PC Pro becomes prophet of doom: Its the end of the net as we know it

Coming from the prophet of doom department (we have a lot of funky departments over-seen by our mighty overlord Mr. Parker here at Neowin :-) ) comes this rather negative article from PC Pro’s Barry Collins.

Collins is convinced that we are well on the road to a 2 tier Internet and the concept of net neutrality is doomed. He contends that its already happening in the UK, as the largest controller of wholesale infrastructure in the country, BT, offers products to ISPs which allow segregation of traffic.

The danger of course is that, as with all market changes, ISPs choose to pass the costs associated with this on to consumers, leading to a 2 tier internet. Which I doubt is what Mr Tim Berners Lee or the ARPANET scientists intended. Some would argue that net neutrality is already dead. After all people pay for different speeds, and some ISPs employ traffic shaping methods already.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, has this chilling warning for fixed-line broadband users: “Look at the mobile market, think if that is how you want your internet and your devices to work in the future, because that’s where things are leading.”

ISPs however contend that such action is necessary given the Internet today is a very different place from what its founding fathers envisaged. It is being utilised for a variety of different applications that weren’t conceived back then. Gaming, video, television, are all being converged online. If the net is to grow and deliver reasonable performance, they argue, it has to be managed in an effective manner, which segregates high bandwidth traffic and assigns such traffic to appropriate channels.

Another option ISPs are considering is getting content providers of high bandwidth applications such as the BBC’s iPlayer to pay them for the utilisation of their network.  Content providers it would seem, are more than willing to pay to be put into the net’s fast lane and already some UK ISPs have been approached to try to cut such deals.

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Why don't we start our own internet. We can have routers that share like peer to peer between our selves and then our local governments (city) tax us to pay to run a fiber optic connection to near by cities. Eventually we would all be connected and we can be in control of our band width.

Govt has been pushing for more control and working with providers for years. This has to be considered in the big picture. It's simple. Govt wants more control, Corps want more money. Marriage made in hell and it is happening right now. One step forward, two steps back, in a few years, you'll look back fondly at the current freedoms of the net. You'll be paying more for less and privacy will be a luxury and probably much more of a commodity.

They don't care if you setup up you're little private networks here and there and figure out little bypasses for this and that. The whole fake terrorism nonsense is about getting the MAJORITY of knuckleheads to pay up and shut up. Mission accomplished, just say boo.

Wouldn't tiering the internet access lead to a war where companies end up untiering the internet in a grab for more marketshare?

Look what happened to cell-phone plans.

Just like TV has channels, so will internet it seems.

How - no one knows. We have no more IP4 available. the internet cannot grow in its current state.

I would LOVE to have ONE connection with ONE bill and enjoy my LIFE on it - wait, thats already possible. More control more restrictions more $$$ are to be made by others who don't think it should be possible without their unnecessary hand.

Considering how consumers use the internet I think it is a double edge sword itself. While ISPs are looking to get more from their customers, the customers themselves are using the access to get money as well from other customers (say file hosting sites). Vicious cycle but it is what it is these days so it balances out to some extent. That being said, the whiners and complainers always have the option to opt out of this whole ordeal and not use the internet at all.

Well with my ISP I have a contract for 2 years, for 7MBps and after the 2 years its locked in for life at the price I'm paying now. Idk how that will change with this.

blade1269 said,
Well with my ISP I have a contract for 2 years, for 7MBps and after the 2 years its locked in for life at the price I'm paying now. Idk how that will change with this.

Why would you want to be locked in to 7MBps at the current price for life when the speed per dollar has only ever gone down (and relatively drastically)?

blade1269 said,
Well with my ISP I have a contract for 2 years, for 7MBps and after the 2 years its locked in for life at the price I'm paying now. Idk how that will change with this.

See poster above me + actually, I bet your contract says something like them being able to shift you to a new contract...
So yea... with THIS contract you will, but what if they cancel it and offer you a new one?
Which will probably be better, just saying that "lifetime" is PROBABLY merely a "life of contract" thing... Whilst the contract could be terminated earlier than you think...

GS:mac

This has more to do with than just YouTube/NetFlix in my opinion...ISPs are getting ready to cash in on the "cloud". They see it coming, which means more bandwidth. Get the masses in line now, and they will just take it all in later too.

"ISPs however contend that such action is necessary given the Internet today is a very different place from what its founding fathers envisaged."

What a gigantic pile of @#%%....... Whoever was using "Internet" in the early/mid '90s remember that at that time we had a 2 tier internet thanks to Compuserve and its so called "Premium".........

It did not work at the time and it will not work now....... not in the long term.
They will implement it for sure and when people will drastically cut the use of youtube, netfix etc. etc. they will have to go back to a flat rate, no caps and no throttling. They will because, if not, the entire "Online content/storage/sync/OS" business model would miserably fail.
In fact Goggle is already playing with, at least for US standard, ultra-fast connections and in the future they will keep developing the project.
ISP will either adapt or end as the music industry because they will be replaced by alternative entities.

Fritzly said,
"ISPs however contend that such action is necessary given the Internet today is a very different place from what its founding fathers envisaged."

What a gigantic pile of @#%%....... Whoever was using "Internet" in the early/mid '90s remember that at that time we had a 2 tier internet thanks to Compuserve and its so called "Premium".........

It did not work at the time and it will not work now....... not in the long term.
They will implement it for sure and when people will drastically cut the use of youtube, netfix etc. etc. they will have to go back to a flat rate, no caps and no throttling. They will because, if not, the entire "Online content/storage/sync/OS" business model would miserably fail.
In fact Goggle is already playing with, at least for US standard, ultra-fast connections and in the future they will keep developing the project.
ISP will either adapt or end as the music industry because they will be replaced by alternative entities.

I don't know. They've managed to convince us morons everywhere that 2gb is unlimited wireless bandwidth. I am pretty sure they can pull this off. They just take small steps, and no one notices.

1). Pretty much from day one, radical limits on upload speeds due to fears of network congestion.
2). Removal of WYSIWYG editors. Web transitions to professional coders.
3). Free everything begins to disappear. Site now charge, or use heavy ads.
4). Spyware/trojans increase in numbers. People now behind NATs.
5). Offer tier pricing based on speeds (to help pay for users that use the most)
6). Packet shaping to be anti-competitive. If they offer VOIP, they make Vonage slow
7). Offer bandwidth caps, make them reasonable at first, and than shrink them
8). Offer premium site access
9). Cloud hosting becomes essentially for websites to compete. Get ready for a $150 per month contracts to host a website (and that being a typical site that today costs $20). You will slowly see a decline in both shared hosting and traditional VPS.
10). Tier based access based on how much you pay. At least two lanes, maybe more.

(not sure about these below)... the doomsday scenario
11). An introduction of an internet ID. You are required to sign on in order to have access. All activities are logged. Mass restricts on what you can do or say on the so-called internet.
12). Encryption is made illegal unless you can show a need and justification for it.
13). Countries gain power over the controls of everything. It is all done in the name of security and intellectual property protection.
14). Each country wants a firewall around their population.
15). Internet fragments. Becomes multiple networks with variants on the same TCP/IP protocol. Multiple country communities or regions connected by bridges. A lot of compatibility issues unlike in the past.

azure.sapphire said,

I don't know. They've managed to convince us morons everywhere that 2gb is unlimited wireless bandwidth. I am pretty sure they can pull this off. They just take small steps, and no one notices.

2). Removal of WYSIWYG editors. Web transitions to professional coders.
3). Free everything begins to disappear. Site now charge, or use heavy ads.

Sounds like someone who's never been to http://Microsoft.com/web - they make it so easy to put up a site that a monkey could do it. Even helps you find free hosting. And the default sites are far better than the WYSIWYG editor (many of the good ones very costly) sites from a few years back.

On top of that, it's never been a better time to find free tools. From open source projects to extremely functional dev environments like WebMatrix and even Visual Studio Free editions.

Back in the "good old days" a lot of people lost a lot of money - gambling that providing services for free would drum-up business they could later charge for. Those who survived have begun to charge. Largely due to the global economic downturn, we're starting to see a world where the cost passed along to the consumer is closer to the actual cost to operate a given service without being bolstered by irrationally exuberant tech-backers.

Neb Okla said,

Sounds like someone who's never been to http://Microsoft.com/web - they make it so easy to put up a site that a monkey could do it. Even helps you find free hosting. And the default sites are far better than the WYSIWYG editor (many of the good ones very costly) sites from a few years back.

On top of that, it's never been a better time to find free tools. From open source projects to extremely functional dev environments like WebMatrix and even Visual Studio Free editions.

Back in the "good old days" a lot of people lost a lot of money - gambling that providing services for free would drum-up business they could later charge for. Those who survived have begun to charge. Largely due to the global economic downturn, we're starting to see a world where the cost passed along to the consumer is closer to the actual cost to operate a given service without being bolstered by irrationally exuberant tech-backers.

Where is this free .NET hosting with MSSQL support? All seriousness aside, in a lot of ways the internet has been harmed by blog software (bad PHP code, too much uniformity) and the lack of good low cost WYSIWYG editor (I was thinking more along the lines of Adobe Pagemill and MS Frontpage). Of course they both produced really bad code.

I think the one serious attempt that I've seen at easy website creation is Square Space and the similar project, Concrete 5 CMS. Again, I am not talking about myself or anyone here, but rather our relatives and friends.

From a personal perspective, I am pushing for a move to Rails for blog software. Typo looks pretty interesting, though nowhere nears as mature as Wordpress or Drupal.

azure.sapphire said,

1). Pretty much from day one, radical limits on upload speeds due to fears of network congestion.

Uh large data links are nearly always the same speed in both directions. The upwards bandwidth is being burnt up by their data center that is hosting stuff, the download is being used by consumers.
Also they dont want you hosting off your connection they want you to buy hosting from them.

I'm not sure what this article is about either. companies have had deals to offer exclusive content since the 90's. Australia and other less dense places have had all kinds of caps and throttles since the beginning and it didnt doom the internet.

bits said,

Uh large data links are nearly always the same speed in both directions. The upwards bandwidth is being burnt up by their data center that is hosting stuff, the download is being used by consumers.
Also they dont want you hosting off your connection they want you to buy hosting from them.

I'm not sure what this article is about either. companies have had deals to offer exclusive content since the 90's. Australia and other less dense places have had all kinds of caps and throttles since the beginning and it didnt doom the internet.

I was referring to service providers. I should also mention that they port block often in the name of security as well. The trouble is, who's security? Without symmetric bandwidth and open ports it makes it a bit difficult to host content out of my residence. You add in a contract that forbids it and you pretty much can't do it to any good measure.

This leaves you to host your site on a remote server. You have a number of choices, though they basically boil down to run your own server at their location, VPS and shared. Now there is cloud hosting/servers as well. I guess you get more buzz words, promised uptime and added costs. The trouble is that from what I've seen most cloud hosting, even the expensive kind is really little more than really bad VPS, and sometimes just shared hosting with fancy controls. The distribution network behind it is questionable.

In summary, I guess you could say that I've never been happy with any of the options to run servers/hosting remotely. The administration is still too primitive. There is nothing that can replace having the big iron in your own hands to tweak.

Suprised? I wrote an article along those lines just as the Internet came into being. You will find it in the BBS: Gnome@Home archives if they exist. Where else did anyone imagine it would go? Of course a lot of you were not born then and those that were were lining up to sell their birthrights for the proverbial mess of potage. Don't say that you weren't warned by me and many worthy others.

BavonWW said,
Suprised? I wrote an article along those lines just as the Internet came into being.

Yes, you and half of my IT department. Why are anti-capitalist neo-luddites so attracted to tech fields anyway? It's kind of like the people in my city who move on to busy streets then campaign tirelessly to have the speed limits reduced, speed bumps added, and oppose any kind of capacity expansions.

Neb Okla said,
It's kind of like the people in my city who move on to busy streets then campaign tirelessly to have the speed limits reduced, speed bumps added, and oppose any kind of capacity expansions.
That's a ridiculous analogy - how does it even relate? Besides high capacity roads don't *have* to run thru built-up areas.

Kirkburn said,
That's a ridiculous analogy - how does it even relate? Besides high capacity roads don't *have* to run thru built-up areas.

It's a dandy analogy. Both groups of individuals place themselves in obstructionist positions. I assume it's out of some sadistic desire to have some kind of control over people who otherwise would refuse to tolerate such behavior.

For the record, I count two assertions in your reply, but no argument.

Neb Okla said,
For the record, I count two assertions in your reply, but no argument.
It was a response to a silly assertion. Who builds houses on busy streets? Why is reducing speed limits in built up areas wrong? Why must roads through built up areas be the ones to increase capacity? It just had nothing to do with "anti-capitalist neo-luddites", and it has nothing to do with a two tier internet.

ISPs simpy are getting lazy and profit hungry. they've had record profits for a decade and don't want that to stop, so that means no reinvesting in infrastructure like they did early last decade.

instead they'll just sell ultra high speed packages with retardedly low bandwidth caps and speed boost and p2p/game throttling and traffic shaping during primetime so you never actually get what you think you are paying for.

next on the bill for ISPs? fixed term contracts, in house digital streaming services that don't go towards your cap, large deposits on new service contracts, automatic monthly billing required, internet content filters and monitoring with ISPs enforcing their own rules above and beyond what the law calls for, and so on.

already happening here in canada.

treemonster said,
ISPs simpy are getting lazy and profit hungry. they've had record profits for a decade and don't want that to stop, so that means no reinvesting in infrastructure like they did early last decade.

instead they'll just sell ultra high speed packages with retardedly low bandwidth caps and speed boost and p2p/game throttling and traffic shaping during primetime so you never actually get what you think you are paying for.

next on the bill for ISPs? fixed term contracts, in house digital streaming services that don't go towards your cap, large deposits on new service contracts, automatic monthly billing required, internet content filters and monitoring with ISPs enforcing their own rules above and beyond what the law calls for, and so on.

already happening here in canada.

Then it is time to create an alternative. Connect every home thorugh their wireless routers and create a non-ISP dependant network.

treemonster said,
ISPs simpy are getting lazy and profit hungry. they've had record profits for a decade and don't want that to stop, so that means no reinvesting in infrastructure like they did early last decade.

instead they'll just sell ultra high speed packages with retardedly low bandwidth caps and speed boost and p2p/game throttling and traffic shaping during primetime so you never actually get what you think you are paying for.

next on the bill for ISPs? fixed term contracts, in house digital streaming services that don't go towards your cap, large deposits on new service contracts, automatic monthly billing required, internet content filters and monitoring with ISPs enforcing their own rules above and beyond what the law calls for, and so on.

already happening here in canada.

most of that is already happening here in NZ my ISP orcon has what it calls the Ozone where certain websites and streamed content nolonger count towards my monthly DATA cap and data is already prioritized in on-peak times

ISP's already charge for the access, that should also cover the cost from the other end imo, or we'll start to see something like TV* where some ISP's can deliver stuff like iPlayer, while others can't/won't or at reduced speeds.

*TV: certain cable/satellite providers offer more or less channels than others.

Neobond said,
ISP's already charge for the access, that should also cover the cost from the other end imo, or we'll start to see something like TV* where some ISP's can deliver stuff like iPlayer, while others can't/won't or at reduced speeds.

*TV: certain cable/satellite providers offer more or less channels than others.


Indeed...
This is all fake BS they come up with for more money...

If I have a server, I pay for its bandwidth because my plan or connection allows certain amounts of traffic...
The end user, will have to pay for the traffic he consumes... to the ISP.
All is fixed already, this is pure greed.

It's as if H&M asked fashion labels to pay for every square meter their products use in the stores' racks...
It's ridiculous.

GS:mac

It all will end up governed to the point that governments will control every bit of it. What do people think cloud computing is anyway? Are people just going to shift costs to providers for no reason whatsoever? Are we going to exclude paid off isp's from this? The only real problem at this point is the lack of laws dealing with, well most everything after 1999.