Thu 15 May 2014 9:57PM

Net Neutrality

AB Adam Bullen Public Seen by 179

With the FCC in the US voting on net neutrality and the Europe recently voting to protect net neutrality. This is a timely issue.

What is the current state of net neutrality in NZ?

I assume all PPNZ members support net neutrality.


Adam Bullen Thu 15 May 2014 10:03PM

After reading some articles, basically the ISP's in the US are fighting to not be classed as "dumb pipes", which would effectively prevent them from offering priority to those that pay.

If they are allowed to prioritise their traffic, this reduces competition by making it harder for small companies to compete. Many services that we have today may never have grown if larger businesses that are already established are paying for all the bandwidth.

I for one fully support a neutral internet! Weather it is a blog I will never visit or a service I use all the time, such as google search. The ISP should not prioritise traffic.


Adam Bullen Thu 15 May 2014 10:04PM

Also if my assumption about all PPNZ members supporting net neutrality is false, please state your reasons for not supporting it.


David Peterson Thu 15 May 2014 11:22PM

Excuse me... I'm going off to start a petition to ban couriers such as DHL & Sub60. Because paying extra for priority service is crazy talk!


Peter Cummuskey Thu 15 May 2014 11:51PM

While I'm sure you could have presented your argument in a less inflammatory manner, @davidpeterson, I agree that it's valid.

If we're going to argue for net neutrality, we need to be able to clearly explain how and why internet vs. post is different in this case, and how express service for one is beneficial, while for the other it is anti-competitive.

My initial thoughts on the matter revolve around question of available capacity. If you're spiting your lower-paying content providers in favour of high-paying ones, and that causes the available bandwidth for lower-paying providers to go below a technically-acceptable level (stuttering video, etc), then that's a problem. If you guarantee decent bandwidth, but then add additional capacity for premium subscribers, that seems more like the courier model.

However, one of the main problems that's being brought up isn't specifically what happens to bandwidth pipes, but how you can gain an unfair monopoly of choice by paying for your customer's data, so it doesn't count against their caps. Why would you use Quickflix, if Netflix is "free"?

Of course, then you have free shipping and Amazon Prime, etc...


Adam Bullen Fri 16 May 2014 12:18AM

@davidpeterson the internet infrastructure is less like the mail / courier services and more like the roads.

Yes you pay for road user charges / fuel tax. But no one gets priority service on the road, driving up SH1 you don't have a special fast lane for those that pay higher charges.

The fact that everybody that everybody has equal access to the infrastructure of the roads allows services like courier companies to exist in the first place.

The big content providers make some persuasive arguments against net neutrality. But consider the next google/twitter/xero/facebook startup, with not enough money and the big boys already paying for priority bandwidth so their services always seem "fast" anything new will always seem "slow", and on the internet slow = fail.


Adam Bullen Fri 16 May 2014 12:22AM

@petercummuskey @davidpeterson

I am coming at this from a infrastructure point of view, ISP's should not get to offer companies priority service for money.

This will reduce competition. e.g. Telecom gets an exclusive contract with Netflix, therefore if you want high speed Netflix or more likely non-crippled service from Netflix you go with Telecom.


David Peterson Fri 16 May 2014 2:01AM

Peter: wasn't meant to be inflammatory at all, was just a light hearted joke :-)

Anyway, for both of you this here goes into a little more detail than I did:


Adam Bullen Fri 16 May 2014 3:03AM

@davidpeterson I read the story that you linked to, it brings up a few good points but it is biased. The NZ Herald and Wikipedia have a pretty good write up with pros/cons.


Call me cynical but most of the opponents of net neutrality are big businesses that have vested interest in splitting the internet into little fiefdoms over which they have control.

Most of the proponents of net neutrality are internet based services, which rely on an unimpeded internet where access to their services can not be discriminated against.


Adam Bullen Fri 16 May 2014 3:23AM

For a much more one sided pro neutrality stance http://www.dailydot.com/esports/net-neutrality-esports-twitch/

Many of the opposing view points to net neutrality state that due to investment by the paying companies the ISP's will be able to spend more on the infrastructure, this is essentially "trickle down economics" on the internet.

As many of the 1%'ers can tell you trickle down economics totally works. Assuming by "works" you mean "works in the favour of the already rich".


Andrew Reitemeyer Fri 16 May 2014 10:56PM

"People exercise their fundamental rights through the net today. Therefore, the net is as fundamental a right itself as the rights that are exercised through it.
Therefore, I have to conclude that libertarians who think that property rights dictate that The Agreement can be violated at will as an exercise of property rights are, well, wrong. The Agreement supersedes property rights as Free Speech today depends on The Agreement, and as demonstrated, Free Speech is more important than property rights." Rick Falkvinge (http://falkvinge.net/2011/08/02/net-neutrality-and-censorship-its-not-about-property-its-about-the-agreement/)
The Internet itself is a fundamental right and as such, is a part of the commons. It does not need to be balkanized in order to satisfy the "tragedy of the commons" myth or neo-liberal theology.


Hubat McJuhes Sun 18 May 2014 3:57AM

@davidpeterson You have oftenly refused to provide arguments for your views with the comment that the discussion would not be a matter of Pirate Parties core policies.

Now here we go: net neutrality - the center of the core of policies of the world wide pirate movement!

If you want to convince us that PPNZ should not stand tall for net neutrality and therefore oppose the whole Pirate Parties of the world, then it is here and now that you may want to show us your talent to argue seriously.



Hubat McJuhes Sun 18 May 2014 4:16AM

@davidpeterson You metaphor of courier services is inappropriate. To bend it into the comparability zone, it would look like the following:
Each household has to pay a monthly fee to have their address registered as a potential target for delivery. The amount of the fee depends on the maximum number of parcels that the household is prepared to receive per month.
A sender of a parcel doesn't need to pay for the delivery. But in this case it is left to the couriers discretion when the parcel gets delivered; he may as well decide to simply throw the parcel away without further notice.
So if a sender wants to ensure that a parcel actually gets delivered or that it gets delivered in a certain time frame, the sender has to pay an extra fee for this 'premium' service.
Worst: as a customer you may have a choice of different courier services which may vary in the the fees charged, but they all operate in the same system; so you have no chance to choose a different delivery model.


Hubat McJuhes Sun 18 May 2014 5:02AM

net neutrality for dummies:

The internet is designed as a peer-to-peer network. Technically every node is as much a (potential) content provider as he is a consumer. Everyone in the world can pull information from the net as well as add more information to the net. This is what the WorldWideWeb on top if the internet is about. A network of equal information nodes. this is what the www sets apart from any other machine that human mankind has ever produced and where the hopes for a more equal world in which each and everyone is empowered to participate stems from.

During the last 15 years or so, a handful of big players have established services for the masses, that have effectively established a client-server model on top of the p2p layer of the www. In using these services, people don't use the emancipatory potential of the www to the full extend. They except a usage scheme that is more like broadcasting with a back channel.
People are free to do so. Companies are free to establish client-server solutions over the most flexible device that the internet is, and customers are free to use these services. Fair enough. In the internet, there is room for all sort of things and business models.

Then comes the node that says: 'Other nodes shall not need to pay for their traffic with me. I am the ueber-node; I will pay for them.'

Then comes the ISP that says: 'Customer: You can have the internet as you know it for $xxx. Or you can have "free" (as in beer - quite the contrary from as in freedom) internet, which is facebook and facebook alone.'

Then comes big company A and corp M and S and G saying: 'Oops, that's no good. We need to do the same to stay in business'

Then comes ISP2 and says: Dear customer: 'My internet is free-er (as in more beer), now new and improved: facebook, iCloud, google and spotify!'

This cycle iterates a number of time.

This is, when > 80% of the people will never get sober enough with all the free beer around to recognise what has happened to their freedom in the internet. They will not be customers anymore (nor citicens) - but the product. Consumers. Couch potatoes again.

During the whole time, the price for free (as in freedom) internet for the few that use it p2p will have been rising and rising. Until the ISP will finally say: 'We have invested all our money in providing best services for our real customers, the big content providers. These investments where in devices that support the client-server paradigm better. The old style TCP/IP network infrastructure on which everything is build on top of, seems actually pretty archaic to us now. We drop support for it in favour of genuine client-server technologies and protocols.'

And then they simply switch the www off.

The net is now the spider-web of the matrix.

Will we then want the blue or the red pill?
Or do we prefer to not let any of this happen in he first place?


Adam Bullen Mon 19 May 2014 5:57AM

Whilst I like the debate about net neutrality and everyone should be pretty clear on where I stand on the issue.

Can someone in the know post some links etc...stating the current NZ position on net neutrality. I did a brief search last week but didn't turn up anything definitive.


Hubat McJuhes Mon 19 May 2014 7:28AM

@adambullen I also cannot find a trace of an explicit position on net neutrality of the PPNZ.

But I recall vaguely that there has been a mechanism established at one point in time that wherever PPNZ doesn't define an explicit position for itself in PP core positions, PPNZ defaults to the lowest common denominator amongst Pirate Parties worldwide.

A quick search reveals how much of an issue net neutrality is and how uniformly the support for it is, everywhere between Uruguay and Latislava.


Hubat McJuhes Mon 19 May 2014 7:41AM

@petercummuskey, @davidpeterson Find attached a study of the European Parliament about net neutrality issues in EU and US.

As a starter you may want to read this summary and statement from fellow Pirate Christan Engtrom MEP about this study:

Also note that the study is from 2011 and even though the outcome then was to not suggest any further regulation until the protective measures of 2009 proved to be not sufficient, the European Parliament just recently has enforced it's protection of net neutrality. Probably for a reason, I guess.


Hubat McJuhes Mon 19 May 2014 7:55AM

@adambullen In addition to the to my earlier comment:

PPI maintains a comparison of PP manifestos where 'Preservation of Net Neutrality' is listed under 'Common stances'.


Andrew Reitemeyer Tue 20 May 2014 7:44PM

The Pirate Parties of Europe PPDE explicitly details net neutrality as a common policy.

PPUK is also campaigning on a net neutrality platform.

PPAU also is fighting agianst Telstra's moves to break net neutrality

To not take a stand on the preservation and ensuring of net neutrality would be a major departure from the direction of the world Pirate Movement.


Poll Created Tue 20 May 2014 7:50PM

PPNZ supports net neutrality Closed Fri 23 May 2014 7:07PM

by Andrew Reitemeyer Tue 25 Apr 2017 5:22AM

The Pirate Party of New Zealand supports the principle of net neutrality. However, some work would be needed to define the technical aspects required for a robust legislative proposal.

The Pirate Party of New Zealand calls for the principle of net neutrality to be enshrined in law and international treaties. This should be a part of an Internet Bill of Rights.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 87.5% 7 DU KT HM BK RU AB PC
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 12.5% 1 DP
Block 0.0% 0  

8 of 42 people have voted (19%)


Bruce Kingsbury
Wed 21 May 2014 12:28AM

Any prioritizing of traffic should be based on protocol alone and done for the purpose of improving an ISP's customer experience. We need Neutrality between competing services and providers, but we don't want to ban QoS.


Adam Bullen
Wed 21 May 2014 9:26AM

Nice point bruce


[deactivated account]
Wed 21 May 2014 7:50PM

QoS should be left to the individual at the end of the connection, not the ISP.
That said, I would only expect QoS on cellular networks to avoid problems with voice delays and text lag.


David Peterson
Fri 23 May 2014 9:17AM

Needs to more clearly stated what is meant by "Net Neutrality" and what it is proposed PPNZ would do about it.


Bruce Kingsbury Wed 21 May 2014 12:25AM

As long as we're clear on the difference between 'Net (non)Neutrality' and 'Quality of Service' then I support net neutrality. I'm on an unlimited Orcon connection which is only viable/usable because bittorrent is given lower priority than http which is given lower priority than VoIP. If your idea of net nutrality is that all protocols have to be given equal priority then expect your web to be slow and your VoIP to be totally unusable while bittorrent sucks up all available bandwidth to be perhaps a few percent faster.


Hubat McJuhes Wed 21 May 2014 1:16AM

@brucekingsbury I fully agree on the advantages of QoS and I would not consider it a violation of net neutrality, as long as it is implemented without deep package inspection.

The above mentioned study has pointed out the massive potential for new innovations (++) if QoS was to be commonly established vs the harm (-) to competition and innovation that the 'two-lane-system' produces.
They have also mentioned that all ISP's that have been questioned where 'extremely skeptical' about the chances to actually get it going across ISP's (which would be necessary to unleash the full potential to develop new, innovative products and business models).


David Peterson Fri 23 May 2014 9:19AM

I disagreeing more or less based on what Bruce said plus other factors, mainly the proposal needs to be more properly defined than it is. Even though broadly speaking I'm supportive of the idea in general.


Hubat McJuhes Sat 24 May 2014 3:33AM

@davidpeterson Any suggestions how to differentiate our stance on different definitions?

The above mentioned study provides a good entry point into that discussion. You may want to refer to suggested definitions in there‽

If you want to provide other meaningful sources, I am more than happy to study those as well. (Articles full of unfounded, self-contradicting opinions based on assumptions and speculations presented as facts do not count, though)


Hubat McJuhes Sun 25 May 2014 6:56AM

I would suggest to adopt the definition for net neutrality as outlined in the introduction of the attached statement by the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue.
Also note the chapter about network management, which addresses the concerns of @brucekingsbury , @andrewmcpherson, @adambullen and @davidpeterson as well as my own.


Poll Created Mon 2 Jun 2014 6:32AM

PPNZ calls for policies that will promote net neutrality Closed Thu 5 Jun 2014 6:09AM

by Hubat McJuhes Tue 25 Apr 2017 5:22AM

PPNZ very clearly agrees with the definition of net neutrality as outlined by the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue and their proposed minimal quality standards.

In order to ensure that ISPs and communications networks do not unfairly limit the applications and information available to consumers, PPNZ calls for policies that will promote net neutrality. As defined here, net neutrality is a state in which users have the freedom to access the content, services, applications and devices of their choice.

In a neutral network, consumers:
1. are entitled to an Internet connection of the speed and reliability advertised to them.
2. are entitled to an Internet connection that enables them to
- send and receive content of their choice
- use services and run applications of their choice
- connect hardware and use software of their choice that do not harm the
3. are entitled to an Internet connection that is free from discrimination with regard to
type of application, service, or content or based on sender or receiver address.1
4. are entitled to competition among network, application, service, and content providers
5. are entitled to know what network management practices are deployed by their
network providers

These principles may be subject to reasonable network management practices, which are practices that are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the network. Reasonable network management practices include measures that address legitimate congestion and traffic management issues, as well as quality of service measures chosen by a consumer that affect only that consumer's connection to the Internet.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 87.5% 7 AR DU KT HM RU AB PC
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 12.5% 1 DP
Block 0.0% 0  

8 of 41 people have voted (19%)


Hubat McJuhes
Mon 2 Jun 2014 6:33AM

I like this.


Andrew Reitemeyer
Mon 2 Jun 2014 9:10PM

Ticks all the boxes


David Peterson
Wed 4 Jun 2014 6:53AM

"Entitled"?? Is this implying an internet connection is a human right??


Hubat McJuhes Wed 4 Jun 2014 11:48AM

@davidpeterson There is not even the slightest degree of logic in what you are saying!


David Peterson Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:05PM

I didn't go into much detail into my vote, but basically I feel this is incredibly badly written (I was borderline block rather than merely disagree). I've read it and it is so vague I'm not sure where on the spectrum it lies exactly... it could be something I agree with, or it could be so bad it is the end of the free internet as we know it.


Hubat McJuhes Wed 4 Jun 2014 1:21PM

@davidpeterson I have asked you before, but you won't tire me out: What about making a better suggestion?


David Peterson Wed 11 Jun 2014 12:36AM


"There is no evidence that the principle of net neutrality is currently under threat in New Zealand or that there is an actual barrier to innovation on that account."


Andrew Reitemeyer Wed 11 Jun 2014 2:19AM

@davidpeterson An internet connection and in fact broadband as a human right is a common position in Pirate Parties. It is a national policy in Finland. I will be writing on it soon and hopefully we will see it in all functional PPs


Danyl Strype Tue 28 Jul 2015 2:34AM

Did Net Neutrality Just Kill the Possibility of a Free Internet, or Pave the Way for It?
Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain: