Friday, March 6, 2015

Internet running like poop

The internet has been running like poop here in mid-Michigan.  I emailed A Really Smart Guy and he said that there were rumors of issues on one of the Tier One backbones.

The non-performance started about three days ago.  Sites under the Google nameplate seem to run well enough to connect.  Sites not affliated with Google time-out before connecting.

The system is a little better this morning.  Wikipedia connects.

Net Neutrality

Coyote Blog  points out that "Net Neutrality" is the cynical use of Executive Orders to tilt the competitive environment in favor of a small group of "content owners" at the expense of  players who "deliver content".

Capital chases perceived, potential profit.  Investors will invest in the distribution system as long as they see a favorable risk/reward environment.  Few things pollute the risk/reward environment more than arbitrary, unilateral interventions by "activist" politicians and governmental regulators.

We are looking at the future:  A future where there is no profit in maintaining the infrastructure of the internet.  Unable to attract investment,  the hardware will degrade and replacement/upgrades will be intalled on the most begrudging of terms.  Bandwidth demands of applications will skyrocket, capacity will decay.  Performance will go into the toilet.

Obama's pen and phone are trumped by Billy-Bob's hacksaw and the laws of thermodynamics.

What content?

Carriers already make decisions about the content to prioritize.  Suppose there are 99 users attempting to connect to Wikipedia articles and one user attempting to download an "adult" movie from Netflix.  The bandwidth demanded by the single user downloading the movie dwarfs the combined demand of the other 99 users.

A provider will rationally first serve the 99 customers their itty-bitty spoonfuls of data at the expense of some brief, buffering pauses in the movie.   That leaves the provider with 99 satisfied customers and one customer who has the equivalent of commercial-breaks randomly scattered through his viewing.

"Net Neutrality" makes it illegal for the internet service providers to activate algorithms to optimize customer satisfaction.  It is the full equivalent of a Tammany Hall politician walking up to the sled heading to Nome, Alaska in 1925 and, at gun point, forcing them to add a pallet of anvils to the manifest.

Parents of children attempting to finish their homework in B. F. mid-Michigan seldom host $5000-a-plate fund raisers where politicians can rub elbows with the glitterari and the famed illiterarary.

Anti content?

At this point you might ask, "ERJ, are you anti content?"

Heck no!  Every blogger is a creator of "content".  That is, un-paid creators of content.   The percentage of bloggers who make a significant amount of money off their created content is approximately 0.0%.  I am pro-content.  But I am also aware that there are many barriers that make it impossible for me to every get paid a penny on my efforts.  Primarily the piglets already sucking on the sow's teats.

I am not against content.  I am against the use of law to create fortresses to protect non-competitive kingdoms.

Briefly consider prostitution.  The introduction of oral contraceptives and the looser moral standards that "the pill" enabled were heralded as the death knell of prostitution.  The thinking was that the market for paid providers would evaporate in the face of the huge influx of enthusiastic pro bono, amateur providers.

In fact, the prostitution industry did take a huge hit.  It is not extinct but it survives only because it runs a much lower overhead business model that strip-mines the assets of vulnerable (mentally ill, run aways, drug addicted) workers.

The entertainment industry sees the open internet as a threat similar to "the pill".  It is buying legal fortresses via the Executive branch to fend off every Studio 143 graduate who dreams of hitting the big time.  After all, that lower overhead business model cannot support $5000-a-plate fundraising events, posh mansions in Palm Springs nor a jet-set lifestyle.


  1. We were dog slow at work today too... And apparently some folks on the left coast couldn't even get my blog to load this morning. Sounds like a SONET problem somewhere...

  2. We were dog slow at work today too... And apparently some folks on the left coast couldn't even get my blog to load this morning. Sounds like a SONET problem somewhere...


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