The Miracle of the Internet

The internet has performed incredibly well in the crisis. Charles Fishman, at the Atlantic, gets an inside picture from AT&T:

The surge in traffic, on the internet as a whole and on AT&T’s part of the network, is extraordinary in a way that the phrase 20 percent increase doesn’t quite capture. AT&T’s network is carrying an extra 71 petabytes of data every day. How much is 71 petabytes? One comparison: Back at the end of 2014, AT&T’s total network traffic was 56 petabytes a day; in just a few weeks, AT&T has accommodated more new traffic every day than its total daily traffic six years ago. (During the pandemic, the AT&T network has been carrying about 426 petabytes a day—one petabyte is 1 million gigabytes.)

It’s not an accident. Like HEB in Texas

…AT&T rehearses for disaster. Last May, the company ran an internal war game on how a pandemic would affect its ability to keep phone and internet service running. The company does these exercises routinely to try to get ready—to build teams of people and their reflexes, and also to understand what they will need on the ground.

Tom Hazlett at City Journal points out that the strength of the American internet in particular has been due to greater investment and non network-neutrality.

The payoff is that Netflix (or Hulu, Amazon, or YouTube) have forged bargains with ISPs: if you subscribe to Comcast, you might notice that Netflix is so integrated into its network that a button on your cable TV remote clicks you right from CNBC (owned by Comcast) to Netflix—away from the cable operator’s shows and onto a streaming “over-the-top” media platform. These non-neutral arrangements, along with side payments between the companies, fundamentally support Internet growth.

So while Netflix and Amazon have been throttling their video services in Europe, reducing their customers’ data consumption by one-fourth in response to surging demand, high-definition streaming, following a long trend, remains the U.S. norm. In a 2012 paper in the Journal of Law & Economics, Michal Grajek and Lars-Hendrik Röller found that higher levels of regulatory control (with rules designed to force network sharing) undermined investment incentives, reducing information infrastructure across Europe by 23 percent….U.S. network investments are higher than in Europe, accounting for population and relative economic output.

Despite arguments that the U.S. is falling behind, these network investments pay off. American Internet users consume considerably more data than do Europeans on a per-capita basis. According to Cisco, ISP end-users in the U.S. and Canada stream 115.6 gigabytes of data per month, compared with 43.8 gigabytes in Western Europe and 10.6 gigabytes in Asia Pacific.

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True. I noticed some slowdown in web page loading here and there but basically streaming has been good and that’s a relief.
So this one gets an A

Most of the world's internet held up. It has nothing to do with AT&T or non network neutrality in the US. In fact, most of the world runs on net neutrality. These rather obvious facts are missing especially when preaching American exceptionalism to Europe and Asia. The City Journal piece is an advocacy piece that assumed its conclusions but that is expected as the line at the very bottom reads:

"City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank."

City Journal and Manhattan Institute: props for honesty and transparency.

It is not my first time to go to see this web page,
i am browsing this site dailly and take good
facts from here daily.

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Economists are plain stupid. OMG.

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Just because you were lucky to be chosen to get internet years or decades ago, doesn't mean most of the US has good Internet today.

We live in an economy where businesses pick customers to serve, not customers picking businesses to serve them.

Making internet mandatory to households does not require cutting service to those customers picked to get Internet, but it does not increase the number of households businesses pick to grant permission to buy internet.

However, businesses fight any attempt by government to have all households served by government mandate, or government paying workers to build service to all households.

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They conflate the technical achievement of edge-serving with the legal requirement for equal access.

https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/cdn/glossary/edge-server/

Hey guess what kids? Cloudflare, an expert in providing just the kind of performance that Tom Hazlett loves, are fans of the neutrality:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/battleforthenet/

Sure, larger incumbent businesses are always in favor of industry regulation. They're the ones in position to influence it and use it to reduce competition from smaller rivals, after all.

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Cloudflare would love net-neutrality, it would mean they would have less data traffic to keep up with as internet speeds stay low. That's especially beneficial for their biggest service, which is protecting against DDoS attacks. The smaller the bandwidth, the less likely a DDoS will work.

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Let them eat Netflix!

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And remember all the people screaming, in dramatic fashion, how cancelling net neutrality would be the end of the internet.

Internet legislation was ALWAYS a way for politicians to fund raise.

If there is a single good thing from this pandemic, it's made clear that having more ICU beds is better (aka not a chance in hell we want UK health care) and the free market did a great job of making sure you could watch as much TV as you wanted during all this.

Both are huge slaps in the face to many that have spent the last decade screaming just the opposite.

So, you are saying every household in the US has good Internet access at a the same price for all, just as every household can buy millions of products from Amazon, or Walmart, bestbuy, and have it delivered by at least the USPS in a couple of days for the same price?

Note, FedEx and UPS use the USPS to deliver to many households because the USPS is mandated for a hundred years to serve every household with 6 day a week service for the same price. The only delivery company expanding the number of households it delivers to is Amazon -- USPS already serves them all, so it can't expand service, but conservatives want it to cut service and increase prices.

We used to have the same policy for telecomm services, but conservatives won on that one, and now tens of millions of households are cut off from being served, potentially losing the service they had in 1970 is conservatives have their way, and 1970s service is totally inadequate today.

You are more likely to get high quality internet in China than the US, and afford it. Ditto, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, with the rest of Asian governments making it a much higher priority than the GOP. Instead we have Ajit Pai doing a Trump and boasting how many more households are served, with no money spent connecting them, just new definitions.

> and now tens of millions of households are cut off from being served,

Wrong. The death of broadcast TV came from Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, who realized ultimately that bit rate is related to signal-to-noise ratio (shannon hartley theorem), and thus distance and bitrate are linked. The demand for higher quality TV and the associated jump in bit rate shrunk the service circles of television broadcasters. If you double the bit rate of a signal, you need 4X the power to keep the same range. Old-school analog TV might be around 1Mbps, modern HDTV is 20Mbps...you are pushing 20X more bits, you need 400X more power to maintain the distance (or 400X more bandwidth, or 20X more power and 20X more bandwidth, etc)

> with the rest of Asian governments making it a much higher priority than the GOP

Most people outside of big cities are opting NOT to take the higher speeds of internet offered. You can easily do most all tasks with just 5Mbps. Most households are offered way more than that, and don't need it.

Seriously, our internet infrastructure is the last thing that anyone needs to be bitching about. And you are making my point precisely: Those that bitched about internet were just bitching. There was no doomsday, there was nothing terrible lurking. It was just a group of people that were willingly lying to everyone to let gov have more say in our lives.

How can you take something that isn't offered?

Even a GOP governor admits you are wrong:
Gov. Sununu signs broadband infrastructure bill into law
By William Holt Sentinel Staff Jun 1, 2018
Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill this week that supporters say will improve high-speed Internet access in rural areas like the Monadnock Region.

Senate Bill 170 allows municipal governments to issue bonds for building broadband infrastructure in areas not served by a commercial provider.
Kahn, who sponsored the bill with Rep. John Bordenet, D-Keene, described the legislation as an attempt to provide rural communities with an opportunity to “level the playing field” by giving them an important economic development tool.

For a rural area like the Monadnock Region, Kahn said, broadband infrastructure is as important as the physical highways that link larger cities.

“Investment in the highway system through Southwest New Hampshire is not in our immediate future, but what sells our region is its rural lifestyle,” Kahn said. “In order to be competitive, we need the economic development tools that will enable private contractors and businesses to be competitive.”

Broadband is an umbrella term typically used to describe Internet service faster than dial-up.

It is defined by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as “advanced communications systems capable of providing high-speed transmission of services such as data, voice, video, complex graphics, and other data-rich information over the Internet and other networks.”

Broadband is frequently described in terms of download and upload speeds because these are relatively easy-to-understand metrics. These speeds measure the amount of data transmitted per second, typically reported in kilobits, megabits, and gigabits.

Senate Bill 170 defines “unserved” as a rate of transmission that falls below the Federal Communications Commission minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and upload speed of 3 Mbps. These figures came out of the FCC’s 2015 broadband progress report, which raised the minimum download and upload speeds from 4 Mbps and 1 Mbps, respectively.

The bill also defines “location” as an address rather than using a previous statutory definition of the word as a census tract.

Since 2006, the state has allowed county and municipal governments to issue bonds for building broadband infrastructure in “areas not served by an existing broadband carrier or provider.”

However, since most towns have at least some broadband access, the earlier statutory definition of an area effectively blocked municipalities from issuing bonds for broadband infrastructure that would meet the needs of unserved residents on an individual, block-by-block basis. This left communities to depend on commercial providers to help finance such projects.

And
May 07, 2020
Shaheen, Hassan, Kuster & Sununu Applaud $1.9 Million USDA Investment in NH Broadband Infrastructure
**This is the first ReConnect Investment for NH in the Program’s History**
(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statements in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement that a New Hampshire company will receive a $1.9 million loan through the department’s ReConnect Program, which provides funding to improve broadband service in rural communities. This is the first time the ReConnect Program has awarded New Hampshire federal support, which will be distributed to Granite State Communications to make investments in services benefiting Hillsborough, Deering and Washington, New Hampshire.

“Now more than ever, access to broadband service is critical for New Hampshire families, especially those in rural communities. With the vast majority of Granite Staters working and learning from home, and relying on telehealth services to continue with necessary medical care, reliable internet is a fundamental need,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m pleased the USDA selected Granite State Communications for this federal loan, which will be put to good use to bolster broadband services in Hillsborough, Deering and Washington. This is good news for New Hampshire, but this public health crisis has demonstrated that more federal investments in our broadband infrastructure are urgently needed. I’ll be pushing Senate leadership to make this a priority in future COVID-19 relief legislation.”

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the challenges that rural communities experience in accessing reliable broadband, highlighting just how critical it is to close the urban-rural digital divide,” said Senator Hassan. “This loan through the USDA’s ReConnect program is a strong step forward, and will help with Granite State Communication’s important work throughout this crisis and beyond to help students and vulnerable Granite Staters get and stay connected. Broadband is more essential than ever, and I will keep working across the aisle to build on this effort, strengthen our broadband infrastructure, and prevent communities in rural New Hampshire from being left behind.”

“Access to high-speed internet has long been a challenge in New Hampshire, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored just how important it is that all Granite Staters have access to a reliable internet connection,” said Rep. Kuster, a member of the bipartisan Task Force on Rural Broadband. “The USDA ReConnect grant announced today will expand high-speed internet in Deering, Washington and Hillsborough – bringing us one step toward getting all Granite Staters access to the high-speed internet they need. I’ve called for future COVID-19 response packages to include broadband expansion so we can build on this progress and secure funding for critical broadband improvement and expansion projects across New Hampshire.”

“From leading the nation in remote learning to rapidly expanding access to telehealth services, New Hampshire is quickly adapting to these new norms under COVID-19,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “This funding will help thousands of Granite Staters remain connected to their community in these unprecedented times, and I look forward to working with New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation in advocating for additional investments at the federal level.”

No net neutrality requires the Federal government do the investing.

> Senate Bill 170 defines “unserved” as a rate of transmission that falls below the Federal Communications Commission minimum download speed of 25 Mbps

You are joking, right? You think 25Mbps is needed to join the modern era? 67% of the country has AT LEAST 25Mbps. 95% has at least 10Mbps. And 10% of the US don't use the internet, and they don't care to use the internet. And that figure has been relatively constant since the year 2000.

You are swinging at ghosts. There are still 1.6M americans that don't have indoor plumbing. Pick something serious to advocate.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-44A1.pdf

Hey, I don't have indoor plumbing because my priorities are with instant access to MR. We all make trade-offs.

the USPS is mandated for a hundred years to serve every household with 6 day a week service for the same price.

This is not correct. There are rural addresses in Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming that only receive 3-day-a-week USPS delivery.

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Yes, the internet has performed remarkably well, as has tech, without which unemployment, and the suffering, would be far greater than it is. It's a miracle. Get on your knees. Thank the Gods of tech. I am thankful for Instacart. Who are you thankful for?

There is an interesting trivia in this regard. One of the founding architects of the Internet was skeptical. He didn't think it would scale without redesign, and so for a while he forecast doom:

https://www.economist.com/business/1997/04/17/why-the-internet-failed-to-collapse

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It's not clear to me these deals are non-net neutral. A cable company can put a Netflix button on their remotes or even cross-promote and give a subscriber Netflix as an add-on. That's not the same, though, as saying if you're watching YouTube videos you have to wait longer for them to load because Netflix gets the bandwidth first.

The non-neutrality comes into play with the side payments.

All of the major streaming services do this, iirc,.

Doesn't non-neutrality mean the network plays favorites, speeding up some and slowing down others? Paying for a button on a remote control doesn't really concern that.

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You mean that when UPS and FedEx pay their own truckers to deliver packages to USPS service distribution centers bypassing the USPS contracting with UPS, FedEx, and other trucking contractors, the service to every household served by USPS improves?

Note, when google tried to bypass Comcast et al and build a competing FTTH network to its customers, the GOP and Comcast et al used government power to block Google from competing with Comcast which "invests" in buying rights to connect households, then never connects the households, because paying workers to build FTTH costs too much and the zero monopoly profits kills jobs.

You're right, there's too much ability of the government to pick winners and losers.

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Yeah, that article was conflating network neutrality and bundling. If it truly was non neutral, Comcast's network would favor Netflix traffic over your kid's Xbox traffic. All Comcast did was turn their set top box into something like a Roku where Netflix is just one of a number of streaming options. But look closely at the link and you'll see it was written by a think tank.

IMO the non-neutrality is more in the relative market power changes rather than the actual literal favoring one data packet over another. But imagine the outrage of Comcast customers if they can't stream Tiger King. How much does it actually shift market power?

I'm agnostic on network neutrality.

But imagine the outrage of Comcast customers if they can't stream Tiger King. How much does it actually shift market power?

It feels like every year there's at least one or two channels that put a warning message under them saying something like "call Cablevision and tell them you want to keep this channel beyond X or else you want be able to watch baseball/football/etc."

It's probably less of a concern that we won't be able to watch Netflix and more that lesser name sites and services will stream slower.

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So the cable company has a near monopoly on Internet in many areas, not perfect but a favored position. If Netflix paid them and they speedup Netflix but slow down, say, Hulu or just regular web pages not hooked up to a big tech company, you'd lose on both fronts. Just checking.

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If this pandemic occurred 30 years ago, we’d have either a far worse health crisis or a catastrophic economic outcome or both. The internet will probably add 20%-30% (if not more) to GDP relative to a pandemic world without similar technology. The enhanced economic resiliency derivative of the internet doesn’t show up in prior analysis estimating the internet’s contribution to GDP.

+1

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If this had happened 30 years ago, without social media, and the media invading every part of our lives, we wouldn’t have noticed it.

Proof: 1968.

This was entirely manufactured.

Yes, and those who manufactures this crisis will politically pay a huge price.

I hope so, but it seems unlikely.

The media controls the narrative to an astonishing degree.

The media won. All we can do now is save screen shots of their dishonesty and demagoguery and hope for some justice later.

Exhibit A is this tweet from joe Biden:

Let me be very clear: No one is expendable. No matter your age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.

Seriously, do you even know what hypocrisy is?

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Woodstock took place in the middle of the Hong Kong flu epidemic, which killed 100,000 in the US.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-woodstock-pandemic-1968/true-claim-woodstock-took-place-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic-idUSKBN22J2MJ

The 1968-9 flu was a variety of seasonal flu and Woodstock was held in the middle of August.

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People wouldn't have noticed overflowing hospitals thirty years ago? Maybe you in your ivory tower wouldn't have noticed, but I think probably the nurses and other frontline workers would have.

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"If this had happened 30 years ago, without social media, and the media invading every part of our lives, we wouldn’t have noticed it."

Considering that China tried and failed to cover up the pandemic, this is a dubious claim. You are in essence calling for the U.S. media to do an even better job than Chinese state media of cover up things that you, for ideological reasons, think should not get attention.

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"The internet will probably add 20%-30% (if not more) to GDP"

You are saying there will be an added 20-30% in jobs building FTTH or at least in building fiber along every road to connect 5G base stations mounted on telephone poles?

That means the US Post Office in 1913 added 20-30% to gdp by implementing "mail neutrality"?

Or is X neutrality when customers are selectively denied X or charged higher prices to get X than most customers of X?

This is a pretty embarrassing misread. The internet adds value because economic activity happens on it, not (primarily) because people are employed to build the relevant infrastructure.

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Fake news. The real news is that AT&T and Comcast actually cut network investments after net neutrality was repealed. There's no dispute since these numbers are public.

"With [Comcast]'s fourth quarter earnings now in the books, it's clear that the company's cable and broadband division overall CAPEX dropped in 2019 by roughly 10.5%."

"AT&T also released its earnings this week (pdf), which showed that AT&T's CAPEX has been steadily dropping since 2006, and its fourth quarter CAPEX specifically dropped to $3.9 billion--the lowest total in nearly a decade:"

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200129/06135343820/att-comcast-dramatically-cut-network-spending-despite-net-neutrality-repeal.shtml

The capex doesn't matter IF they continue to deliver more and more bandwidth. Cellular capex in the early days was much larger (as % of revenue) than today.

And as the article says, ATT is carrying almost 10X more today than in 2014. 10X over 6 years is 1.58X growth per year in terms of network. You are seriously arguing it should have been even higher? When 80% of our network bandwidth goes to porn, TV and video games?

So, you want to be a former Bellco customer because the retained Bellco customers have the ability to increase their bandwidth?

I live in a former Bellco territory and was promised FiOS in 1999 by 2000, then 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and then Verizon sold all its NH, VT, and ME customers to Fairpoint which then offered DSL much slower than promised, while going bankrupt, with Verizon giving back all the money it was supposed to be paid circa 2010. The only investment in Internet in NH, VT, ME is largely a result of government spending or government "wealth" redistribution, ie, giving Fairpoint the money Fairpoint borrowed from savers, or the production of workers Fairpoint promised to pay for.

Verizon was not allowed in the 00s to get rural telco subsidies, but small telcos like Fairpoint, Frontier, do get the rural investment subsidies, which are too little, too late, resulting in bankruptcy and general economic decline in their territories.

If you only have a single provider to choose from, then it's likely because your local officials have made it so some way or another.

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Yawn. The only takeaway for me was 20% increase in net traffic vs six years ago and supposedly you can stream faster in non-net neutral USA vs here in Europe. But who needs streaming? Read a book. Play chess. Go exercise if you are in the countryside. Hug a friend you're sheltered with.

"20% increase in net traffic vs six years ago"

0.2/6 is roughly 3.33% per year. In tech, that's a snail's pace. If anything it made the opposite point, that there was more traffic growth during the net neutrality years and that it took a pandemic to bring up the anemic non-neutrality numbers to something barely keeps up with population growth.

You misunderstood, they aren't saying it's a 20% increase in 6 years. They are saying it's a 20% increase in the last couple of months.

"In the United States, internet traffic carried by AT&T, one of the nation’s largest internet providers, rose almost immediately by 20 percent starting in mid-March. By the end of April, network traffic during the workweek was up 25 percent"

"Back at the end of 2014, AT&T’s total network traffic was 56 petabytes a day; "

Vs

"During the pandemic, the AT&T network has been carrying about 426 petabytes a day"

So. it's an 8x increase in the last 5 years!

There's also some confusion about how much AT&T's internet backbone is "tech". All the equipment is widget commodities designed to meet world-wide design standards. The major companies have been heavily regulated monopolies for more than a generation. If you're a major equipment manufacturer, and you're first to market, it doesn't matter because the large buyers will wait in order to use the competition to drive down prices.

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A 20% increase is well described as a 20% increase. Arithmetic was invented for a reason.

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"American Internet users consume considerably more data than do Europeans on a per-capita basis." Is this the right metric? If access to the any kind of broadband is foundational to economic activity in this age, wouldn't access to broadband be a better way to judge success?

Europeans also tend to have much higher quality free TV than the US (not actually free; cable fees & public broadcast taxes), so Netflix isn't needed as much. Popular local shows often run on TV first here.

Yeah, personally, I love paying for products that I never use and face going to jail over not paying.

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Yes, the internet has been quite handy for a lengthy quarantine.

Your point about neutrality though, that's a BS anecdote.

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Now you know why Bezos builds rockets--to launch low orbit communication satellites, jumping over the local internet provider.

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The Japanese criminal regime has officially admitted it has no idea how to deal woth alien visitors.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/techland/japan-has-no-clue-what-it-would-do-if-it-encountered-ufo-152616

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The Internet is made up of carrots, not sticks. We interconnect, because we want the benefit of it.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/07/the-internet-is-made-with-carrots-not-sticks/

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Huh. Who else besides bozoz and Tesli are building their own sky net? The Chinese I bet

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A different perspective: Absent internet, absent tv, absent government intrusion, how many of the 330 million Americans would have had personal experience with Covid 19? Radio is distant and understated. China and New York City are far, far away. Clusters of nursing home deaths ... flus do that.
The internet creates a world stage for errant performers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds_(1938_radio_drama)

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Writing from Europe, I don't find any noticeable problem with the internet. Everything is smooth, if possible video calls seem better than usual (probably just random fluctuation). It's true, the *default* video quality on youtube has decreased, but you can toggle it up manually if needed - and more than half the videos don't need it anyway. (Not sure about netflix, as I don't have it)
That said, I'm impressed that AT&T planned for pandemic. Governments have barely done it, and it looks that private health care providers did not do it at all or they would have had some modest facemask stockpile.

Yes, if you don't know what you're missing then how can you care? and...
Yes, AT&T has done an admirable job reacting to the dramatically increased network loads. Even practicing something doesn't mean "game time" doesn't involve heroics. However, for AT&T, this is business as usual. They control the US markets most hit by hurricane season.

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I use to my FB page to look at art all over the world. Artists make great friends because they generally want people to view their work. So, I'm in contact with over a thousand artists all over the world during this crisis. It's been remarkable, and never possible until now.

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To quote the article... "AT&T accommodated X more per day, representing an increase of Y... To put it another way that's a Z percent increase... To better understand the scale of the increase consider that X per day is Y petabytes per second more than the entire weekly traffic Z years ago..."

What do you call a person that uses a thousand words to describe a graph?

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It amazes me how many businesses and government agencies (such as NHS facilities in the UK) exclusively use the old fashioned telephone.
It is so one dimensional. Only so many people can connect to a call centre at a time . A subscriber listening to music and lies about the call being important for hours uses the same resources as a sensible meaningful conversation. This has the effect of the whole network failing in places resulting in dropped calls, even if the subscriber has been patiently waiting for a couple of hours or so.

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Reminder: resilience of backbone operations to traffic spikes is only one dimension of many when it comes to evaluating net neutrality claims.

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It is now 2 years and 4 months here in an Australian capital since the corroded copper mess from what looked like the 30s that was running under the footpath was replaced with fiber and I got internet fast enough to watch videos and do more than just leave stupid comments on the internet.

You may have noticed I haven't progress very far in this time.

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It's an interesting take, since my local group of remote workers is doing nothing but complain about how some major ISPs are degrading performance big time, as they haven't built the last mile for everyone being at home all day. Specifically, the local cable companies aren't, in practice, getting to 1/10th of the speeds theoretically offered. Workers at said cable companies that I know personally say that the infrastructure is a disaster, but that there's more plans for cuts than for improvements and expansion. Makes sense too: A vast majority of my metro area (Top 32 in the US), doesn't have access to fiber from AT&T, and the cable company is just underinvested.

The big parts of the US internet are working fine, but the last mile is a trash fire, thanks to terrible deals between local and state governments and telcos.

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The network congests will exist, the network always congests sufficient to strongly signal bandwidth shortage. I had that job a long time ago, it is a coloring problem, literally. In one of the prehistoric network protocols we literally colored the links, ha these color balls floating around which kept congestion everywhere about the same. The coloring no good unless it is slightly congested and measurable.

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Anecdotally, I live in Europe and use Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon Prime Video. If these services are downgrading bandwidth utilization, it hasn't made any noticable difference to our viewing (on a new, 55-inch screen). Everything looks the same. Oh, and our internet service is 500 down/20 up and our "Gold" cable TV package with internet and phone costs about $30/month.

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I drew a different lesson from throttling in Europe, which is that *luxuries can pay for spare capacity*. Nobody needs 4k video, but by using up bandwidth for something people are willing to pay for, it funded infrastructure growth. And now in an emergency, this extra capacity can be redirected to more essential uses by flipping a switch.

Isn't that great? What are other ways that infrastructure can be dual use? How about water? We probably should be encouraging people to water their lawns and keep low-flow showerheads in a drawer in non-drought years, since their higher water usage can fund infrastructure improvements. And then in a drought, stop watering.

Or consider funding hospital capacity with extra charges for private rooms.

It seems like a forward-thinking society would have a lot of dual-use luxuries.

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Now you know why Bezos builds rockets--to launch low orbit communication satellites, jumping over the local internet provider.
The Internet is made up of carrots, not sticks. We interconnect, because we want the benefit of it. iMessage Online

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The fact that American telecoms, not known for their lean efficiency and competence, could scale up bandwidth so much so fast merely shows that their screaming about bandwidth usage and network neutrality years ago was a farce - as everyone knew perfectly well, and was exemplified by the extortion of Netflix by refusing to upgrade the peering. Telecoms are providing now what they could and should have provided a decade ago, and asking to be praised.

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Of course non neutrality is going to be good for incumbents with large war chests, ie Netflix. I'm not sure if you're arguing in bad faith or just really are that blinkered, but the argument for net neutrality is to level the playing field, so that smaller, younger, and less wealthy companies, that cannot pay carriage fees, can compete on a level playing field (and hopefully themselves one day grow into larger companies...)

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