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How 'Fast Lanes' Will Change the Internet

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the my-data-is-first-among-equals dept.

Network 192

An anonymous reader writes "Net neutrality has been looking pretty shaky in recent months. Netflix has started paying Comcast and Verizon directly and the FCC is saying that's perfectly fine. We may be witnessing a fundamental change in the nature of the internet. Timothy B. Lee at Vox explains how all of this works, and what it means for the future of the web. Quoting: '[S]ome of the largest ISPs now seem to view declining network performance not as a technical problem to be solved so much as a source of leverage in business negotiations. Another reason is that regulating interconnection is much more complex than a "classic" network neutrality rule. When all of an ISP's traffic comes through one cable, it's not too hard to write a rule requiring that the packets in that cable be treated equally. But it's harder to write a rule governing when and how ISPs must interconnect. Someone needs to pay for the cost of these connections, and the fairest way to split the costs depends on many subtle factors, including geography, traffic patterns, and the relative size of the interconnecting networks. A poorly written interconnection rule could create a lot of work for lawyers without actually preventing abusive practices.'"

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Micro transactions. (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 5 months ago | (#46901789)

Provider pays to provide information, customer pays ISP for access to internet and then has to pay a per view fee to view content at reasonable speeds. So long as there's money to be extracted, the consumer will be squeezed.

Re:Micro transactions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901823)

Those two words encompass all of the worst things of the internet.

Re:Micro transactions. (0)

sinij (911942) | about 5 months ago | (#46901913)

You forgot about "just because" fee, otherwise you have them covered.

Re:Micro transactions. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902019)

Reasons like this is why I'm so glad the Netherlands chose to enshrine net neutrality in law.

Otherwise we'd have to put up with shit like this:

http://cdn5.geekinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2221.jpg [geekinsider.com]

USA, enjoy your tiered priced internet service, your net neutrality is no more.

Re:Micro transactions. (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46902103)

Only one rule that would prevent this crap. Unfortunately, it would have to come from Congress:

"All Internet Service Providers are required to treat each data packet and/or stream passing within its networks with equal priority, without regard to source, content, or destination. Failure to do so will incur a fine of 1% of the provider's calculated annual revenue for each week this condition is not corrected to the satisfaction of prosecutors, plus an additional 1% of annual revenue for each week the condition has existed from the date it was first reported to the Justice Department, plus an additional 1% of annual revenue to the person or entity which first discovered and credibly reported the infraction."

I suspect that even Verizon and/or Comcast would want that shit solved awful quickly, and the bounty makes sure that any technically-minded customer can keep them honest (I mean, damn - the chance to win 1% of a big ISP's revenue would be enough to get me to script something to monitor that shit...)

They were already paying (3, Insightful)

XopherMV (575514) | about 5 months ago | (#46902293)

Provider pays to provide information, customer pays ISP for access to internet and then has to pay a per view fee to view content at reasonable speeds. So long as there's money to be extracted, the consumer will be squeezed.

This buys into the framing of the argument pushed by the ISPs. The content providers were already paying for their own connection to the internet. Now if content providers want to provide fast connections to their customers, then they not only have to pay their own ISP, but they also need to send money to every other ISP in the world. This fundamentally changes the structure of the market.

And you, as a customer, get a crappy connection to the internet unless the content providers pay. That's true regardless of what you pay your ISP for their advertised bandwidth.

If this goes too far, customers will eventually start suing their ISPs for false advertising. ISP customers are paying for a certain amount of bandwidth, not a certain amount of bandwidth IF the content providers also pay.

Re:Micro transactions. (3, Insightful)

TopherC (412335) | about 5 months ago | (#46902339)

One problem is that folks have to pay Comcast for decent internet service, and also they have to pay Netflix for a subscription. Fine of course, but if Netflix has to pony up extra fast-lane and direct-lane fees, ultimately their subscription prices increase. So Comcast+Netflix customers essentially get a hidden charge for their video streaming, one directly to Comcast and the other indirectly to Comcast (through Netflix). The real problem is that the indirect fee also applies to DSL and satellite customers, so you can't even avoid this fee by choosing a Comcast competitor.

I can understand wanting a free market system to avoid tragedy-of-the-commons types of issues with Netflix customers causing other non-streaming subscribers to get worse performance, but this present "solution" is clearly broken and gives Comcast and other last-mile providers a significant economic influence over other companies like Netflix that does not derive from consumer choice.

Re:Micro transactions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902667)

Another idea. Provider maintains its network and customer pays flat fee. If provider fails to maintain its network, it is taken from provider and auctioned off to other provider. Original provider can sell sandwiches on the street.

Want your connection to be fast? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901813)

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http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

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B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization).

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see) - Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE: I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts ( A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself )

APK

P.S.=> * "A fool makes things bigger + more complex: It takes a touch of genius & a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Einstein

** "Less is more" = GOOD engineering!

*** "The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to make it work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

...apk

Really want your connection to be fast? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46902201)

Don't listen to APK. He's trying to sell his particular brand of snake-oil. Let's face it - he's just out to substitute his (proprietary, non-standard, non-best-practices) method for DNS.

This is the part where APK starts posting how butt-hurt he is that everyone with an IQ over sixty can readily see he's just shilling. His product may or may not be malware; his approach to marketing by spamming /. is a sign - draw your own conclusions.

Re:Really want your connection to be fast? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902385)

APK tore you up on DNS and HOSTS here http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

Re:Really want your connection to be fast? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46902507)

Stop referring to yourself in the third person. It's disingenuous (although I will admit, it's really amusing).

Re:Really want your connection to be fast? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902633)

I'm not. Only pointing out fact. He tore you up again too, hahaha http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

won't matter for 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901817)

as long as the "slow" lane is "fast enough".

This is equivalent of showing a bad movie on an HD TV and a good movie on an old CRT. The audience will still prefer the good movie, and if you asked them about the picture quality most wouldn't have noticed.

Re:won't matter for 90% (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#46902017)

as long as the "slow" lane is "fast enough".

That's the problem - they are not creating any "fast lanes". They are artificially creating slow lanes to get more money. It's like if the state put down continuous rumble strips on all right hand lanes, and charged you extra for the privilege of driving in the left hand lane.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

Ramirozz (758009) | about 5 months ago | (#46902257)

That is right... they are making money with scarcity, the service will not improve

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 5 months ago | (#46902277)

The ISPs aren't creating "slow lanes." They're simply refusing to widen the freeway until they're paid to do so. It's like a multiple-item auction seller who, in order to increase the auction price, refuses to make more items available in the auction.

Re:won't matter for 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902393)

How would you know? Tracking that an ISP isn't artificially limiting your ability to access content is very difficult from an end user's perspective.

Re:won't matter for 90% (4, Interesting)

XopherMV (575514) | about 5 months ago | (#46902449)

The ISPs aren't creating "slow lanes." They're simply refusing to widen the freeway until they're paid to do so.

Funny. Customers pay their ISPs for an advertised bandwidth. Content providers also pay ISPs for advertised bandwidth. Yet, ISPs are still able to turn up the speed if content providers pay them extra. It sounds like ISPs are purposefully not living up to their advertising in order to extort money from people who aren't their customers.

Re:won't matter for 90% (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46902491)

the slow lanes are a made up of a small minority of people who cut out cable TV and demand netflix to be crystal clear
most cable companies can't even send regular TV in full HD on every channel. even in NYC full HD is only on a few channels. some supposedly HD channels look worse than SD

most people like me don't care. cartoons look fine on netflix and that's good enough for me.
i'll take the current cheap service over a more expensive guaranteed speed that a minority demand. ISP's need to make a higher paid tier since only business accounts get guaranteed speed. the people ranting about this on the internet want the same thing as current cable TV super bundles instead in a different form. they want someone else to pay for their top tier service

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#46902535)

most people like me don't care. cartoons look fine on netflix and that's good enough for me.
i'll take the current cheap service over a more expensive guaranteed speed that a minority demand

The way this works is that they will degrade your current cheap service, and call the undegraded service a "fast lane". So you may not be able to watch your cartoons anymore, because your internet service will be slowed down.
Do you find that acceptable?

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 5 months ago | (#46902689)

You mean like in Georgia on I-85.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#46902025)

If nobody buys the fast lanes, then Internet will be neutral. So long as they don't get to block/redirect/attack traffic in the slow lane indiscriminately.

Re:won't matter for 90% (3, Insightful)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#46902127)

the problem is, they won't be selling the fast lanes to consumers, they'll be selling them to providers. like netflix and youtube. so prices will continue to go up for services, and the consumers (us) won't connect the dots.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#46902445)

If no providers buy the fast lane, then no harm will come to users or the provider's services.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 5 months ago | (#46902467)

yes but if you're a provider trying to compete against another company the fast lane might be a good value if it gets you a leg up. of course they'll buy.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

ntshma (864614) | about 5 months ago | (#46902033)

Sure, until they make the "slow" lane ever slower. Eventually everyone's paying extra for "fast" which started off as regular.

Re:won't matter for 90% (2)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 5 months ago | (#46902083)

And then you create ultrafast lanes!

Re:won't matter for 90% (3, Interesting)

Bengie (1121981) | about 5 months ago | (#46902115)

As long as the "slow lane" still allows me my full bandwidth, I see no issues. The only difference is latency, but closeness to reduce latency comes at a price of the party that needs it. A game server may be willing to pay a premium to be closer and have fewer hops, but Netflix may not care about latency as long as their bandwidth is unfettered.

If the "slow lane" starts affecting my bandwidth, then the ISP is not holding up their end of the bargin. They must provide me uncongested access to all of their interconnects. Once the packet leaves my ISP's network, my ISP has no more control and therefore, cannot be directly responsible anymore. Although, they could be indirectly responsible, like making sure they use a quality transit provider or not using overloaded peers to get cheaper routes.

Re:won't matter for 90% (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46902451)

They must provide me uncongested access to all of their interconnects.

No they don't. It all depends on your contract. If you have residential internet service they are under no obligation to provide you any service at all. Granted you could dump their service if it were bad enough. If you want guaranteed uncongested access to all their interconnects you'd need that stated in your contract. Those are generally considered "Business lines" and are your classic T1s, T3s, etc... and even those can have issues. But you have your contract to back you up should you have a problem.

Re:won't matter for 90% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902707)

Then what exactly am I paying my ISP for? They're not obligated to provide service but I'm obligated to pay them?

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46902151)

as long as the "slow" lane is "fast enough".

No - just, no. That gives them the excuse to keep the paying customers at ~30mb/sec or so on a semi-permanent basis, while moneybagged interests could get massive boosts - paid for with government incentive funds. Meanwhile, the rural folks would still be borked back to dial-up or satellite.

Re:won't matter for 90% (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 months ago | (#46902229)

This is equivalent of showing a bad movie on an HD TV and a good movie on an old CRT. The audience will still prefer the good movie, and if you asked them about the picture quality most wouldn't have noticed.

Frozen grossed one billion dollars in first run theatrical release. Blu-Ray and CD audio sales have been strong.

If you can forgive the pun, I think it's long past time the geek let go of the notion that audio and video quality doesn't matter to the home audience.

Real Solution (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#46901843)

Break up the big providers to ensure meaningful competition. The end consumers wouldn't tolerate ISP's that deliberately provide crappy service if they weren't forced to because most areas only have one broadband provider.

Re:Real Solution (1)

rlp (11898) | about 5 months ago | (#46901917)

I agree - but with the proposed Comcast / TW merger, things appear to be moving in the opposite direction.

Also, I'd like to see a defined split between bandwidth and content providers. Allow companies to offer one or the other, but not both.

Re:Real Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901981)

Break up the big providers to ensure meaningful competition.

Even if you go wireless everywhere, somebody still has to own the tower. That last mile and the wire that jacks you into the net, make the internet act more like a utility, no?
 
smitty_one_each

Re:Real Solution (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#46902077)

Yes, but interconnection issues aren't a last mile problem.

Re:Real Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902015)

The solution is to make the physical infrastructure a municipal commodity. Then providers can openly compete on service.

Re:Real Solution (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 5 months ago | (#46902095)

Problem is that I don't trust the municipalities to stay out of content filtering. Access to sites based on what's political popular is even worse than access to sites based on who can pay the most.

Re:Real Solution (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 5 months ago | (#46902145)

The solution is to make the physical infrastructure a municipal commodity. Then providers can openly compete on service.

No, that's not the solution, that is the problem. The monopolies and oligopolies exist precisely because of this - the municipal powers will gladly sign over near-perpetual rights to the highest bidder, not the ones offering best service.

Re:Real Solution (2)

khasim (1285) | about 5 months ago | (#46902299)

The monopolies and oligopolies exist precisely because of this - the municipal powers will gladly sign over near-perpetual rights to the highest bidder, not the ones offering best service.

So don't let them do that.

The city (or whatever) should run fiber (or whatever) to each house. That fiber should terminate in a CITY OWNED site.

The city then rents/leases space at that site for whichever companies want to provide Internet access to the city people. The rent/lease being high enough to pay for the maintenance and equipment that the city needs for that.

So you end up with:
a. ZERO cost for any ISP to connect to your house.
b. Every company pays the same rate per cubic meter at the city site.
c. Switching ISP's should be as easy as moving a patch cord (at worst).

Since the rent/lease is for space instead of rights to a market there is a chance of real competition.

Re:Real Solution (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 5 months ago | (#46902455)

Even better, they should allow multiple ISPs over the same connection at the same time via vlans, which could be done via tagged or untagged ports.

Re:Real Solution (1)

khasim (1285) | about 5 months ago | (#46902687)

You're getting a little technical there but that's a great idea.

Particularly if you combine it with IPv6.

Re:Real Solution (2)

westlake (615356) | about 5 months ago | (#46902121)

Break up the big providers to ensure meaningful competition.

That doesn't solve the problem of the 2K and 4K video download from Netflix and other services. Fully half of prime time download traffic in the states was a Netflix stream before Netflix offered a streaming only service, before Netflix had HD service.

Re:Real Solution (3, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#46902165)

Break up the big providers to ensure meaningful competition.

Even better - regulate them like any other utility, right down to capping their profit margins.

Re:Real Solution (1)

Agares (1890982) | about 5 months ago | (#46902373)

If that is what it takes I am with you on that one. The greed in this country is so ridiculous.

That's a great way to increase competition...NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902419)

xxxx

Re:Real Solution (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 5 months ago | (#46902187)

Wrong, the real solution is to remove all government regulations from business and to get rid of all so called 'public property', so that all property is private and stop interfering with money and with people trying to build new businesses.

Re:Real Solution (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902289)

Not just break up. Separate into 3 distinct companies.
1. owns the cables. especially the local loops. rents it out to anyone who wants to be an ISP, at FRAND terms.
2. the ISP. provides the internet service.
3. The content provider.

Make it illegal for any single company to supply services in more then 1 category.
And because the cables are a natural monopoly it should be either owned by a Municipality or strictly regulated.

Not A Real Solution. Here Is The Real Solution. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#46902465)

Break up the big providers to ensure meaningful competition. The end consumers wouldn't tolerate ISP's that deliberately provide crappy service if they weren't forced to because most areas only have one broadband provider.

That's not a solution. That's like mowing the lawn; they'd just come back.

Proof: they started out small. That didn't stop things from getting where they are now.

The solution is change the rules of their business. How? By getting the FCC to regulate them as Title II Common Carriers, as they should have in the first place. Then almost all of these problems simply disappear overnight.

Common Carriers are not allowed to discriminate based on content (in fact -- wonder of wonders -- they are not even allowed to access that content to tell what it is). They are forced to charge a fair price while making a "reasonable" profit. Etc.

It's a far better situation all the way around.

Do that FIRST. Then worry about whether they need to be broken up, which doesn't address the main problem.

Re:Real Solution (1)

Flammon (4726) | about 5 months ago | (#46902573)

Instead of using force to break things up, I would remove the laws that give large corporations an advantage and special privileges over smaller companies. The problem however is that most of these laws are sponsored by the large corporations and the corruption is rampant. We can either take our government back, in a possibly painful and bloody revolution or reduce the size of government to make it a less effective weapon for large corporations.

Like they care (2)

Ramirozz (758009) | about 5 months ago | (#46901859)

"A poorly written interconnection rule could create a lot of work for lawyers without actually preventing abusive practices" Like they care... if it generates profits (and it will or will appear it will) they will do it... this is not about best use of technology or even fighting piracy or reducing latency... this is just about money and control.

Re:Like they care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901939)

"this is just about money and control"

Ding! ding! ding!

Re:Like they care (1)

RedShoeRider (658314) | about 5 months ago | (#46902135)

" this is just about money and control."

It always was.

As long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901937)

they treat like-services the same, won't it be okay?

For example, if the ISP wants to throttle video, they better throttle all video alike and not play favorites with YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, whatever. Treat all like-services the same.

Rule #1 Lawyers Win (2)

RichMan (8097) | about 5 months ago | (#46901947)

Whatever happens it will be constructed so that lawyers get their danegeld. And a non-trivial amount.

Every carriage agreement will require verifiable traffic levels and performance all of this will have to have minutly agreed upon measurement processes.

The whole notion is very B-Ark worthy. And will result in a lot of work for the providers.

Finally (4, Insightful)

thule (9041) | about 5 months ago | (#46901949)

Someone actually pointed out something I've been saying for a while. My point was that traffic shaping rules don't make any sense if an ISP peers with preferred providers of services. Say they want to provide quality VoIP. They don't need to shape competitors packets, they just need to keep their VoIP traffic off congested links. Duh! Net neutrality rules wouldn't have covered peering.

So now the government is talking about regulating peering. I feared this would happen once someone woke up to how the Internet actually works. I really don't see how any good can come of this. As I've stated previously, there was an article YEARS ago that pointed out that Yahoo! only paid for half of their bandwidth requirements. They had their own national network that they would deliver content directly to ISP's. It was a win-win because the traffic would stay off the transit links of both Yahoo! and the ISP's. They were connecting content to eyeballs. It wasn't traditional settlement-free peering, but it was a good thing. Nothing wrong with it. Peering is good. Why should the government get involved with this?

As far as Netflix is concerned, they painted themselves into a corner. They used a CDN (Cogent) that had settlement-free peering with many networks. Once Netflix started sending their traffic over those links it broke the settlement-free agreement. Netflix might have been in a better position if they didn't use a CDN and all their traffic went over transit. Then make agreements directly with the large ISP's that didn't involve existing peering ports.

Re:Finally (1)

samkass (174571) | about 5 months ago | (#46902027)

As far as Netflix is concerned, they painted themselves into a corner. They used a CDN (Cogent) that had settlement-free peering with many networks. Once Netflix started sending their traffic over those links it broke the settlement-free agreement. Netflix might have been in a better position if they didn't use a CDN and all their traffic went over transit. Then make agreements directly with the large ISP's that didn't involve existing peering ports.

And since there mathematically can be only one example of a single company pushing 60% of all the data into the tubes during peak hours, nothing done in response to their situation is generalizable to the rest of the Internet in the US. Let's just leave the Netflix situation out of it and we'll end up with better proposals.

Re:Finally (3, Interesting)

smartr (1035324) | about 5 months ago | (#46902261)

Netflix is a perfectly good example to look at. There's no reason Netflix's media should be getting privilege over Amazon media, AT&T media, Google media, Comcast media, or some guy in Delaware's media. If I want to use a less popular service or run things over a corporate network linked through the internet, it should not be throttled so that Netflix gets priority. The two main problems seem to be:
1. The internet service providers don't want to upgrade their infrastructure.
2. The internet service providers are unwilling to meter the activities that would actually make them upgrade their network because they can make more money degrading service, not upgrading the network, and not fixing their peering arrangements. ...
How do you "meter" Netflix? ICANN has the root addresses to blocks in networks that can very easily be used to calculate an abstract "distance". If a customer exceeds a certain amount, say X gigabytes from a "long distance" provider, you need to "meter" it and bill them more. This would be neutral and a way of fairly charging customers for their usage. Shady backroom deals with Comcast and Verizon are no way to do honest business when the wires have a right of way through my property.

Re:Finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902047)

Peering was a stupid arragement to begin with. Trading bytes? Really? Make a joint venture company, pay it to operate the interconnection points, and split the costs.

Re:Finally (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 5 months ago | (#46902275)

There are thousands of peering points that change from year to year. I'm not sure how scalable it would be to create thousands of new companies that come and go every year, just to decide how a $10k/month interconnect gets charged. not to mention that the data coming over the link is constantly changing. The route the data takes also gets into the equation to decide what's "equal". It's a term called "bit miles".

If Level 3 has to route the data 1,000 miles but Verizon only has to route it 10 miles, then Level 3 can tell Verizon a 100:1 ratio is considered balanced. But the data getting routed over a link constantly changes.

Re:Finally (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#46902149)

Someone actually pointed out something I've been saying for a while. My point was that traffic shaping rules don't make any sense if an ISP peers with preferred providers of services. Say they want to provide quality VoIP. They don't need to shape competitors packets, they just need to keep their VoIP traffic off congested links. Duh! Net neutrality rules wouldn't have covered peering.

At least with that, they couldn't target competetor's VoIP. They'd have to sacrifice *all* their peered HTTP etc. just to harm competitor's voice. So long as there was any competition, that would end them.

So now the government is talking about regulating peering.

That's because anyone smart enough to understand the issues is smart enough to stay away from politics. The problem is our democracy is broken. Peering is secondary. The simpler solution is to regulate the customer experience. I don't care how you peer, how you deliver services, how many QoS levels you honor in your network. If you offer a value-add service (like voice or video), then you must ensure that you take no deliberate action to harm the equivalent services from a competitor. Yes, this makes me side with Netflix, who you seem to indicate is the one that made the error. Deliberately harming traffic from Cogent to hamper Netflix is anti-consumer, and in a regulated market, should be illegal.

Re:Finally (1)

thule (9041) | about 5 months ago | (#46902429)

Deliberately harming traffic from Cogent to hamper Netflix is anti-consumer, and in a regulated market, should be illegal.

Did they actively *harm* Cogent? If the original agreement was settlement-free peering and Netflix changed that balance dramatically, who is at fault? It seems to me the right way to handle the situation is for Netflix to come in and create a new peering agreement that is not settlement free. Just like Yahoo! did 10-15 years ago. The problem is that Netflix is way more demanding than Yahoo! ever was. ISP's saw Yahoo!'s imbalanced peering a win-win. Netflix has a harder sell because the huge amount of data that is required to stream HD content. So Netflix payed for it. What is wrong with that?

If I'm a new up and coming video streaming service, I might initially pay for transit. Once it get bit enough and transit is costing me way too much and putting demands on ISP's transit, we may come to an agreement to peer. Maybe it is a free agreement. Maybe I have to pay for the peering, but it might save me the cost of transit. This is all a business decision and shouldn't have the government sticking their nose into it.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902237)

So now the government is talking about regulating peering.

And? What's wrong with that?

1. you have X pipes coming in
2. you have 1 pipe going to your customer
3. you put an Fair Queue going to your customer that then gets filled from the X pipes coming in in a round robin fashion.

The end. No more "preferred access". What's so difficult about it?

Netflix might have been in a better position if they didn't use a CDN and all their traffic went over transit.

That is incorrect. You collocate to *reduce* costs. If it is cheaper to send data over shared transit than collocate to add another pipe closer to customer, then you use shared transit. If shared transit is clogged up due to capacity constraints, then it is the fault of the transit - they are overselling. If the ISP is fucking around, preferring one incoming transit over another, then the ISP should have the book thrown at it. And that is why we need laws to have the capacity to throw said law book at the ISP for *purposely* manipulating traffic to create artificial congestion.

ISPs should be metering their transit and billing transit provider for traffic. Not traffic shaping popular sites to extract money from them directly!

Re:Finally (2)

thule (9041) | about 5 months ago | (#46902311)

They weren't traffic shaping Netflix traffic. Netflix was depending on Cogent peering. Cogent had existing agreements. Netflix created the imbalance which violated those agreements. The ISP had no reason to upgrade those ports. Netflix could have stopped using those ports entirely as the expense of causing higher transit prices for themselves. Instead they choose to make a new, entirely different agreement to accommodate the imbalance and keep peering. It might eventually be a win-win situation. Netflix may reduce their bandwidth requirement in other places in exchange for paying for peering with ISP's. Again, Yahoo! was doing this *years* ago.

Re:Finally (1)

dlt074 (548126) | about 5 months ago | (#46902313)

"So now the government is talking about regulating peering. I feared this would happen once someone woke up to how the Internet actually works. I really don't see how any good can come of this."

it's the government, "good" has nothing to do with it. they want control and power. regulate, is what they do. control is what they want. outcome is not important to them. repeat.

Re:Finally (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 5 months ago | (#46902355)

So now the government is talking about regulating peering. I feared this would happen once someone woke up to how the Internet actually works. I really don't see how any good can come of this.

A simple fix would be to regulate residential facing ISPs to not allow congested links. ISPs may run business connection however they want, because businesses have SLAs protecting them, but residential users do not have the time or professional knowledge to properly protect themselves from being taken advantage of. If an ISP decides to hand out 100mb connection to all customers and suddenly their link to Netflix is congested, then that ISP best fix the issue by either upgrading the link or changing to another link that is not congested.

I'm sure this can be gamed some how, but it would be harder to game than our current system. Just address the issue when it comes back up.

Re:Finally (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46902635)

yeah, but it should also be on netflix on then to send their data in a more efficient manner and pay for this if needed. netflix used to pay limelight for CDN until last year

those of us who don't care about netflix that much should not pay higher ISP bills for a small group of people who demand this service

Re:Finally (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#46902499)

...Yahoo! only paid for half of their bandwidth requirements. They had their own national network that they would deliver content directly to ISP's. It was a win-win because the traffic would stay off the transit links of both Yahoo! and the ISP's.

Exactly right. This is what most major content providers do. Google, Microsoft, etc... etc... There are actually major companies that help facilitate this sort of thing. This was the central problem with Netflix. The refused to do any of this. The told the ISPs to go to hell, they'd do what they wanted rather than get themselves locked into an agreement that my prevent them from saving money on a better peering deal down the road. Netflix forced the Net Neutrality issue on the ISPs and the ISPs unfortunately won.

Re:Finally (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46902557)

hey stupid, cogent is not a CDN. they are a tier 1 network
they have a huge national fiber backbone with end points in a lot of locations where you can peer with them to upload your data to send to ISP's with smaller network foot prints. that's the whole point of tier 1, most ISP's are still somewhat regional networks and if you're netflix you can't peer with them unless you have a presence in the same facility.

a CDN company has a server inside the ISP's networks with a lot of storage to hold content and media. like when i stream my itunes the data comes from inside time warner's network from an akamai server so a 5GB movie doesn't have to travel a thousand miles and compete with other traffic. or if you watch game of thrones via HBO go, the content is on a limelight server inside your ISP

Capitalism Rulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901951)

The awesome thing about capitalism is the tendency towards least generally acceptable everything. A side effect is individual inefficiency in the name of global efficiency. Eg, few customers are going to spend the effort needed to optimize their cable bill, so by constantly changing rate structure you can charge most people more than they need to pay.

Re:Capitalism Rulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902113)

The awesome thing about capitalism is the tendency towards least generally acceptable everything. A side effect is individual inefficiency in the name of global efficiency. Eg, few customers are going to spend the effort needed to optimize their cable bill, so by constantly changing rate structure you can charge most people more than they need to pay.

This isn't free market capitalism. This is government supported oligopoly. Its exactly what happens when taxes are taken to support those "deemed worthy" by providing the lines and area monopolies. If ACTUAL capitalism, ya know where actual competition were to occur, then this wouldn't be happening.

we've decided to dispense with civilization (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 5 months ago | (#46902575)

THE SYSTEM working exactly as designed - ex [techdirt.com]

A SuperPAC to demand neutrality and end corruption (2)

mattr (78516) | about 5 months ago | (#46901955)

I would expect Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY SuperPAC could solve this.
As far as I can see, it aims to set up congressmen who will take money out of governing, and I bet it will also wipe out FCC corruption and reset pointers to net neutrality as a consequence of where I expect it will go.
https://mayone.us/ [mayone.us]
http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/... [tumblr.com]

poorly [sic] written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46901959)

> A poorly written interconnection rule
> could create a lot of work for lawyers
> without actually preventing abusive practices.'

The people who profit from the abusive practices are the people who hire the lawyers to write the rules and hire the lobbyists who get them enacted.

Everyone benefits!
(That is, everyone who counts)

This makes your connection fast (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902009)

FAST as is possible: APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

A. ) Hosts do more than AdBlock ("souled-out" 2 Google/Crippled by default) + Ghostery (Advertiser owned) - "Fox guards henhouse", or Request Policy -> http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization).

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see) - Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE: I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts ( A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself )

APK

P.S.=> * "A fool makes things bigger + more complex: It takes a touch of genius & a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Einstein

** "Less is more" = GOOD engineering!

*** "The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to make it work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

...apk

This makes your connection unreliable. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46902243)

'Cuz we all know how much easier and more reliable it is to manage host files instead of using DNS. If you really want speed, just download the internet and access it locally.

This is the part where APK starts posting how butt-hurt he is that everyone with an IQ over sixty can readily see he's just shilling. His product may or may not be malware; his approach to marketing by spamming /. is a sign - draw your own conclusions.

DNS & Kaminsky redirect flaw (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902337)

See subject-line, "& tell us another one" about how reliable DNS is.

Ever heard of DNS Amplification attacks too?

How about "FastFlux" &/or Dynamic DNS utilizing botnets (as well as rogue DNS servers they use also)??

* Guess what cures these things (making your connect more reliable)? You guessed it: Custom HOSTS files!

APK

P.S.=> You're also MORE THAN WELCOME to disprove 17 points of fact on great benefits using a hosts file gives you in added SPEED, SECURITY, RELIABILITY, & even ANONYMITY for end-users of them, enumerated here -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com] (Good luck - you'll NEED it: More like a miracle...)

... apk

Re:DNS & Kaminsky redirect flaw (1)

mmell (832646) | about 5 months ago | (#46902475)

Shill away. You're still trying to sell a non-standard solution. Have fun.

Tell ya what - you want to create a new standard? Fine. Get an RFC going. Until then, stop trying to break the internet for your own profit.

Continuing to make you look stupid... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902551)

1st: Not selling a thing - my program's free.

2nd - Custom hosts files fix DNS issues.

Additionally: I'm not *trying* to replace DNS fool - I work WITH it in fact!

* E.G.-> I put 25 favorite sites of mine @ the TOP of my custom hosts file (which goes unsorted, very KEY, into the local diskcaching kernelmode subsystem - THAT equates to roughly 2-3 million indexed seeks by doing that, first of all). They're the sites I absolutely "must" get to (& hosts do that by favorite sites hardcoded in them, since hosts = 1st internet resolver queried & @ local speed too from RAM). I have an EXTREMELY large hosts file (2nd largest I know of in existence in fact) loaded MOSTLY with known bad sites-servers/hosts-domains that are exploiters of varying kinds, as well as trackers/phishers, etc..

Get it now?

I also notice you won't take the challenge I put to you earlier in my last post you avoided -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

APK

P.S.=> If you want to keep looking stupid? Keep "trying me"... it's up to you! apk

DNS Kaminsky redirect flaw (& more)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902665)

See subject-line, "& tell us another one" about how reliable DNS is.

Ever heard of ,b>DNS Amplification attacks too?

How about "FastFlux" &/or Dynamic DNS utilizing botnets (as well as rogue DNS servers they use also)??

* Guess what cures these things (making your connect more reliable)? You guessed it: Custom HOSTS files do!

(I just made managing & gathering data from 12 reputable & reliable sources in the security community easy, as well as giving you a ROCK-SOLID absolutely LEAN & MEAN custom hosts file).

APK

P.S.=> You're also MORE THAN WELCOME to disprove 17 points of fact on great benefits using a hosts file gives you in added SPEED, SECURITY, RELIABILITY, & even ANONYMITY for end-users of them, enumerated here ->

Increase competition. (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#46902063)

More regulations will just end up causing more exploitable loopholes. If someone will eat their lunch if they provide crappy service, they'll fix things sharpish.

Throttle this.... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 5 months ago | (#46902071)

There will always be some sort of peer-to-peer sharing mechanism. Interconnect or peering agreements have no power over me pirating the content. You do not want to play fair? You want to chose when and how I can consume content I paid for? You want to get money from three different directions and still give me crappy service? Then the only one earning my money will be the local ISP (grudgingly because I have no choice), and my VPN provider. If I have a direct route to give to the artist(s) involved I will do that. For the most part I do not even consume their content. I do not watch TV, I rarely watch a movie. I do listen to quite a bit of music and play some games, but I lean further towards truly independent and local more and more. Hopefully all will do the same until their back is broken.

treasonous congress & senate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902081)

Every single member of the congress & senate are treasonist and should be immediately jailed for life.

Keep Pushing The Petition and FCC RFC (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 5 months ago | (#46902097)

It's also important to keep the pressure on via the official channels, even if we're skeptical whether it will work. Documenting public sentiment and the government's consideration (or lack thereof) is a critical step on the path to better government. Please sign the net neutrality petition [whitehouse.gov] and reply to the FCC request for comments [fcc.gov] , and promote them on your favorite social networks.

The petition is almost up to half the needed signatures in about one week, but the signature rate has been slowing down with the weekend approaching as peoples thoughts turn to beer and barbecue. Please help give it a boost, and/or light it up again Monday or Tuesday, to keep the momentum going during the more active weekdays.

For the fastest connection possible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902177)

APK Hosts File Engine 9.0++ 32/64-bit:

http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Details of hosts' benefits enumerated in link)

Summary:

---

A. ) Hosts do more than AdBlock ("souled-out" 2 Google/Crippled by default) + Ghostery (Advertiser owned) - "Fox guards henhouse", or Request Policy -> http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

B. ) Hosts add reliability vs. downed or redirected DNS + secure vs. known malicious domains too -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org] w/ less added "moving parts" complexity + room 4 breakdown,

C. ) Hosts files yield more speed (blocks ads & hardcodes fav sites - faster than remote DNS), security (vs. malicious domains serving mal-content + block spam/phish), reliability (vs. downed or Kaminsky redirect vulnerable DNS, 99% = unpatched vs. it & worst @ ISP level + weak vs FastFlux + DynDNS botnets), & anonymity (vs. dns request logs + DNSBL's).

---

Hosts do more w/ less (1 file) @ a faster level (ring 0) vs redundant browser addons (slowing up slower ring 3 browsers) via filtering 4 the IP stack (coded in C, loads w/ OS, & 1st net resolver queried w\ 45++ yrs.of optimization).

* Addons are more complex + slowup browsers in message passing (use a few concurrently - you'll see) - Addons slowdown SLOWER usermode browsers layering on MORE: I work w/ what you have in kernelmode, via hosts ( A tightly integrated PART of the IP stack itself )

APK

P.S.=> * "A fool makes things bigger + more complex: It takes a touch of genius & a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - Einstein

** "Less is more" = GOOD engineering!

*** "The premise is, quite simple: Take something designed by nature & reprogram it to make it work FOR the body, rather than against it..." - Dr. Alice Krippen "I AM LEGEND"

...apk

Pretending (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902191)

Government officials like to pretend they want the US to increas it's bandwidth to compete with the rest of the world, but then they make this ability for ISPs to slow everybody down so they can provide the "faster" speed to big wig players.

What ....wait....you mean... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 5 months ago | (#46902193)

I'm shocked... large ISPs (e.g. Comcast) would never deliberately load links to point of saturation in a bid to leverage access to millions of captive eyeballs.

In all seriousness TFA misses the larger point. It is impossible and foolish to even try and legislatively correct distortions arising from provider and content monopolies. The only viable solution is to deny monopoly status and break up large providers into little byte sized bits.

If only you are able to keep everyone from getting too fat then the problem solves itself as normal market forces keep the BS in check.

Re:What ....wait....you mean... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#46902717)

It's not even that hard. Government fiber and administrative control of a all passive (all encrypted) cwdm network. Everybody gets a pair and they interconnect all comers at a given rate. Cities are already seeing what happens when you make bandwidth cheap and available. IPv6 pretty much makes this work well. A city network that could act as lifeline internet along with library, school and government access, hell it could make one great p2p network and let businesses interconnect. Multiple ISP's to connect to along with phone and cable overlay services, a single gige can carry about 20 blue ray movies simultaneously (and we have 10ge that fits in the same format for 200 or roughly 50 4k movies).

its not going to change it for me. (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 months ago | (#46902211)

Call me the neckbeard prime but traffic shaping doesnt bother me much as its based on the notion that internet = future of infotainment.
movies: check them out, free, from my local library these days. And much better quality too (you get more independent films with better plot and writing than the crap hollyoaks delivers.)
music: If i like a song and can support the artist, Ill buy it from their site. I dont scrape along with a jolly roger screwing over every artist I see. Again, the library is your friend for some stuff.
e-books: never bought into this racket. Ill check it out from the library, read it at my own leisure, and not worry about the risk that my rented copy will be reposessed wirelessly without notice. Books i enjoy will be bought used from the local bookstore.

I use IRC, and my firefox is so incapable of showing advertisements its like a time machine to 1989. Hell, my hosts file wont even route most of it.
Also from most of the slashdot community: fuck your social networks.

Stop the ISP mergers and break them up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902231)

They can solve all this just by stopping the mergers of ISPs! No net neutrality needed. If the companies were broken up, and multiple allowed to service a market, then Netflix can just say "fine, we are going to block anyone on your networks from using our service".. Putting them at a huge disadvantage. But if they keep being allowed to be monopolies in markets, they have the power.

Nationalize Broadband (1)

fallen1 (230220) | about 5 months ago | (#46902325)

I realize that this is not a popular subject and, to be honest, not one I'm 100% in love with either but it would solve a lot of problems -- and keep network neutrality as a top priority while providing for competition.

Simply (or not so simply) nationalize all of the copper, fiber, other wires that make up the internet today including all interconnects - everything needed for the internet to be the internet. Write in a complete HANDS-OFF policy (no piping the internet into the NSA's back room and then piping it back out) and figure out what each connection should be worth to a) expand and upgrade the system so that everyone, even those in rural areas, could have good speed (10mb/s in both directions minimum) and b) maintain what's already in the ground/on the poles.

Once you have the above number, allow anyone with the technical ability and resources to start an ISP in a region and then they can compete on price, quality, and service. Everyone would already know that each connection will cost $XX.xx because that's what the government collects; it is the +$YY.yy for the final price that would be where things get interesting. Some regions would still have higher speeds initially, but with enough people working on upgrading the system (the new New Deal perhaps?) then speed and availability will come.

Re:Nationalize Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902483)

Nationalize no.

Ran by local cooperatives that are 100% seperate from government but still non-profit and answerable to local and state governments, absolutely.

We solved this issue for power utilities, not sure why communications is so hard.

Re:Nationalize Broadband (0)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46902601)

if you think the government owning the fiber will mean instant upgrades next time netflix decides to double their network traffic to upgrade to 4K or 8K or whatever, you're an idiot

because this is what happened. netflix changed their networking topology, killed their CDN contract and doubled their data. since no one can upgrade their network that fast, a few whiny cord cutters are now ranting mad

Of course that's fine. (3, Informative)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#46902363)

>Netflix has started paying Comcast and Verizon directly and the FCC is saying that's perfectly fine.

Yes, it's completely fine that Netflix now pays Comcast for direct access to their network, rather than continuing to pay Cogent for transit when Cogent couldn't handle the traffic.

Of course if you only read about this on the perpetually outraged SlashDot, you might have been seriously misled regarding the situation. I know I was.

WTF are "fast lanes" anyway? (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#46902515)

CDN's and direct peering have been around for many years. networking best practices say to make as direct a path with less hops as possible.

and yet a few bloggers decided the internet needs to work the opposite way, with large content providers sending their content on longer routes through different networks just to comply with someone's idea of a fair internet

Doesn't seem complicated to me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902521)

Fact #1:
I pay comcast for my bandwidth to the internet.

Fact #2:
Netflix pays its ISP(s) for their bandwidth.

Fact #3:
If I go to watch netflix and can't because there's not enough bandwidth then comcast is failing me or netflix's ISP is failing them. Deals between netflix and comcast should never ever ever enter the equation.

Fact #4:
Comcast gets away with this not only because the FCC is letting them, but because they are going before congress asking to buy Time Warner and saying "But we don't really compete with each other anyways." as a good reason to let it happen and oh btw "after this merge 70% of the US will get their service from us."

Not only should they not be allowed to merge, but THIS SHOULD BE EXHIBIT A IN A MAJOR TRUST BUSTING LAWSUIT THAT RESULTS IN COMCAST & TIME WARNER BEING THE MA BELL OF THIS DECADE. THEY ARE COLLUDING AND NOT COMPETING BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION.

a penny a page (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 5 months ago | (#46902553)

A very long time ago HowStuffWorks had an article I took as filler: http://computer.howstuffworks.... [howstuffworks.com] and even snubbed the thought of paying to view what one wants me to see, but it may be upon us. At which point I'll ignore anybody who request a credit card to participate pretty much what I do now.

Damnedest thing I found this with: a penny a page to view site:\howstuffwork
The \ was an accident and required.

Stop Worrying and Let People Vote with Their Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902599)

Even without broadband competition, people can respond to bad ISPs by cancelling their service. Contrary to popular belief, high-speed Internet access isn't an absolute necessity.

If my Internet service becomes too expensive or poor in quality, I'm 100% willing to go back to dial up. I'll miss being able to watch videos and download large files, but I'll still be able to do all the important things like email, online banking, stock trading, and basic Web browsing.

I'm not afraid to play hardball. I'm sure I'll find a good use for the $50 I'll be saving a month anyway. So bring it on.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46902685)

... So we've already accepted net hostility? I was under the impression it was too evil and ridiculous to be accepted so soon.

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