Net Neutrality Shocker! – Verizon Admits To Throttling Video In Violation Of Net Neutrality Rules

Verizon admits to throttling video in violation of net neutrality rules
Source: RT
July 22, 2017

Verizon wireless customers have noticed their video streaming being throttled when testing their speeds on Netflix and YouTube. The telecom giant later confirmed that video streaming speeds were being temporarily capped.

In a statement provided to Ars Technica, Verizon claimed users were experiencing lower speeds due to a temporary test they were conducting on a new video optimization system.

“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,” a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. “The testing should be completed shortly.”

Customers who tested their data speeds on fast.com, which runs from Netflix’s servers, found Verizon’s LTE network was capped at around 10 Mbps.

Multiple users on Reddit also reported that their data appeared to be capped on Netflix. Users at Howard Forums said the cap was being applied to YouTube as well as Netflix.

A representative from the company said that caps were applied across the board to all video applications on the Verizon Wireless network.

“We are constantly testing the network,” a representative told the Verge. “It’s what we do, to optimize performance for our customers. The test was across the board, and did not target any individual applications.”

However, when users compared fast.com with other speed tests, they found drastic differences in speed while using the same Verizon network.

Users who tested their speed using a virtual private network (VPN), which hides which sites they were visiting, also noticed that they had much higher speeds.

The Verizon representative also said, “The consumer video experience should have been unaffected by the test, since 1080p video is HD quality and looks great at 10 [Mpbs].”

While it is true that many users would not be able to notice a difference, those who tether their phones to other devices could experience lower quality video. Netflix also said that Ultra HD quality video may require 25 Mbps, but only for non-mobile devices.

In the past, Netflix has throttled their own video stream in order to help users stay under their data caps. However, they recently changed their policy to allow users to choose different quality settings on mobile devices. Now, Netflix allows users to adjust data usage settings, which includes an “unlimited” option that “may use 1 GB per 20 minutes or more depending on your device and network speeds.”

When Verizon first announced its unlimited streaming plan in February, they told Ars Technica that they “deliver whatever the content provider gives us,” adding that they “don’t manipulate the data.”

According to Verizon’s website, those with an unlimited plan should not be throttled until they reach 22BG of data in a month, and even then, they should only experience throttling if their network is congested.

Internet service providers (ISP) like Verizon are subject to Title II regulations under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which requires them to treat all traffic equally. The current head of the FCC has called for net neutrality rules to be rolled back, which would allow Verizon to prioritize or manipulate traffic to any site or application.

Read More At: RT.com

Verizon-Yahoo Deal Shows Once Again the Need to Remove Intellectual Property Rights

government-dissent-mental

Source: TheDailyBell.com
July 26, 2016

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion … It’s official: The sale completes Yahoo’s evolution from influential search pioneer and web portal juggernaut to, in the end, a once-dominant brand that lost its way. Parties as diverse as Warren Buffett and The Daily Mail were interested in buying Yahoo. But after a sale process that dragged on for months, Verizon (VZ, Tech30), long viewed as the frontrunner, is walking away with Yahoo’s more than one billion monthly active users. –CNN Money

Another huge merger has taken place. Perhaps a billion consumer emails plus related technology will change hands, further stratifying the Internet and providing less opportunity for others.

If people believe the pace of technological innovation has slowed in the past years, they are probably correct. As ZeroHedge pointed out in May, “Venture capital investments in Silicon Valley fell almost 20 percent in the first quarter [of 2016] from a year earlier to $4.9 billion.”

We would argue this is part of a larger trend. With such gigantic companies dominating the Internet, there is less room for groundbreaking innovation.

These large companies act as gatekeepers, preserving what has already been accomplished and ensuring to a large degree that what is now developed doesn’t threaten what has come before.

As usual, intellectual property rights are at fault. Absent court enforced intellectual property rights, the pace of technological innovation might actually pick up and technology might move in new or unexpected directions.

We’ve argued before that in the modern era, intellectual property rights are not performing the functions that were intended.

This is not surprising. We certainly know from “human action” that no law works as intended. In fact, laws are basically price-fixes, redistributing wealth and reducing opportunity.

Here’s a statement by Justice William O. Douglas as pertains to a case entitled A & P. TEA CO. v. SUPERMARKET CORP., (340 U.S. 147, 1950).

Every patent is the grant of a privilege of exacting tolls from the public. The Framers plainly did not want those monopolies freely granted. The invention, to justify a patent, had to serve the ends of science – to push back the frontiers of chemistry, physics, and the like; to make a distinctive contribution to scientific knowledge.

Who exactly decides what is a “distinctive contribution.” Like most such law, the guidelines themselves are so vague as to prevent any sensible enforcement.

Here’s an excerpt from an article in the Atlantic entitled, “The Case for Abolishing Patents (Yes, All of Them).”

Our patent system is a mess. It’s a fount of expensive litigation that allows aging companies to linger around by bullying their more innovative competitors in court. Critics have suggested plenty of reasonable reforms, from eliminating software patents to clamping down on “trolls” who buy up patent portfolios only so they can file lawsuits. But do we need a more radical solution? Would we be possibly be better off without any patents at all?

That’s the striking suggestion from a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working paper by Michele Boldrin and David Levine, professors at Washington University in St. Louis who argue that any patent system, no matter how well conceived, is bound to devolve into the kind of quagmire we’re dealing with today.

In fact, the quagmire is not just one of litigation.

The real issue is one of monopoly. Google is a good example. It is very obvious that Google has a close relationship with US intel and military interests.

From Insurge Intelligence, HERE:

Insurge, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’

It is actually intellectual property rights that give Google its reach and depth. The result is a CIA controlled operation paid for by taxpayers.

It is ultimately the US judicial system that enforces intellectual property rights and the intel control attached to them.

Why should taxpayers pay to enforce Google’s intellectual property rights? It should be up to Google to enforce those rights.

Intellectual property rights are supposedly essential because otherwise there would be no incentive to innovate. In fact, we can see that applying the force of the state to technological advances probably retards innovation in the modern era.

It certainly has given US intel and military interests control they would not otherwise have had so easily.

It is increasingly obvious that intellectual property rights only benefit the largest of entities on a  regular basis because it is only the largest entities that can afford to make a corrupt system work to their advantage.

In only a couple of decades the Internet has gone from a flexible and innovative environment to one that seems a good deal more regimented and increasingly less creative in the largest sense.

Conclusion:  Intellectual property rights along with corporate personhood and monopoly fiat money are culprits here. Get rid of these corporate props and the size and breadth of companies will radically subside, providing increased opportunity for everyone else – and ultimately benefiting both consumers and investors.

Read More At: TheDailyBell.com