Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Om and Niall podcast transcript: Two Tiered Internet

Om and Niall have a transcript up for one of their recent podcasts. They dive into the discussion of the two tiered Internet and what that might mean if it happens. Go read the whole thing because this issue is really important. Highlights to follow:

Niall: "So to give a little bit of a background, the general idea behind the two-tiered Internet is being able to, on the service provider level, select certain services or certain websites to packet prioritize or be able to give better performance to a certain application or degrade performance of another, competing application, for the benefit of your own networks, your own pocketbooks.

Some examples may be to just cut off Skype entirely to keep your own VoIP products alive and running, to drop iTunes Music Store or podcasts from your service to make sure your own music service is alive and well, or it could be someone working out a deal, for example a search engine, where a network operator could prioritize Yahoo! over Google some payments. That's what we're talking about: the ability to use traffic shaping or packet prioritization to build a different tier on the Internet and to control what services flow across the pipe."

Om: "I cannot stress enough that they will not go out of the way to degrade somebody's service. They will go out of the way to upgrade their own service, which are two different things. But the end result is pretty much the same. You know, it's like, "Hey it's my car. If I drive it at a hundred miles an hour, who are you to say anything?" So that would be their argument, but that's a valid argument though."

Om: "The biggest concern right now is, what if we go back to the same argument I made earlier, what if they start shutting down access to IP services, which do not pay them at all? That's wrong."

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