Binge On! - And So This is Net Neutrality?

Rich Brown richb.hanover at
Fri Dec 11 15:37:52 UTC 2015

> On Dec 11, 2015, at 7:00 AM, Chris Adams <cma at>wrote:
> Once upon a time, Christopher Morrow <morrowc.lists at> said:
>> On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 1:07 PM, William Kenny
>> <william.r.kenny at> wrote:
>>> is that still net neutrality?
>> who cares? mobile was excepted from the NN rulings.
> Any why the desire for extra regulation for Internet services?
> Shippers (you know, actual Common Carriers) do things like this all the
> time, especially when they are busy (congested).  I had a package ship
> Tuesday; it sat at the receiving location for 24 hours before the first
> move, then it reached my city early this morning, but since I didn't pay
> extra for timed delivery (and the shipper doesn't have special
> arrangements), it didn't go on a truck today.  I should get it tomorrow.
> I could have paid more to get it faster, and some large-scale shippers
> have special arrangements that seem to get their packages priority.  How
> is this different from Internet traffic?

I think this conflates arrangements that retailers/shippers make with each other and the agreements that consumers have with their own network supplier. 

a) As a customer of a retailer that ships physical packages, my contract is with the retailer. They promise to deliver on a certain date, or they yell at the shipper.

b) As an *network subscriber*, my contract/agreement is with my (cable/DSL/satellite/mobile) ISP. I pay them to deliver my bits - without any discussion of where they come from. Most of these agreements don't provide much of a service level. But I still have the understanding that *all* data coming to/from me will have substantially the rate, latency, and packet loss that is advertised. 

Specifically, I have the expectation that data from two streams (say, one from a Binge On participant, one from an unsubsidized source like an Ubuntu ISO download) should arrive with substantially the same rate, latency and packet loss.

I can then remain ignorant/uninvolved with whether any source wants to use CDNs, or to subsidize a subscriber's data plan, or make any other arrangement between the data source and the intervening providers. As long as data is arriving at the contracted rate, I am getting what I paid for.

Isn't that a useful and testable basis for understanding Net Neutrality? Doesn't this address (at least part of) the argument about guaranteeing equal access to all content whether subsidized or not?

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