net neutrality

AT&T rigs net neutrality study

new study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Nevada Reno says that net neutrality is a bad idea. Of course, that's what you'd expect it to say. It was paid for by AT&T.

For years, AT&T has called for a "tiered Internet," which would abandon net neutrality in favor of a system where high-bandwidth sites like YouTube are forced to pay higher fees to ISPs like, well, AT&T. Now, the telecoms giant has commissioned a study that supports its own argument. Conducted by researchers at AT&T Labs as well as Rensselaer and Nevada Reno, the study claims that an internet where all traffic is treated equally would require much more capacity than a tiered infrastructure.

Net neutrality could be a big issue for anyone running a website or accessing the internet. While the arguements are vague and probably oft-misrepresented, I would still favor net neutrality over a non-neutral network. Why? I see LESS HARM coming from a neutral network compared to a non-neutral one.

The thing that sort of irks me with net neutrality (In the sense that ATT wants to charge Google to access ATT's customers) is that when someone pays for Internet access, they generally expect to be able to connect to any other host on the net. Consider that Google is paying (a fortune, I imagine) for access, and all of a sudden if they don't pay a company that does not provide them internet access, their customers are lost to them. I fail to see how that isn't extortion.

FTC Sides Against Net Neutrality

he Federal Trade Commission has cautioned against regulations that would ensure telecom providers treat all internet traffic the same way.

In a report released late Wednesday, the FTC's Internet Access Task Force accepted arguments posed by cable and phone companies that government intervention in Net Neutrality is unnecessary, as competition would prevent internet providers from taking advantage of customers.

Interesting, seems like this debate was ages ago and dropped off the radar. But, it seems FTC has decided against net neutrality. What does that mean for you (assuming you're a US internet user)? God knows... while much of it is speculative, discriminating internet traffic is the largest concern. Backroom deals with ISPs who control the users on the ISPs? Blocking competitors? If/when such things happen, you can be sure your proxy traffic will soar as people try and circumvent blocking, delays and such imposed at an ISP level.

So who wins from this? Cable/DSL companies surely, maybe even those that can strike deals with them if it comes to that. Who loses? The consumer.... if net neutrality were imposed could you see any harm to you the consumer? No favoring of traffic.... everyone being treated equal, doesn't seem so bad to me.


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