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Net Neutrality Isn’t

September 29, 2009

With another “1984”-style name, Net Neutrality rules are anything but.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FCC is getting ready to revise and expand their “net neutrality” rules regarding internet traffic.   It’s a pretty good article that discusses the pros and cons from a business perspective–which is what one would expect from the WSJ.

It also mentions that, predictably, the  Obama administration is rewarding it’s big-business supporters such as Google and Amazon, who want to profit from the new rules, as against the wireless companies who are trying to manage their network bandwidth by treating different classes of traffic differently.

Let me take it from a technology perspective.  Companies of all types with networks manage their bandwidth using technology called Quality of Service, or QoS.  This allows them to treat different classes of traffic differently and manage their bandwidth efficiently.  This is because some high-bandwidth applications,  such as Bit-Torrent (which Comcast has regulated) would, if allowed to, take all the bandwidth available.

The FCC’s Net Neutrality ruling would have the effect of treating all traffic the same.   What would that mean for consumers?  It would result in net inequality–bandwidth hogs using streaming video and other high-bandwidth applications would use up a disproportionately high percentage of the available bandwidth while paying no more than users with more modest applications.

Does that sound fair to you?  How about letting the market decide.  Why not be really neutral and continue to let people pay for the bandwidth they consume?  Keep the  government out of managing network bandwidth.

Of course, that would mean that the Obama administration would not be able to deliver a network bonus to the big business contributors who paid them for it.

One Comment
  1. acmaurerco permalink*
    October 5, 2009 5:40 pm

    Twenty Republicans sent a letter to the FCC on this, essentially taking the same stand that I did on this post. Reported in The Hill:

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