won't help with this situation either.

So we get back to Cringley's claim,
Quote:
The telco and cable guys know enough about their networks that they can throttle their network capacities up and down so that "best effort" service is going to be pretty awful. But have the magic tags on your packets and you'll have decent service.


If they do this they are going to break more than Voip. They are going to make online gaming work more slowly and the ripple effects get worse. Streaming video and audio will break and real-time stock quotes will slow down.

The major money on the Internet is being made from pornography, gambling and stock trading. ISPs will lose customers faster than rats off a sinking ship if you mess with those services and someone will step in to provide them service.

Here's the problem: if you throttle your network so that packets start getting dropped you actually increase network traffic which causes more packets to get dropped, resulting in a death spiral for the entire network, including prioritized packets.

The reason for this is that if a TCP packet gets dropped then a request for a retransmission gets sent and then the packet gets sent again. So dropping 1 packet results in at least 2 more. In some cases the protocol will request you resend all of the packets from the dropped packet forward. In that case you might be seeing a dozen packets added for every dropped packet. Control over the network capacity would have to be incredibly fine grained, location sensitive and very dynamic. I don't think that it is technically possible to do this. Besides, any good network engineer is going to be screaming their heads off if they aren't maintaining a decent amount of unused capacity most of the time.

Possible solutions:

You could ban packet tagging, however IP packet prioritization is a good thing that once it is implemented on the backbone is going to be a boon for voice/video protocols. It is the only way we are going to guarantee and measure quality of service in the long term.

You could require the ISPs to allow any packet to be prioritized. But then everyone will prioritize all of their packets and prioritization will be worthless.

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