Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
On one hand I agree with the philosophy of the free market. I think it is one of the things that makes this country great.
On the other hand nothing gives a free market a black eye like an out of control monopoly.
And that is what we are up against here. It isn’t that one company has a monopoly. It is that there is an effective monopoly at the county and city market levels.
Last April, Cisco Systems published a white paper explaining how the companies that own the phone lines and cables that connect homes and businesses to the InternetÃ¢â¬âthe proverbial last mileÃ¢â¬âcould use new routing technology to boost revenue. The technology would allow telephone and cable companies to establish priority lanes . . . and then charge the Googles, Yahoos and Amazons of the world for access to these highway toll roads. Cisco’s paper predicted that this new strategy would allow broadband service providers to create new revenue-sharing business models with any company that sells content online.
The plan had only one problem: It was illegal.
The telecommunications laws that have governed the Internet since its inception require network owners to treat all traffic the same. The laws date to the 1930s and were put in place to force telephone companies to prevent a scenario where one company could refuse to carry calls placed by a rival’s customer. The Internet was designed with the same principle in mind. . . . it was the only thing standing between the telecommunications companies and a vast new revenue stream.
Since then, a Supreme Court ruling and a series of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decisions have eliminated this barrier, prompting Congress to rewrite the nation’s telecommunications laws. The new bill, which could be finalized as early as the summer, will in all likelihood officially eliminate net neutrality as the legal principle that governs the Internet. “If net neutrality goes away, it will fundamentally change everything about the Internet,” says James Hilton, associate provost for Academic IT Works of the University of Michigan.
The impact of these changes on CIOs and their companies will be profound. The telecommunications and cable companies argue that allowing them to govern their networks as they see fit gives them a financial incentive to innovate at the core of the network, and develop new technologies that could guarantee things that CIOs want, like security and better quality of service. Proponents of net neutrality counter that the principle is the reason that the Internet and the corresponding online ecosystem have developed into the commercial and cultural phenomenon they are today. . . .
The new Internet will certainly make telecommunications decisions more strategic. CIOs will not only need to worry about how much bandwidth to buy, but which lane they want their traffic to travel in. And tiered service is just the beginning. Telecommunications companies will be able to rearchitect their networks however they see fit. Over time, the new architectures and the services that network owners deliver will result in complicated payer/payee relationships between companies and telecommunications companies. And if a telecommunications company decides it wants to introduce a new Internet standard, CIOs may be forced to rearchitect their companyÃ¢â¬â¢s systems.
. . . For all the talk about equal access and treating all data the same, the net neutrality debate is just window dressing for a less gentlemanly argument over who gets to profit in the online economy. More bluntly, Steve Effros, former president of the Cable Television Association, says, “This is about who pays.”
Here’s a quick guide to help you cut through the industry spin:
The big telecom companies say: “Is the Internet in Danger? Does the Internet need saving? It keeps getting faster. We keep getting more choices.” . . .
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE