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[ NNSquad ] Avoiding unfair ISP bandwidth manipulations

Greetings.  I've been spending considerable time trying to come up
with a way to assure consumers that their ISPs aren't manipulating
bandwidth tiers, caps, etc. to favor ISPs' own entertainment and
other content delivery systems over outside Internet-delivered

This is a tough nut to crack, but I have one approach that may hold
some possibilities.

I agree with Vint Cerf that the logical and fairest way for ISPs to
manage bandwidth to balance and protect their networks is through 
protocol-insensitive means -- make sure that customers stay within
reasonable average/total throughput limits, without attempting to make
application-based value judgments.  

But even this is problematic if ISPs can arbitrarily reserve most of
their bandwidth for their own entertainment services that directly
compete with services which must be delivered over the same wires or
fiber, with the external competition being subject to bandwidth caps
and throttling, etc.

Question: Would this problem be mitigated if all IP-based traffic,
other perhaps than basic not-on-demand, non-PPV TV, were subject to
the same bandwidth caps and other limitations?  That is, if an ISP
were cajoled or required to treat its own offerings that competed
directly with external services as being subject to the same monthly
bandwidth caps, throughput throttling, etc., what would be the

No doubt the telecoms will tell us that this will stifle innovation
and investment, make bandwidth caps impractical, and poison the
environment for generations to come.  But is any of that 
necessarily true?

I do not here propose a mechanism or plan for moving toward a system
like that I describe above.  But so far, I haven't seen or heard
another proposal to address this dilemma, though I'd welcome them.

NNSquad Moderator