27 May, 2006

Net Neutrality: More

Net Neutrality is continuing to get a lot press, so I have attempted to gather various sources of information that I have found and put it all here.

Adam Livingstone of BBC Newsnight recently wrote an article, "BitTorrent: Shedding no tiers," where he made several good points. First he starts with an analogy about driving your car down the road, and as you get closer to a place of business, your car begins to slow down. And if you turn around, it speeds back up. Later Mr. Livingstone puts a different twist on the analogy -- instead of losing speed going to the same store, when you go to a rival store, your car goes faster. From that perspective, as long as the speed to the first store is reasonable -- but it's not resonable to take my broadband speed and slow it down to dial up or worse.

Mr Livingstone also introduced a new, interesting concept,
Cachelogic, which is used to speed up content delivery in a P2P environment. I wont go into the details here, but it may be worth searching Google or go to http://www.cachelogic.com/ to learn more.

I found an organization, Hands Off the Internet, that is against Net Neutrality. They are pushing for no government regulation. I beleive I understand their position, which sounds reasonable, but the way I understand it, regulation around Net Neutrality would be better for consumers than no regulation. The Hands Off position points out that the current no regulation has worked fine, which I wont argue. But from my understanding, consumers are starting to see an increase in their Internet access fee structures. I already pay too much for Internet access, I cannot afford to have it go higher. You can visit the
Hands Off the Internet website to read more about their position.

There is another site that may be of interest, Wikipedia. The Net Neutrality article on Wikipedia provides a wealth of information. It covers terms, theory, history, and advocates and opponents, among other topics.

Finally, on May 26th, Wired News reported:
The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved legislation aimed at preventing broadband providers from discriminating against unaffiliated services, content and applications.
Wired quoted Judiciary chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) in their article:
The lack of competition in the broadband marketplace presents a clear incentive for providers to leverage dominant market power over the broadband bottleneck to pre-select, favor or prioritize internet content over their networks.
Which is exactly why I fear the Hands Off position -- there is not enough competition.

Let me know what you think.

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