More on a netural 'Net

Allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success…A number of justifications have been created to support carrier control over consumer choices online; none stand up to scrutiny.”
Vint Cerf [PDF]
Google Chief Internet Evangelist and Co-Developer of the Internet Protocol

and

The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy. It is the basis of democracy, by which a community should decide what to do. It is the basis of science, by which humankind should decide what is true. Let us protect the neutrality of the net.”
Tim Berners-Lee

Inventor of the World Wide Web

Check out the open letter from Eric Schmidt

2 thoughts on “More on a netural 'Net”

  1. I agree; there are two sides to this. However, the basic way that I view it is, I pay my ISP for bandwidth. Where I want to go with that bandwidth should be my choice. If my ISP starts to block certain sites who do not pay them for the privilege of working on my computer, or even just slow them down, that is going to greatly annoy me.

    As far as competition goes – I really do not know if that is a valid argument or not. If you look at the history of internet businesses – it’s been all about the upstart with a better idea getting ahead. Look at Google. Who’da thunk that a search engine company like Google could have taken on Yahoo and the Microsoft head to head? If their traffic had been relegated to a slower connection, and their site had been slower, would they have had a chance? Will small startups like Reddit, Writely, Digg or Ubuntu Linux be able compete with established companies who can afford to pay for the ‘high speed’ connection?

    I guess that it comes down to this question: Do we want a two or three tiered internet, where content providers who pay a premium to all of the ISP’s out there get preferential treatment, or do we want a level playing field?

    Network infrastructure upgrades are very expensive. The interconnects between the tier-1 providers are complex and expensive facilities. More expensive then they really need to be – but that is another story :). I personally believe that it’s the responsibility of the consumers to pay for bandwidth. If a company is undercharging for it’s services to get a larger market share, who’s fault is that? Back in the day, it was a truism in the industry that an ISP that charged less then $30 for a dial up line was cutting their own throat. As hardware costs dropped, that number dropped. The ISP’s that undersold that mark, and were able to survive did quite well for themselves. I think that we are in that phase of the Broadband market. Folks will start using less expensive technologies, the cost per unit of speed will drop, and this will all blow over.

    And then, the unit of speed will increase again, and we will go through all of this yet again.

    I really have faith in the technical abilities of our geeks. We have developed new methods for things like streaming video which have cut the bandwidth requirements for them significantly. Better compression, P2P, distributed computing and downloading, all of these technologies will impact the hunger for bandwidth. Utilizing mass market technologies rather then high priced proprietary solutions for infrastructure seem to be the way to go to me.

    For example, I was involved in a project where a certain vendor for the infrastructure was required by management fiat. The cost for each site with the preferred vendor’s hardware was $9,000. We brought up another vendor who had similar quality and just as good support. Our choice would have cost $1,000 a site. The preferred vendor was the one chosen, of course. This preferred vendor is the preferred vendor for most shops out there. Sort of like IBM was in the 80’s – way over priced, but ‘no one ever got fired for buying Big Blue’.

  2. Hey Tskyo-

    I’ve got concerns about this position on the Net Neutrality, mostly because I actually work in government affairs in this industry. I think it’s relevant to point out the cable industry on this issue in addition to that of other companies: http://www.ncta.com/ContentView.aspx?hidenavlink=true&type=lpubtp10&contentId=2934 It should be noted that this bill is backed by a NUMBER of special-interest groups who have an interest in regulating cable companies.

    Companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon are some of the most successful companies in the world. Network neutrality regulations could lock in their dominant positions and make it even harder for new companies to challenge them. These companies are flourishing in large part because of the billions cable and other companies invested in building a broadband infrastructure.

    That’s just one of the talking points, but a good thing to consider nonetheless.

    -AS

Comments are closed.