June 01, 2006

Net Neutrality

First, watch the video. And then the other video. And this other video. Yah. It's worth it.

Then, check out David Isenberg's most terrific eTel talk about your freedom to connect.

And check out Save the Internet. They have tons of great information.

Then read below. Here's how I see this:

Another way of looking at this issue of net neutrality is... remember the old Highway system. Where El Camino Real on the peninsula in the Bay Area used to be a toll road, where you would not get mugged and the road was nice and fast, but it was expensive. And the Alameda (parallel to ECR) was the slow road, which wasn't taken care of, where you would likely be ambushed and was free?

Well, that's what the telcos would like us to see when they talk about two tiers. And think about what that kind of road system does to the economy of information? It's not very democratic is it? This isn't just a small or large bag of potato chips. Or dial up and broadband. It's about whether we support basic services for all people to get information. Cause if you are on dialup, you are missing much that is useful and interesting about the internet.

Secondly, the part that's different about the types of information that would be available in the slow cheap road verses the fast expensive road (dialup verses high-speed bandwidth) is that the packets would be treated differently.

The perverse part of the telco's proposal is that packets of certain types (VOIP and video, for example) that paid an additional toll, would get to you faster than those that didn't pay.

So it's not just the user who has to pay for the speed of their service, it's that the other side, the content maker, would also have to pay for you to get fast packets on a fast road. Disney and Viacom will pay their side of the tolls, but can PBS? Can little joe video blogger pay? Or will he get the same deal as the

What that means is is that the Hollywood and bit content producers would have the edge over the average person who wants to get a message out. So if you have a fast connection but joe blogger didn't pay, well, sorry, those packets won't get to you quickly. Instead, even though the user paid for faster service, they would not get all packets at the same speed. The content maker who didn't pay would have their packets come through slowly. And of course, the slow speed service buyer, who asked for a video from the content maker who didn't pay the toll would never see that video, it would be so slow.

Posted by Mary Hodder at June 1, 2006 08:32 PM | TrackBack