Take No Prisoners

The Totally Bogus Argument for Throttling Internet Services

Bell insists that throttling Internet services is necessary. More specifically, Bell engages in “deep packet inspection,” which means they figure out what kind of data your downloading, and slow down the stuff they don’t like, i.e., peer-2-peer traffic. They argue that this is all for their customers: before traffic throttling, 5% of users ate 33% of the bandwidth, so the other 95% of users were being victimized. Therefore, Bell has to inspect what you’re downloading to make everything fair, right? Bullshit.

1. What you download and how much you download are different issues.

You don’t need to snoop on what people are downloading to even out traffic. You just cap users’ bandwidths or total downloads. I have no problem having to pay more to download 100 gigs per month than someone who downloads 10 gigs a month. I don’t think anyone has a reasonable complaint against paying more for a faster connection than a slower one. This has nothing to do with net neutrality, it’s just about charging people based on usage. (Which is a topic for another post.)

HOWEVER, charging people more for 1 gig of torrent videos than for 1 gig of streaming video, on the other hand, is precisely the kind of online-freedom-destroying-shenanigans that should be punishable by public beating.

2. Throttling screws over independent ISPs.

See, Bell owns the fiber network. It doesn’t make sense to have 25 competing ISPs, all with their own fiber networks. So the little ISPs rent the bandwidth from Bell, thus providing a kind of confounded, screwed-up, pseudo-competitive environment. But Ma Bell doesn’t like competitors, and wants to go back to being a big ol’ fashion monopoly. So Bell invents throttling practices that drastically decrease the bandwidth of these little ISPs while holding prices constant to run them out of business, all the while claiming it’s in their customers best interests. Yeah, right.

3. It’s none of their damn business.

When did telecoms become the thought police? Or in this case, the data police? It’s none of Bell’s goddamn business what I choose to download. If they can’t be held, legally, as accessory to crimes committed by their users, then they have no business inspecting their users’ browsing habits. You wouldn’t stand for the UPS opening all of your packages, would you?

4. They’re infringing consumer choice.

When you pay for 5 mb/s interenet service, you should expect to get 5 mb/s, regardless of what you decide to download or when you decide to do it. I understand that speeds may decrease when the network gets overloaded, and that things slow down if you download from a slow server. But what Bell’s doing is more like: if Bell doesn’t like what you’re downloading or when you’re doing it, they impose their bullshit morals on you by slowing down your connection. If I wanted moral guidance from a monopoly I’d…. well, I don’t know what I’d do. Perhaps shoot myself for being such a fucking retard.

5. Bell’s in bed with the RIAA/MPAA

Bell is certainly coming under pressure from the recording and movie industries to help curtail unauthorized downloading. Internet throttling is a clear manifestation of Bell’s siding with these big industries over the preferences of their customers.

6. Bell didn’t ask their customers what they wanted.

Anybody who says they are doing something for their customers without asking their customers what they want is a lying sack of shit. Bell didn’t ask me what I think of their plan. Did they ask you? Didn’t think so.


Bell’s Bullshit Claim: We’re slowing down your downloads to improve your service.

Bell’s Hidden Agenda: We’re throttling traffic to quietly strangle our competitors so we can regain our monopoly, leach our customers for every cent we can and tighten our grip on media by decimating net neutrality. We want to control everything you see and hear so we can tell you how to think and act, and make the internet a one-way medium like TV and radio.

Edit: It’s not P2P traffic that eats all the bandwidth anyhow, it’s streaming video.