Thursday, June 01, 2006

Net Neutrality: The Long Story

Wired has a long article on how the net neutrality issue is more complicated that many think.

From the article:

"Net neutrality" has many meanings, but in the broadest sense refers to a cooperative principle whereby everyone on the net is supposed to make the same effort to help deliver everyone else's traffic.

"I don't think the internet has ever been perfectly equal or neutral," says Khaled Nasr, a partner at venture-capital firm InterWest Partners. "There has always been some level of inequality." Seconds Matt Tooley, CTO of broadband optimization firm CableMatrix: "I don't think it's as egalitarian as people would like to think it is."

The debate appears to have polarized into extreme positions. But a hard look at the current situation seems to show that both sides have a point, and the best long-range solution may well be a compromise. Giving the cable firms and telephone companies free rein to do exactly as they wish is almost certainly a mistake. But micromanaging their businesses by forcing them to treat everybody exactly the same would also be a blunder.

"To say it's never been equal is obvious," says Paul Meisner, vice president of global public policy for Amazon.com and one of the key lobbyists pushing for strong net-neutrality safeguards on Capitol Hill. "But none of those services degrade other services on the internet. The problem arises when schemes are discussed that would prioritize some traffic over other traffic."

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December 06, 2007  

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