Net Neutrality and Gaming

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CorruptUser
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Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:57 pm UTC

May or may not belong here. Will Steam access still be available now that the net is no longer neutral? Will Steam need to pay up in order to avoid download speeds measured in bits per second?

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:40 pm UTC

The answer to all of those questions is that we don't know. You might need to get a gaming package from your ISP, you might have each ISP with their own gaming service and if you switch ISPs you lose all of your games.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby Yakk » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:19 pm UTC

The basic idea is that you are both a customer and a product.

They can work out how much access to each piece of the net is worth to you, and is worth to the people whom you are accessing.

Then they can set up arbitrary pricing schemes to extract as much of that value as they can, only limited by (A) the effort to find the right price, (B) your elasticity of demand and (C) the ability for competitors to set up a complete last-mile internet network and compete with them and (D) the risk of political blowback.

Without net neutrality, you should expect a lot more lobbying by the megaISPs to make it harder to set up competition and damp down potential political blowback. And regular rising access-to-internet costs, both in terms of bills *to* you and in terms of bills for internet services (as they rent-seek from eyeball based profit centers, like google, and from services, like netflix/steam).

For a lot of them, it is the case that they do want to own content and make their content the only acceptable content you can buy (at a markup).
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:25 pm UTC

Maybe I'm dreaming, but couldn't Valve turn around and require that you use a specific service? E.g., only realistically accessible to people using Chattanooga's network.

Net neutrality is a double edged sword...

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby Yakk » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:02 pm UTC

Yes. But Valve just owns some games. And if they cannot sell their games, they go out of business.

The ISPs own the last mile of wire, which costs billions to replace.

And wherever you replace it, the ISP cuts prices and prevents you from self-funded growth until you run out of money or they do.

If you run out of money, they buy you cheap and raise prices again.

I mean, you could not buy internet. But that is ok -- if they can get 2x the profit from 75% of the customer base, they make more money. That is how monopoly pricing works -- you raise prices until the elasticity of demand makes higher prices less profitable.

Better that that, naturally, is to tier your users into what they can afford. So you offer crippled internet to the poors and better internet for expentially higher prices to people with more money.
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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby Jorpho » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:01 am UTC

It is perhaps worth pointing out that there was no guaranteed net neutrality before 2015, and at the time no one was messing with Steam. I reckon the potential fallout of messing with Steam probably exceeds the profits that may be extracted, compared to what might be done with streaming services (which consume far more traffic).

Anyway, I suspect one lawsuit or another will prevail before anything seriously changes.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:36 am UTC

It is also worth noting that originally Netflix had access to almost every movie you could conceivably want to watch, but then "coincidentally" most of the movies and shows got cut off when Disney and the others all decided to offer competing streaming services.

It's not instant that the end of net neutrality will turn the internet into Cable TV on 'roids, but it will happen.

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Re: Great Steam Deals (And other Online Distribution Systems)

Postby elasto » Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:33 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:It is perhaps worth pointing out that there was no guaranteed net neutrality before 2015, and at the time no one was messing with Steam.

But they were messing with Netflix.

To the people that say the internet was fine before Obama enforced Net Neutrality, the thing is the ISPs were afraid of pushing their luck lest regulation was imposed. And they were right: They pushed their luck and it was. The difference now is that, regulation having been rolled back, politicians are less likely to perform a U-turn and reimpose it. Expect the ISPs to begin taking severe liberties...

A random article from back then:

Five major internet service providers in the US and one in Europe have been accused of abusing their market share to interfere with the flow of the internet for end users. The accusations come from Level 3, a communications company that helps connect large-scale ISPs like Comcast or AT&T to the rest of the internet. According to the company, these six unnamed ISPs are deliberately degrading the quality of internet services using the Level 3 network, in an attempt to get Level 3 to pay them a fee for additional traffic caused by services like Netflix, a process known as paid peering.

"They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers," writes Level 3's Mark Taylor. "They are not allowing us to fulfill the requests their customers make for content." While Taylor doesn't name names, he describes the six offenders as "large broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market." He adds that "in countries or markets where consumers have multiple broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers." He also says that Level 3 won't be paying up. "Our policy is to refuse to pay arbitrary charges to add interconnection capacity," he explains.

The situation recalls recent claims by Netflix that Comcast is intentionally throttling traffic with intermediaries like Level 3 and Cogent, a problem that Netflix says ultimately led it to start signing direct traffic deals — Comcast and Verizon have been paid so far, with more likely to come. Since the Comcast deal, Netflix says its streaming speeds on Comcast have increased 65 percent. But despite the performance improvement, Netflix doesn't appear happy about the arrangement. "While in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the internet the world needs and deserves."

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:51 pm UTC

It's not about money, it's about content.

That is, on the surface it is about money, but controlling what you can easily read (and watch) will have the effect of defining how subscribers perceive the world, and that will have the effect of defining how they interact with it. This won't go unnoticed by those who want you to interact with the world a certain way. This will come out at elections, among other places.

That is the real danger.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Jorpho » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:29 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Jorpho wrote:It is perhaps worth pointing out that there was no guaranteed net neutrality before 2015, and at the time no one was messing with Steam.

But they were messing with Netflix.
Indubitably. My thinking is that Netflix is an easy target: probably a significant proportion of their userbase is ill-informed about net neutrality and might be easily persuaded to pony up extra money for "faster Netflix access" (even if "faster" means "actually the same speed you were used to before"). There are fewer people who use Steam, but the last several years has indicated that some of them can be hella vocal, or at least that the media is far too pleased to broadcast their antics at length.

Of course, given enough time, I might well expect ISPs to slowly introduce incremental changes. I just don't think they're going to have that kind of time.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:36 pm UTC

ucim wrote:It's not about money, it's about content.

That is, on the surface it is about money, but controlling what you can easily read (and watch) will have the effect of defining how subscribers perceive the world, and that will have the effect of defining how they interact with it. This won't go unnoticed by those who want you to interact with the world a certain way. This will come out at elections, among other places.

That is the real danger.

It's the real danger of today's net, but net neutrality is not particularly pertinent to that. It's not like Snopes et. al. require a lot of bandwidth, and ISP's are not going to outright censor. High quality content will always be available.

No, it's mostly about money and only indirectly about content: Losing net neutrality will be anti-competitive because it will entrench today's behemoths - because they will be able to afford any extra fees - at the expense of the newcomers who might not be able to.

It will also force companies to monetise even more aggressively, meaning even more click-bait, intrusive data-gathering and ad-spam.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:43 pm UTC

On one possible upside, it could encourage new players to the web content market to be more bandwidth-efficient to make better use of the limited pipe they can afford?

Not that that at all justifies this, but thinking about what incentives or disincentives a world of fast lanes would create brought that to mind.
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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:55 pm UTC

True, but anything a small company can do, a big company can usually do better due to efficiencies of scale, being able to afford the very best talent etc. And it's not like Netflix et. al. don't have incentives to reduce their bandwidth bill right now even with net neutrality in place - eg. by coming up with better video compression algorithms. That would still benefit their bottom line.

Zuckerberg started Facebook from his bedroom and grew it to eventually crush MySpace. It's simply that in a world of fast and slow lanes such innovation might happen far less often.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:43 am UTC

But can't it swing both ways?

Back in the old days of the radio, record companies and artists had to pay radio stations to play their music. Today, radio stations have to pay them instead. This is because even though both parties benefit immensely from the music being played, but depending on the power of one or the other, one side could be forced to pay up.

So too with internet. Comcast thinks they can squeeze Facebook out of a fortune, but I don't see what is stopping Facebook from turning around and demanding that Comcast pay Facebook instead.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:00 am UTC

The major advantage Comcast has over Facebook in that regard is that it’s a lot easier for users to switch to a Facebook alternative (and for competitors to build Facebook” alternatives) if “Comcast can’t get Facebook, than it is for customers to move house away from Comcast (or a competitor to dig up the street and build an alternative) if “Facebook won’t serve Comcast customers”.
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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:10 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote: Comcast thinks they can squeeze Facebook out of a fortune, but I don't see what is stopping Facebook from turning around and demanding that Comcast pay Facebook instead.
But that misses the point. An internet that includes Fecebook everywhere is guaranteed. Both cement each other's positions. The loss will be meetme.com, a startup that concentrates on... well, it doesn't really matter. You have to pay extra to get it at acceptable speeds, and nobody will. This makes fecebook much more powerful than it already is (and that's scary).
elasto wrote:[what I said here is] the real danger of today's net, but net neutrality is not particularly pertinent to that. It's not like Snopes et. al. require a lot of bandwidth...
but like all sites, they require low latency. All you have to do is add a few seconds delay and people will click away before the site loads (no matter how fast it would subsequently load). When sites become inconvenient, they die. It doesn't even take much; time will take care of the rest.

It's not about money. It's about what (small set of) companies will dominate the internet, and what you will be able to (easily) read or watch on it.

Money is just a tool for domination. In the long term, nothing else matters.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:11 am UTC

ucim wrote:
CorruptUser wrote: Comcast thinks they can squeeze Facebook out of a fortune, but I don't see what is stopping Facebook from turning around and demanding that Comcast pay Facebook instead.
But that misses the point. An internet that includes Fecebook everywhere is guaranteed. Both cement each other's positions. The loss will be meetme.com, a startup that concentrates on... well, it doesn't really matter. You have to pay extra to get it at acceptable speeds, and nobody will. This makes fecebook much more powerful than it already is (and that's scary).



No, I get the point. But I want to know what makes the ISP's think that the end of net neutrality isn't a double edged serrated and poison drenched chainsaw...

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:23 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote: But I want to know what makes the ISP's think that the end of net neutrality isn't a double edged serrated and poison drenched chainsaw...
Oh, I'm sure they do. But that's the game the big boys play, and each thinks it can win (otherwise it would never have gotten into the game in the first place). It's the mice in bed with the elephants that will lose, and nobody cares about them.

In the old days, something like this played out with usenet newsgroups. Remember them? There was no "net neutrality" provisions, and ISPs were free to carry (or not carry) any newsgroups they wanted. But that was the days before commercial interests got involved. It was a kinder, gentler internet. But nothing is more powerful than a commercial interest.

Now, countering the trend of ISPs slowing sites down is the sites slowing themselves down by farding them will javascript, service workers, and endless fetches of ads, comments, and other irrelevant content. It's been a full minute and I'm still waiting for a answers.yahoo.com page to load. Oh, I see now, it's demanding that I allow scripts to run, and (I use noscript) I have to allow them or I get nothing. Maybe that won't stop anybody; most people just trust the internet and let it run whatever from wherever on their machine.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:17 am UTC

I just use ublock origin. Seems to do the trick.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:37 am UTC

ucim wrote:but like all sites, they require low latency. All you have to do is add a few seconds delay and people will click away before the site loads (no matter how fast it would subsequently load). When sites become inconvenient, they die. It doesn't even take much; time will take care of the rest.

True, but that's just censorship by another name. While that's possible, personally I think it's unlikely. Sure, US citizens are unduly credulous when it comes to belief in the panacea of 'market forces', but they are also fiercely defensive over free speech issues. And content can be mirrored, sites can change domains, use of VPNs/Tor might become ubiquitous etc.

If the major search engines get into bed with the ISPs then, sure, the internet as we know it could be over, but as things stand it's more likely to go in the other direction imo, with, say, Google rolling out its own net-neutral ISP if things get too extreme.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Ranbot » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:31 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:On one possible upside, it could encourage new players to the web content market to be more bandwidth-efficient to make better use of the limited pipe they can afford?
.

This is the only potential upside, but I don't think it's worth the risks of tearing down net neutrality rules. The average customer won't notice this programming change in the background though. I am honestly surprised Netflix and Hulu don't seem to have much if any buffering to their streams. It's a nearly instant video that may be reduced in quality, instead of buffering. They probably can't rely on in home devices to have the capability to buffer. I suspect devices like roku, smart TVs, chromecast, Apple TV, etc. will be made with more storage and memory that can be accessed by content providers to manage the stream better, which could begood for overall Internet traffic, but add another tech upgrade cycle in the living room for consumers.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Koa » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:55 pm UTC

Super BunnyHop made a video on it.. He outlines the situation, then goes through predictions and raises further questions. It's probably going to be the best resource for this topic.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:02 pm UTC

elasto wrote:True, but that's just censorship by another name.
Ayup.
elasto wrote:And content can be mirrored, sites can change domains, use of VPNs/Tor might become ubiquitous etc.
Tell me the average user has even heard of Tor, except perhaps as "that place where criminals hang out". They want two things: "easy" and "familiar". Of the two, they prefer "familiar": It's hard to get ordinary people to move from a familiar but tricky system into an easier but unfamiliar one.
elasto wrote:Google rolling out its own net-neutral ISP if things get too extreme.
If things get too extreme, Google might roll out its own ISP, and might say it's net-neutral. It will almost certainly favor google, though perhaps more subtly. They've done it before.

What's most likely (IMHO) is cell providers will include unlimited high speed Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Wikipedia, Email, and Bing for free in their basic plans. That's probably 90% of what people (admit they) do on the net. Youtube will be available for an extra fee. The rest of the internet will be an extra extra fee (and slower). What else will people need be willing to do without?

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:46 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Tell me the average user has even heard of Tor, except perhaps as "that place where criminals hang out". They want two things: "easy" and "familiar". Of the two, they prefer "familiar": It's hard to get ordinary people to move from a familiar but tricky system into an easier but unfamiliar one.

Agreed, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. All it will take is for a major browser to ship with various privacy settings defaulted to on rather than off for the world to shift on its axis. Chrome didn't exist 10 years ago and now it has a 60% market share; Who knows what browser will be king in 10 years time? Could easily be some open-source thing which is both super user-friendly and privacy-focused (including built in VPN/Tor/wtfever).

It also doesn't take a majority of users doing something to change the trajectory of an industry. Look at how peer-to-peer sharing by a minority eventually forced first the music industry then others to shift to a streaming model. The same will probably happen with ads too, once a critical mass of people are using ad-blockers.

If things get too extreme, Google might roll out its own ISP, and might say it's net-neutral. It will almost certainly favor google, though perhaps more subtly. They've done it before.

Subtle breakage of net-neutrality we can live with. It's the overt stuff that hurts.

What's most likely (IMHO) is cell providers will include unlimited high speed Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Wikipedia, Email, and Bing for free in their basic plans. That's probably 90% of what people (admit they) do on the net. Youtube will be available for an extra fee. The rest of the internet will be an extra extra fee (and slower). What else will people need be willing to do without?

Agreed, especially since wireless rather than wired internet will increasingly become the norm. That's why I stood with those who wanted the net-neutrality regulations to remain (even though living in the UK as I do this change probably won't affect me at all.)

(Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but there never was any net-neutrality requirement for wireless internet in the US, right?)

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:58 pm UTC

I really should have listened to the geeks at work who, when I was figuring out what I wanted for my computer, said I should have a 250 GB SSD with windows 10 and a 4 TB regular hard disk for all my porn. I instead opted for no SSD, just a 3 TB regular drive... which I fried by accident (replaced my PSU but didn't replace the SATA cables) and bought a 2 TB replacement.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:14 pm UTC

Not sure exactly what you're saying (it's a law of nature that porn drives every new tech, so that's never going to become a problem with the net), but getting an SSD was probably the biggest single upgrade to user-experience I ever made, so you should definitely go down that route with your next pc.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:28 pm UTC

They had suggested the two hard drives, as the SSD would basically insta-boot my computer and the other hard drive would just be storage. But I'm new to building computers, so I just opted for the regular 3 TB drive... which I fried, then got a 2 TB replacement from the same company. Just as well, since if I had listened I'd have fried two drives instead of 1. As far as I'm aware, the nice thing about SSD's is the boot time in seconds, which is nice and all but I just leave my computer in sleep mode anyway and it's the same thing. I assume. Not too worried about electric use, being in Maine; extra electricity used by electronics is exactly that much less electricity wasted on heat.

They had joked that I needed 4 TB for when the internet goes out, I could still have a stash. I opted for 3 TB, because my previous was 1 TB and I was never close to filling it. But without net neutrality, you can bet that all those sites are going to be paywalled or part of some deluxe package, or perhaps PlayBoy is going to have some sort of backdoor deal that restricts all porn but theirs the way they did with the Apple store.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:35 am UTC

SSDs don't just speed up booting (ie. the loading of windows), they speed up the loading of everything once inside windows - games, apps and so on - as well as any time one of those needs to load something - like a new level within a game.

Like I say, getting an SSD was the single biggest bump in UX I ever saw.

---

Came across this list of violations that occurred pre-net-neutrality rules:

For years a lineup of phone- and cable-industry spokespeople has called Net Neutrality “a solution in search of a problem.”

The principle that protects free speech and innovation online is irrelevant, they claim, as blocking has never, ever happened. And if it did, they add, market forces would compel internet service providers to correct course and reopen their networks.

In reality, many providers both in the United States and abroad have violated the principles of Net Neutrality — and they plan to continue doing so in the future.

This history of abuse revealed a problem that the FCC’s 2015 Net Neutrality protections solved. Those rules are now under threat from Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who is determined to hand over control of the internet to massive internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon:

MADISON RIVER: In 2005, North Carolina ISP Madison River Communications blocked the voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) service Vonage. Vonage filed a complaint with the FCC after receiving a slew of customer complaints. The FCC stepped in to sanction Madison River and prevent further blocking, but it lacks the authority to stop this kind of abuse today.

COMCAST: In 2005, the nation’s largest ISP, Comcast, began secretly blocking peer-to-peer technologies that its customers were using over its network. Users of services like BitTorrent and Gnutella were unable to connect to these services. 2007 investigations from the Associated Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others confirmed that Comcast was indeed blocking or slowing file-sharing applications without disclosing this fact to its customers.

TELUS: In 2005, Canada’s second-largest telecommunications company, Telus, began blocking access to a server that hosted a website supporting a labor strike against the company. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Toronto found that this action resulted in Telus blocking an additional 766 unrelated sites.

AT&T: From 2007–2009, AT&T forced Apple to block Skype and other competing VOIP phone services on the iPhone. The wireless provider wanted to prevent iPhone users from using any application that would allow them to make calls on such “over-the-top” voice services. The Google Voice app received similar treatment from carriers like AT&T when it came on the scene in 2009.

WINDSTREAM: In 2010, Windstream Communications, a DSL provider with more than 1 million customers at the time, copped to hijacking user-search queries made using the Google toolbar within Firefox. Users who believed they had set the browser to the search engine of their choice were redirected to Windstream’s own search portal and results.

MetroPCS: In 2011, MetroPCS, at the time one of the top-five U.S. wireless carriers, announced plans to block streaming video over its 4G network from all sources except YouTube. MetroPCS then threw its weight behind Verizon’s court challenge against the FCC’s 2010 open internet ruling, hoping that rejection of the agency’s authority would allow the company to continue its anti-consumer practices.

PAXFIRE: In 2011, the Electronic Frontier Foundation found that several small ISPs were redirecting search queries via the vendor Paxfire. The ISPs identified in the initial Electronic Frontier Foundation report included Cavalier, Cogent, Frontier, Fuse, DirecPC, RCN and Wide Open West. Paxfire would intercept a person’s search request at Bing and Yahoo and redirect it to another page. By skipping over the search service’s results, the participating ISPs would collect referral fees for delivering users to select websites.

AT&T, SPRINT and VERIZON: From 2011–2013, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked Google Wallet, a mobile-payment system that competed with a similar service called Isis, which all three companies had a stake in developing.

EUROPE: A 2012 report from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications found that violations of Net Neutrality affected at least one in five users in Europe. The report found that blocked or slowed connections to services like VOIP, peer-to-peer technologies, gaming applications and email were commonplace.

VERIZON: In 2012, the FCC caught Verizon Wireless blocking people from using tethering applications on their phones. Verizon had asked Google to remove 11 free tethering applications from the Android marketplace. These applications allowed users to circumvent Verizon’s $20 tethering fee and turn their smartphones into Wi-Fi hot spots. By blocking those applications, Verizon violated a Net Neutrality pledge it made to the FCC as a condition of the 2008 airwaves auction.

AT&T: In 2012, AT&T announced that it would disable the FaceTime video-calling app on its customers’ iPhones unless they subscribed to a more expensive text-and-voice plan. AT&T had one goal in mind: separating customers from more of their money by blocking alternatives to AT&T’s own products.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:26 am UTC

elasto wrote:Subtle breakage of net-neutrality we can live with. It's the overt stuff that hurts.
No, it's the stuff you don't know about that will hurt you. You'll just never know why.

Yes, the blatant stuff can hurt you too, but at least you can see the target.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:34 am UTC

ucim wrote:
elasto wrote:Subtle breakage of net-neutrality we can live with. It's the overt stuff that hurts.
No, it's the stuff you don't know about that will hurt you. You'll just never know why.

Yes, the blatant stuff can hurt you too, but at least you can see the target.

If it's subtle enough that noone notices how bad can it really be. Once it's out in the open, those of us that care can take counter-measures.

Obviously I'm in agreement with you that it's bad that most of US society doesn't care about this stuff, but, as with politics etc. people largely get the leadership and service they deserve.

Anyhow, I've become quite disillusioned over the net in general since everywhere I look it seems like the trolls have won. No longer can we follow the mantra 'don't feed the trolls' when they are so ubiquitous.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:48 am UTC

elasto wrote:If it's subtle enough that noone notices how bad can it really be
Bad enough to re-elect Trump.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:55 am UTC

elasto wrote:If it's subtle enough that noone notices how bad can it really be.


Broken windows, my friend. You don't see what could have been...

Know what the difference between computer and console gaming is? Consoles are appliances, not computers. Every console manufacturer has all sorts of collusionary (is that a word?) deals with game developers to only make content for playstation, e.g., Final Fantasy only on Playstation (with the exception of the occasional port). Dell can't make any deal with, say, Ubisoft, to only make Assassin's Creed for Dell computers, because if it runs on Dell it'll run on HP or IBM or SomeGuysBasement. So if you want to play Halo, and FF, and Mario, you have to buy 3 different consoles. You already see this with streaming; if you want to watch everything critically acclaimed, you have to sign up for half a dozen streaming services. That is the true danger of vertical monopolies.

And it's all "subtle" enough that this happened without us noticing enough to complain.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby elasto » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:24 am UTC

ucim wrote:
elasto wrote:If it's subtle enough that noone notices how bad can it really be
Bad enough to re-elect Trump.

Trump's election had nothing to do with net-neutrality. Nor did Brexit. Nor will his re-election should that occur. They were down to the trolls (both amateur and professional) taking over the net as I bemoaned.

CorruptUser wrote:Know what the difference between computer and console gaming is? Consoles are appliances, not computers. Every console manufacturer has all sorts of collusionary (is that a word?) deals with game developers to only make content for playstation, e.g., Final Fantasy only on Playstation (with the exception of the occasional port). Dell can't make any deal with, say, Ubisoft, to only make Assassin's Creed for Dell computers, because if it runs on Dell it'll run on HP or IBM or SomeGuysBasement. So if you want to play Halo, and FF, and Mario, you have to buy 3 different consoles.

That's self-limiting though. The more the market deliberately fragments itself the less money it makes.

You already see this with streaming; if you want to watch everything critically acclaimed, you have to sign up for half a dozen streaming services. That is the true danger of vertical monopolies.

That's self-limiting too. The more fragmented the market becomes the more people will give up trying to stay honest and just pirate everything. The only winner will be the VPNs that everyone turns to. And even China can't do anything about those so there's no chance the US will.

And it's all "subtle" enough that this happened without us noticing enough to complain.

I think we have different definitions of subtle. Every person buying games on consoles knows they have exclusive releases. Every person signing up to a streaming service knows it has exclusive content. It couldn't be more overt.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby idonno » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:57 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
ucim wrote:
elasto wrote:If it's subtle enough that noone notices how bad can it really be
Bad enough to re-elect Trump.

Trump's election had nothing to do with net-neutrality. Nor did Brexit. Nor will his re-election should that occur. They were down to the trolls (both amateur and professional) taking over the net as I bemoaned.

Maybe net-neutrality didn't have anything to do with past elections but as far as I'm concerned, one of the most terrifying things about getting rid of it is that a handful of corporations could theoretically control what real and fake news people see. If the ISPs put their thumb on the scales, it won't be in favor of any champion of net neutrality and even if they are so subtle that no one notices, it could easily change an election as close as the last presidential one.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:35 pm UTC

So what, subtle is like when GE colluded to reduce the quality of lightbulbs so they'd break after 2 years and you had to buy more?

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby ucim » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Trump's election had nothing to do with net-neutrality.
Not directly, and not this time. But it had a lot to do with why losing net neutrality is a Bad Thing, to wit, outsize control over what you read and see that places like Facebook and Twitter have. They amplify the crazy and divisive.

Net Neutrality helps keep cement out of their hands.

elasto wrote:The more the market deliberately fragments itself the less money it makes.
No, the opposite is true. That's why it works.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby Dauric » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:18 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
elasto wrote:The more the market deliberately fragments itself the less money it makes.
No, the opposite is true. That's why it works.


It's not a unidirectional progression.

Fragmentation works as long as there's enough content to support that fragmentation. People will pay for a service as long as there's something from that service that they want. The overall market potentially makes more money with Popular Series A and Popular Series B on two different $10/month services than it does on one $15/month service.

Two things will end this profitability of fragmentation: the first being a lack of quality content people want to access. When all the popular content gets doled out to individual fragments, the remainder get crap content, which means people won't pay for an individual service for those shows nobody wants to access. Any fragmentation past that point only results in services that go bankrupt from a lack of customer base enough to pay for their own overhead.

The second is when the cost of all the desirable content rises above the price people are willing to pay for all the desirable content. Desirability being a relative thing, if you'd pay $10 each for monthly subscriptions to two services ($20 total) that show you four series you like, but will have to pick and choose two of those shows if they fragmented in to four $7/month services then market fragmentation actually looses economic activity.

(Piracy is not strictly a market fragmentation issue but a pricing issue. Price increases from market fragmentation may result in increased media piracy, but so too would price increases due to market monopolization)
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

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Re: Net Neutrality and Gaming

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:42 pm UTC

Market fragmentation hurts the overall market but benefits the few. Sony benefits, while the game designers suffer.

This should be a warning sign for net neutrality. What happens when Verizon decides that Google should be Verizon exclusive? Well, eventually the market for internet will look like the market for consoles, and everything that pc gamers have been trying to avoid will be forced down out throats. All because the cable companies are waking up to the fact that no one wants cable.


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