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Mercury

Net Neutrality VS Ripple

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I was wondering what other members thoughts were over the net neutrality degradation in the US and its potential threats to Ripple.

I think it less likely that the protocol would be threatened but there might be some concern for services built ontop of it. If an ISP such as AT&T wanted to launch its own payment system/ wallet it could throttle apps/ sites that used competing services. Startup or even community based services could be restricted or blacklisted. Perhaps nothing overt, but we could see something similar to Twitters blacklisted efforts to starve out undesirable elements or even pay to deliver channels for services in competition to a ISP/ data provider.

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Funny... I was just thinking the other day - when someone started talking to me about developing countries leapfrogging "cash" and going straight to phones (who is it?  Kenya?  that's got like a huge chunk of its economy online?) - that my XRP holdings, coupled with ILP, would, in a worst case net-neutrality-dystopia scenario, ensure that I can still access whatever I want. :)

"Access" has a price - no matter the denomination of the currency.  One aspect of my decision to buy XRP (and I'm not the typical case) is that I was sort of pre-paying for future access...

I have no idea if it plays out like that, but if you want to play super-speculative, I'm right there with you. :)

 

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42 minutes ago, Mercury said:

I was wondering what other members thoughts were over the net neutraliy degradation in the US and its potential threats to Ripple.

I think it less likely that the protocol would be threatened but there might be some concern for services built ontop of it. If an ISP such as AT&T wanted to launch its own payment system/ wallet it could throttle apps/ sites that used competing services. Startup or even community based services could be restricted or blacklisted. Perhaps nothing overt, but we could see something similar to Twitters blacklisted efforts to starve out undesirable elements or even pay to deliver channels for services in competition to a ISP/ data provider.

While ISPs could technically do that, they would have to outline it in their business plan. AFAIK, the bill gives them the ability to become a certain type of ISP and the government is supposed to help make sure they stay true to their type. So while an ISP could be known for bundling internet packages together for someone that only wants access to Facebook, YouTube and google services, people will be able to pay for only that part of the internet (sad I know), restricting access to other competitive sites would need to not be part of their unlimited access plan or something along those lines. It's not like one day they can be like, oh I don't like this, let's throttle its users by 90%, and an ISP that did that would receive backlash from its users. IMO, ISPs do the least required of them by law and want to make the most money possible and reach the largest variety of customers. I'm sure there will be some stories of 'evil' ISPs that do this, but there would always be a way around it, people are very creative ;)

Edited by LucidRain

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This is an interesting question, @Mercury, and one that I have also been thinking about, particularly in the context of metered utilities. For example, electricity, gas, and internet could all work on ILP to debt payments for services as they are used, and utility companies could be paid live. I pay for a relatively fast internet connection, however, I rarely require the full bandwidth that I can access. It seems like it could be beneficial for me pay for the actual bandwidth that I am using, as opposed to the current model when I pay for the maximum possible speed. At the same time, how many toll points would there be? Would every router operator be able to charge a toll? Would larger ISPs be able to out compete others, forming a relative monopoly that is capable of censoring the internet? I have to imagine the ISPs with the most infrastructure would be able to charge lower rates, and people would prefer using the cheapest routes.

I do worry about the threat that net neutrality poses to a number of different services. I could see ISPs claiming they are justified in blocking XMR mining, since a surprisingly high number of apps/websites are seemingly covertly mining.

Edited by Rabbit_Kick_Club
My first post just said '@mercury', which was good, but didn't get my ideas across.

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42 minutes ago, LucidRain said:

 

While ISPs could technically do that, they would have to outline it in their business plan. AFAIK, the bill gives them the ability to become a certain type of ISP and the government is supposed to help make sure they stay true to their type. So while an ISP could be known for bundling internet packages together for someone that only wants access to Facebook, YouTube and google services, people will be able to pay for only that part of the internet (sad I know), restricting access to other competitive sites would need to not be part of their unlimited access plan or something along those lines. It's not like one day they can be like, oh I don't like this, let's throttle its users by 90%, and an ISP that did that would receive backlash from its users. IMO, ISPs do the least required of them by law and want to make the most money possible and reach the largest variety of customers. I'm sure there will be some stories of 'evil' ISPs that do this, but there would always be a way around it, people are very creative ;)

'Ways around it' do not equate easy access. Getting users to try a new payment system is hard enough- having them jump hoops to do it would be a none starter.

Also consider platform restrictions all ready- apps that sell cryptocurrency are frequently banned or limited, I could see a ISP easily adopting similar practices. We might be heading back towards walled gardens and AOL/ Yahoo landing pages with their own preferred content and 'paid' access points.

Another angel to consider is that ISP already have some restrictions or liabilities to report fraudulent activity (mostly pirated data) and to monitor/ report some behaviours when required. They might use their new powers to 'protect the consumer' by simply restricting access to questionable  endpoints. A ledger database might be grouped under file sharing, or un-regulated e-money, or who knows what. Right or wrong it would take tremendous effort to overcome.

People will scream if Netflix is taken off line, but a little known/ used wallet for a little understood payment system?

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5 minutes ago, Mercury said:

We might be heading back towards walled gardens and AOL/ Yahoo landing pages with their own preferred content and 'paid' access points.

This is deeply concerning to me, and I do hope that we see some sanity from Congress, although sanity there seems like a long shot. I've come across a few news articles on p2p/mesh networks, that seem promising w/ regard to developing a system around many ISPs, although they still rely on backbones, at least for now.

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30 minutes ago, Rabbit_Kick_Club said:

This is an interesting question, @Mercury, and one that I have also been thinking about, particularly in the context of metered utilities. For example, electricity, gas, and internet could all work on ILP to debt payments for services as they are used, and utility companies could be paid live. I pay for a relatively fast internet connection, however, I rarely require the full bandwidth that I can access. It seems like it could be beneficial for me pay for the actual bandwidth that I am using, as opposed to the current model when I pay for the maximum possible speed. At the same time, how many toll points would there be? Would every router operator be able to charge a toll? Would larger ISPs be able to out compete others, forming a relative monopoly that is capable of censoring the internet? I have to imagine the ISPs with the most infrastructure would be able to charge lower rates, and people would prefer using the cheapest routes.

I do worry about the threat that net neutrality poses to a number of different services. I could see ISPs claiming they are justified in blocking XMR mining, since a surprisingly high number of apps/websites are seemingly covertly mining.

Metered content also runs into the same issues surrounding premium or niche products/ services. There is a reason why channels are bundled together, individually it they could not attract enough interest to support themselves. If you pay for everything you only shell out what you want/ need and rarely branch out to other items/ services.

Consider, how many times have you watched or even waited in line for a paid movie you knew nothing about? VS. trying a new show or movie on Netflix because it was there and free?

Comcast already rents out users routers for public wifi, I see it going more that way. The big guys offer a pass to access their products/ services and those paid access points. A form of metered or walled garden toll

 

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I have some 5 years xp in EU telecommunication regulations. ISPs have been giving priority to packages behind the scenes already, but it was against the regulations since they were doing it to gimp alternative providers. The providers with significant market power are obligated to give access to other weaker providers to their own infrastructure so they can reach the customers with same QoS as SMP. Removing nn from the equation will give SMPs legal backdoor to gimp alternative providers QoS thus lowering their market share(this is the only focus of every provider). I dont think xrp will have any problems with it since its a protocol(cba writing everything down so i used the word protocol) everyone will use eventually thorugh bussiness solutions or standards like w3c.

Edited by Oldschool
protocol

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5 minutes ago, Mercury said:

A form of metered or walled garden toll

You make wonderful points about the importance of online diversity, and I agree. I'm worried that, without substantial oversight/regulations, all pay to play systems ultimately become concentrated among a small number of massive players. I'm personally more bullish on a solution that entirely (or at least largely) eliminates ISPs. To be clear, I think that, while intriguing, streaming payments for bandwidth promotes the same closed internet as ISPs are now permitted to build.

Edited by Rabbit_Kick_Club

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1 hour ago, Mercury said:

I was wondering what other members thoughts were over the net neutrality degradation in the US and its potential threats to Ripple.

I think it less likely that the protocol would be threatened but there might be some concern for services built ontop of it. If an ISP such as AT&T wanted to launch its own payment system/ wallet it could throttle apps/ sites that used competing services. Startup or even community based services could be restricted or blacklisted. Perhaps nothing overt, but we could see something similar to Twitters blacklisted efforts to starve out undesirable elements or even pay to deliver channels for services in competition to a ISP/ data provider.

Excellent topic @Mercury as always! 
 

I've been paying attention to this.  As much as I don't want to believe this sort of thing will happen (throttling), there got to be a very good reason why every telecom in the US wanted to get rid of net neutrality, right?  And you can bet it's not so that consumers and startups are fairly treated. 

My guess is that they will now go about doing 'soft blackmail' of the large Internet companies. 

I don't think it will last, though.  Net neutrality is fairly common sense and there is a lot of voices supporting net neutrality.  It's just a weird nod to the continuing power of big money here in the US that it was able to be sidelined (for the moment). 

Re: Ripple and XRP: I don't think it will have a noticeable effect for a while, and since Ripple's share of the attested validators are global, I don't see this as affecting speed or performance.  But it definitely is something to keep in mind as we add new attested validators and Ripple shuts their down (their decentralization roadmap).  I'd prefer those servers to be either in other countries or else have net neutrality reinstated here in the US. 

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1 minute ago, Rabbit_Kick_Club said:

You make wonderful points about the importance of online diversity, and I agree. I'm worried that, without substantial oversight/regulations, all pay to play systems ultimately become concentrated among a small number of massive players. I'm personally more bullish on a solution that entirely (or at least largely) eliminates ISPs.

I admire your faith in common sense lol

Personally I will side with history- someone will come make a mess of it- and that will spur change.

 

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2 minutes ago, Hodor said:

Excellent topic @Mercury as always! 
 

I've been paying attention to this.  As much as I don't want to believe this sort of thing will happen (throttling), there got to be a very good reason why every telecom in the US wanted to get rid of net neutrality, right?  And you can bet it's not so that consumers and startups are fairly treated. 

My guess is that they will now go about doing 'soft blackmail' of the large Internet companies. 

I don't think it will last, though.  Net neutrality is fairly common sense and there is a lot of voices supporting net neutrality.  It's just a weird nod to the continuing power of big money here in the US that it was able to be sidelined (for the moment). 

Re: Ripple and XRP: I don't think it will have a noticeable effect for a while, and since Ripple's share of the attested validators are global, I don't see this as affecting speed or performance.  But it definitely is something to keep in mind as we add new attested validators and Ripple shuts their down (their decentralization roadmap).  I'd prefer those servers to be either in other countries or else have net neutrality reinstated here in the US. 

Techcrunch had an article that was interesting on the subject.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/12/netflix-and-alphabet-will-need-to-become-isps-fast/

I do not agree that Google and Netflix need to become ISP, but the changing landscape of vertically integrated ISPs (AT&T merging with Time Warner and eyeing Fox) makes a strong business case for throttling or simple offering paid access.

We might see a return to the cable setup- providers acquiring rights to special access (or being paid for customer access) and the whole package being offered as a bundle to consumers.

 

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3 minutes ago, Mercury said:

I do not agree that Google and Netflix need to become ISP, but the changing landscape of vertically integrated ISPs (AT&T merging with Time Warner and eyeing Fox) makes a strong business case for throttling or simple offering paid access.

We might see a return to the cable setup- providers acquiring rights to special access (or being paid for customer access) and the whole package being offered as a bundle to consumers.

Excellent scenario analysis - and I agree that each of those outcomes might happen. 

There is an additional scenario: One or more ISPs will advertise that they "absolutely support net neutrality and will not throttle" and this becomes one of the value propositions for ISPs in and of itself.  Sad, but neutrality may be advertised as a 'feature' that you get when you go with a specific telecom. 

Customers will then vote with their wallets, which is evidently the only thing that matters to the telecoms. 

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