Transparency/Disclosure of Network Management Practices

Ban the use of DOCSIS in throttling user speeds.

The use of the software tool known as DOCSIS needs to be banned.

 

This was partly at the heart of the Comcast issue of 2008, outed in 2007 when it was discovered that Comcast was slowing down a customer's downloading of legal Bittorrent files, such as from major video houses, online. Comcast was sending out fake 'download failed' error messages, and the user being none the wiser initially, closed the download.

 

But he soon discovered the real issue, the error messages being faked, and complained. That got some notice, and by August 1, 2008, the FCC had released an order regarding this matter.

 

Just a few days ago I was in a setting of a VPN, and we found that a location had not been updated on broadband speed for its connection in years. It should have been near 1.5Mbps, however, it had been set in Docsis at 256kbps, woefully too slow for the location's needs. That was immediately fixed, and everything has been much better since. This was on a private network that used the Internet as the intermediary, but it also means that the same thing could be going on between ISPs and end users.

 

What this points out is that many providers use it to harm customer's legitimate use of the Internet, such as for streaming audio, video, and video downloads. This also could include Youtube streaming (that's how you get the Flash video), and even stories by news organizations and FCC licencees who run news websites with video.

 

Entertainment is moving more and more to the Internet, and for efficient use of that, the download speeds need to be set as high as possible and should hnot likewise be set arbitrarily low, and often people select an infereior speed because the providers set the speed on lower priced plans low so people think they are getting a bargain.

 

It may even be necessary to cap prices temporarily, until speeds can be upped for everyone, and here's the idea, set a minimum speed, and the lowest price must be offered for that speed. In the not-too-distant future, that minumum speed is going to have to be at least 8 to 10 Mbps, nto the current 1.5 Mbps. That will put 4G and home access on the same footing, and allow almost all major entertainment and video conferencing serivces to equally compete on the net.

 

Faster speeds also mean shorter download times, meaning less congestion. It's sort of like adding lanes to the freeway, you add more, you can get more traffic through faster. By all means don't believe the lies that will be told that higher speeds equal more congestion, higher speeds lessen comlaints about net congestion rather than contribute to the congestion problem.

 

And in a couple of years, the minimum may have to be raised again to meet the speeds that will be possible then, maybe set this up in the regulations to require certain minimum levels of service gradually increasing the minimum offered speed tier from 8 Mbps to say 10 Mbps, to 12 Mbps later, and so forth. And at the same minumum price the carier typically offers.

 

Satellite connections are different, higher speeds are not possible on those right now apparently, so the Commission will need to investigate ways to increase those speeds too and set standards there too.

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Idea No. 250