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Electronic Frontier Foundation

+ - What do you think of open wifi vs. network neutrality? 11

Submitted by
kwerle
kwerle writes "There was a recent story on slashdot about the EFF suggesting that folks leave their hotspots open to the public. One of the major concerns discussed was the issue of bandwidth hogs — and the frequently suggested solution was traffic shaping/limiting.

Network neutrality has often been covered on slashdot, and is also supported by the EFF. It seems like most slashdotters also support it.

My question for the slashdot audience is how you resolve the issue of bandwidth shaping your neighbors with the notion of network neutrality. After all, if your neighbor supplies a service through your network, and you limit traffic speed/volume to their system, you are violating network neutrality. Right?"
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What do you think of open wifi vs. network neutrality?

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  • The ISPs need some way to ensure they are delivering good service to most of their customers, most of the time. Traffic shaping is one way to do that. The most likely alternatives are huge rate hikes to price abusers out of the market, and/or a return to timed/metered bandwidth. The fourth alternative, "everyone plays nice and no users abuse the network", is an impossible utopian dream. Tragedy of the commons and all that. There is no need for more laws and regulations until it's demonstrated that ther
  • by sjames (1099)

    The connection is still neutral. You are not giving preferential treatment to one service over another, you are (voluntarily and for free no less) providing a raw bit pipe.

    If you allow http but not torrent or ftp traffic (or throttle them differently), THEN you are violating network neutrality. Even then, since you're giving it away, your violation is an order of madnitude less than if you were offering a commercial service.

    All of the crap about not being able to manage bandwidth is a bunch of FUD and muddy

    • by kwerle (39371)

      Maybe you and I have different understandings of network neutrality.

      I have a pipe. I host a website. One of my neighbors offers a website using my pipe. I give myself more bandwidth/performance than my neighbor. I most certainly am giving myself preferential treatment.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality#Definitions_of_network_neutrality [wikipedia.org]

      At its simplest, network neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

      How is that different than AT&T giving their sites more bandwidth than Verizon or Google?

      • by sjames (1099)

        *IF* you're throttling to give your website the advantage, then it wouldn't be neutral, but I would imagine you wouldn't give your competition free bandwidth anyway.

        More likely, you would throttle based on how much bandwidth you won't really miss.

        The difference w/ AT&T is that they aren't giving Verizon or Google ANY bandwidth, they're SELLING it to their customers who are not Google or Verizon.

        To really be the same, you would throttle your neighbor's connection to google but not to kwerle-search.com.

        • by kwerle (39371)

          *IF* you're throttling to give your website the advantage, then it wouldn't be neutral, but I would imagine you wouldn't give your competition free bandwidth anyway.

          More likely, you would throttle based on how much bandwidth you won't really miss.

          The difference w/ AT&T is that they aren't giving Verizon or Google ANY bandwidth, they're SELLING it to their customers who are not Google or Verizon.

          I give away 9600baud wifi. About enough to check email if you're patient.

          One of my neighbors - bob - is tired of that - he agrees to pitch in $10/month for 56Kbaud access. That's all he wants.

          To really be the same, you would throttle your neighbor's connection to google but not to kwerle-search.com.

          I guess I treat my neighbors access "fairly". I don't limit their access to any particular site.

          However:
          YOUR access to kwerle-search.com is unrestricted. Your access to bob-search.com is limited. Your access to freeloader-search.com is *severely* limited. Am I not violating neutrality from "the entire internet's"

          • by sjames (1099)

            No, you're not. Freeloader-search.com is limiting itself by cheaping out on it's own bandwidth. Net neutrality doesn't require you to give away the farm. All it requires is that if you sell someone bandwidth, you sell raw bandwidth, not bandwidth that can only be used for 'approved' apps or to 'approved' peers.

            The rest is just deliberate muddying of the water and outright FUD.

            • by kwerle (39371)

              No, you're not. Freeloader-search.com is limiting itself by cheaping out on it's own bandwidth. Net neutrality doesn't require you to give away the farm. All it requires is that if you sell someone bandwidth, you sell raw bandwidth, not bandwidth that can only be used for 'approved' apps or to 'approved' peers.

              The rest is just deliberate muddying of the water and outright FUD.

              OK.

              So if I discover that one of the freeloaders is hosting porn and I decide to block inbound requests to port 80 on freeloader-net, THEN I'm non-neutral?

              • by sjames (1099)

                Yes, unless you do it in order to preserve your own connectivity (as I imagine the incoming connection requests would be indistinguishable from a DDOS on a typical residential internet connection even if you drop them to throttle your downstream).

                However, that is really a technicality if he isn't paying you for his bandwidth.

  • As long as your shaping based purely on how much bandwidth each user is using and not how they are using it it does not violate net neutrality.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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