[SLED] Net Neutrality and implications for online games

Trevena, Stan Trevena.S at monet.k12.ca.us
Tue Nov 21 18:04:56 PST 2006

I have been deeply involved with this issue for over a year now.  My
district was able to secure fiber optic connections for all of our sites
(36 sites across Modesto).  We have gig uplinks between all sites.  And
we have dark fiber capacity to run three such networks.  This is all
provided under an agreement with Comcast for our local  I-NET
(Institutional Network) that is part of the franchise agreement.
California has already passed legislation on certain net neutrality
issues as they relate to I-NET's and public access channels on Cable TV.
Our local newspaper wrote an editorial supporting legislation that was
backed by AT&T, and then later Comcast (and other Telco's).  We pulled
together a group of educators and went to the paper to lobby them to not
support this legislation, and told them what would happen if we lost our
I-NET's, and the cost we would be faced with if forced to replace these
networks with leased services from the Telco's (AT&T).  We, and many
others, were able to make our case and force amendments to the bill
before it was passed that grandfathered these agreements.  So my fiber
network is safe for another 13 years.  
Here's a link to Senator Steven's (Senate Commerce Committee) talk on
Net Neutrality 
(just a short clip, you should seek out the full speech, but I have to
warn you that it's difficult and painful to listen to):
Here's a bit from John Stewart's Daily Show on this subject:
Senator Steven's performance on delivering this message was a flubbed
attempt to put forward the agenda of the Telco's.  They are sitting by
while the Google's of the world are getting rich, see story today on
Google stock hitting $500/share:
This all comes down to greed on the part of the Telco's.  They want a
piece of the Internet pie.  There are plenty of devices out there that
allow you to throttle protocols.  In my district we use Packeteer's
Packetshaper  (http://www.packeteer.com/products/packetshaper/).  With
this technology I can crank down iTunes, streaming video and anything
else to a slow drip, and give priority to, and bandwidth to, other
services.  The Telco's want Net Neutrality to go down in flames so they
can impose fees for your use of the various protocols.  They want to
charge you a fee every month if you are using online gaming (ie: MMO's).
They want to be able to charge you for VoIP if you are using that.  They
want to be able to charge you if you are using any streaming video
services or audio.  They want to be free to extract additional fees for
ANYTHING that they perceive as someone else making money on "their"
With the huge amount of money being thrown at the lobbyists by the
Telco's, this legislation has a chance at passing.  I've not really
heard where the Democrats stand on this, so maybe there's hope now that
they control both houses (being traditionally anti-Big Business).  But
the Telco's are going to keep pushing on this issue, as they see the
Googles of the world getting rich piggybacking on the bandwidth that
they provide.  But if there were no Googles, who would need the
I personally don't have a problem with some kind of fee to ensure that I
have a good connection for my use of high bandwidth services (like
MMO's, streaming video and music).  But I am also not stupid, and if the
doors open on this I imagine we will be nickeled and dimed to death by
the Telco's with micro fees for everything under the sun.  One can only
hope that Google makes good on the rumors of their fiber network and
wireless plans.  And the government has already invested huge sums of
money into the Telco's to upgrade/update services.  They were supposed
to have fiber to individual residences by now.  But nobody is holding
them to this commitment, so they just keep taking the money and we keep
getting marginal bandwidth when compared to other parts of the world.
The students in Japan that are part of the PacRimX project
(http://pacificrimx.wordpress.com) all have fiber to their homes!    
This effort by the Telco's should be made in the free market, with
competition.  A few of them should step out and offer the priority
services as an add-on, and not try to legislate their consumption of a
larger piece of the pie as they are trying to do with this legislation.

Stan Trevena, Modesto City Schools


From: educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com
[mailto:educators-bounces at lists.secondlife.com] On Behalf Of Beth Kanter
Sent: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 4:51 PM
To: 'SL Educators'
Subject: [SLED] Net Neutrality and implications for online games

What do you think? 
Whose organizing around this for online gaming? 
BTW, the video blogging community has launched an open source
documentary explaining net neutrality, etc 
Wouldn't it be cool to have some machinima entries explaining the
implications for online gaming?
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