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[ NNSquad ] Re: L.A. Times Biz Section/Lazarus: "We can't be neutral on net neutrality"

Thanks for proving the point, Lauren. From your LA Times article:

"Network operators want to set priorities for users, rather than letting all data flow freely and equally.

"At the same time, a pay-for-play system would create a tier of "super providers" that enjoy a competitive edge over rivals that lack the resources for speedier service. This also would make it harder for entrepreneurs to even enter the market.

""You're essentially ghettoizing Internet content that cannot pay to play," said Scott at Free Press."

That's the argument for "all packets are equal" in black and white.


 [ No Richard, you're misrepresenting the argument.  Nobody of note
   that I know of on the "network neutrality" side of current debates
   is saying that customers should be able to buy OC-192 speeds for
   the same price as a consumer DSL line, nor that time-sensitive
   payloads (like VoiP) shouldn't be able to have appropriate
   priorities over, say, conventional browsing.  But the question is,
   do all comers have access to these facilities at a competitive
   price and on equivalent terms, or do the ISPs favor their own
   content and services and those of their partners?

   The dominant carriers, most of whom now have highly valuable
   content (mostly video) that they want to deliver "out of band" in
   relation to other traffic, are also the ones who are able to
   arbitrarily set the pricing, TOSes, restrictions, and virtually all
   other parameters for access services which allow for competition
   with these ISPs' own content.  Bandwidth caps, which would only
   affect external Internet traffic (including all Internet video
   competitors) but not cable-company provided video fed (via the
   same protocols in most cases) on the companies' own video on
   demand and pay per view systems, are an obvious example of
   the problem.

   In other words, in the absence of reasonable regulation, the major
   ISPs not only may have a direct conflict of interest in terms of
   content, but also control all the balls relating to the ability of
   potential content and service competitors to compete in terms of
   speed and pricing.

   With the appeals court ruling a couple of days ago voiding the FCC
   rule limiting the size of the giant cable companies, this
   situation can only be expected to become far worse in an
   unregulated Internet access ecosystem.

     -- Lauren Weinstein
        NNSquad Moderator ]

- - -

Lauren Weinstein wrote:
"We can't be neutral on net neutrality"

"The snooze-worthy phrase is about something vital to all: whether the
 companies that control the pipes through which data flow can dictate
 terms to the websites that originate the data ..."

Full Article (8/30/09):

NNSquad Moderator

-- Richard Bennett Research Fellow Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Washington, DC