Archive for the ‘ Internet policy ’ Category

Net Neutrality wars…”If cable and the Bells can’t negotiate special deals, neither can Google.” opponents of Net neutrality.

Are all  packets created equal? It is more like asking is the Internet neutral by design? The answer is no. It seems to favor text than voice, for instance. The more you hear this debate on Net neutrality, it is easy to realize that it is a battle between two giants – Cable companies(especially AT&T, Comcast) and Content providers (particularly Google). After the Federal Courts decided unanimously that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to tell Comcast on how to manage its network, the FCC has been trying hard to find a legal loophole which gives it the authority to regulate the Internet. Many proponents suggested the FCC reclassify the broadband Internet into the telecommunications services rather than the previous Information services, which is outside FCC’s regulatory authority. But the FCC seems to have decided to take a ‘third way’ without reclassifying broadband Internet. Time will decide whether this new path will be challenged in courts too.

What makes Net neutrality interesting is it is a partisan issue, the Democrats are pushing the FCC to take whatever means available to it legally to preserve the openness of the Internet, while the Republicans, on the other hand are threatening it with ‘see you in court’ remarks. But here is an addition to the debate, a claim made by a Republican representative – if the Cable companies are not allowed to make deals with their clients for a preferential treatment of their traffic based on price, then the Content providers(read as Google) should not be allowed to discriminate among content…like Google’s ranking of search results (that is not neutral ;)).  Read more.

I dug a bit more today and found some interesting nuggets in Microsoft’s comments about the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed net neutrality rules.

The software giant, long a proponent of open Internet policies, isn’t as keen on some portions of a proposed rule by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that would restrict any discrimination of Web traffic or applications by broadband access providers such as Comcast, AT&Tand Verizon. more