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Tiered networks seriously harm Internet development say Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others

Net neutrality has become a great deal of concern, for Internet back-bone telcos, ISPs, and users alike. The idea is that network providers should be neutral with their services -- the wires should not care what data is being transmitted. It has been argued that maintaining network neutrality will enable innovations and new ideas to take place, fostering growth and development.

Many companies, including Google and Microsoft, support net neutrality. In some countries, such as the Japan, UK, South Korea and many others, laws are in place to protect net neutrality. In the US however, some large telcos, organizations and government bodies are opposing net neutrality. Cisco for example, benefits from tiered networks and the problem of network discrimination and strongly opposes network neutrality. The Bell family of telcos argues that they should be able to regulate what data traverses their networks and ultimately the Internet, and different prices should be in place for different types of network requirements.

This week, the House Committee rejected a bill called the Markey Amendment (named after Democratic representative Edward Markey) to maintain network neutrality, allowing large telcos to charge extra for bandwidth usage or date types. Many telcos are looking to create a tiered network, one that has slow bandwidth and one that has high bandwidth for such things as video. Unfortunately, many companies are now afraid that this will allow telcos to restrict the low bandwidth tier to a point where development is so restricted, companies will have no choice but to pay up to move to a different tier.

According to the Markey Amendment, network neutrality is designed to prevent telcos "not to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over the Internet."

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Microsoft, Google and Yahoo on our side!
By irev210 on 4/27/2006 9:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I am glad to see such big players in favor of keeping as much of a level playing field as possible.

Already, it isnt "neutral" per se, but it definitely could be a LOT worse.

By TomZ on 4/27/2006 9:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure you're understanding the actual situation. Our ISPs want to charge content providers like Google for access to their networks. So they want to get paid twice for the same service.

RE: Microsoft, Google and Yahoo on our side!
By pjs on 4/28/2006 6:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Further proof that in the U.S., we have the finest government money can buy. And indeed, our Congress was bought once again!


By Wwhat on 5/1/2006 5:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree, there are bananarepublics where you can buy better government

Easy fix: remove common carrier status
By on 4/27/2006 9:43:58 PM , Rating: 3
Fine, if the telcos all think they're going to profit from awkward and difficult to manage tiered services then let them.

But at the same time, we simply need some federal judges to remove their common-carrier status. Make these telcos absolutely responsible for every packet of illegal music, porn, and spam which traverses them.

RE: Easy fix: remove common carrier status
By bob661 on 4/28/2006 10:58:55 AM , Rating: 2
Make these telcos absolutely responsible for every packet of illegal music, porn, and spam which traverses them.
I like this idea!! They say they want control over their networks AND the data that's passed over it, right? If I were the RIAA/MPAA, I would start sueing the telcos immediately. They just claimed responsibility for ALL the illegal activity on their networks. That should be worth a few billion dollars.

By Zoomer on 4/28/2006 8:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Only a few billion? Gauging from their track record, it should be a few hundred trillion.

packet-labeling and privacy
By Kochab on 4/28/2006 4:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
The point of this is to label packets based on their content. If it's a packet containing streaming media it's given priority. Verizon is one of the corporations pushing for this type of packet-labeling. On Verizon's horizon is GPON fiber-to-the-home enabling them to pump in on-demand high-def media, thus becoming competitors to cable in this respect. They need to have a reliable throughput to achieve this.

My worry is if ALL packets are given labels so that your ISP (or hacker, or gov't) can tell what you're downloading/uploading. Obviously this is a huge privacy concern.

I'm for a compromise where streaming media has half or maybe even 2/3 of the bandwidth reserved, and the rest remains anonymous and free.

RE: packet-labeling and privacy
By TomZ on 4/28/2006 8:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
I would assume that packets would be filtered more based on port numbers, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

Encryption is always available to ensure privacy of packet content, where that is needed. This makes it impractical for someone to intercept your data.

RE: packet-labeling and privacy
By TomZ on 4/28/2006 8:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I meant to say, "filtered more based on port numbers and IP addresses."

Slightly confused
By djb61 on 4/27/2006 10:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
I've read a few articles at various places about this subject and how the telcos think they should be able to charge content providers for delivering their content, many times it was implied they weren't getting paid but I don't see how that could be.

As I understand it end users pay for their bandwidth by paying for their broadband connection, dialup or whatever. The content providers pay large sums of moneys for the high bandwidth connections to their servers. Any points in the middle the carriers have peering agreements with each other but I assume in cases where the bandwidth is skewed between the carriers in the peering agreement, ie one company sending far more data over the others network than receiving in return that they would probably have to pay for the excess.

So as I see it, as things stand right now everyone is paying their share for the data that travels over the internet, as far as I can tell this makes this nothing more than an attempt to charge larger amounts in order to prioritise a particular companies traffic. Instead of doing this maybe the carriers should invest in upgrading their networks so that prioritisation simply isn't necessary.

The likely outcome I can see of this is as more companies pay to access the higher tier it will leave the lower tier more and more congested forcing yet more companies to move to the higher tier. After some time you'll have all major providers using the higher tier and the carriers have achieved nothing more than hiking prices without outwardly advertising it as such.

RE: Slightly confused
By ninjit on 4/28/2006 1:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
Which is exactly what they are trying to do.
Come up with a reason to get more money.

By kattanna on 4/28/2006 12:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
I actually think this is all about the local telcos coming up with a way to kill of outside VOIP services, thereby ensuring their local customers have to use any VOIP service they themselves provide.

i honestly dont think they give one rats booty about that video you might stream down from cnn or such.

VOIP is going to decimate their hold over the local telco fees they now get from everyone.

VOIP providers will then be forced to pay a premium so that their traffic is not lagged, thereby meaing crappy call quality. they will make that premium just enough to make sure that the VOIP providers will have to raise their rates above what the local telco will be able to provide, ensuring most people stay with the local telco for phone service.

the amount of money the local telco makes from data services is a pitance compared to what they make from you calling grandma and such...

VOIP is the only real "streaming" media that needs a solid connection for it to work properly. You can always download a video to watch it, and most streaming vids always have a good buffer going to allow for lag time and such nowadays anyways. but you CANT buffer or have lag on VOIP.

thats my reasoning to what they are doing.

By lamestlamer on 4/28/2006 1:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo! This is actually the crux of the matter. If you haven't noticed, VOIP is gaining strength because it is a cheaper alternative to a dedicated analog land line. This is anti-capitalism at its best. Legistate the new, superior competition to death with the massive profits made by a previous monopoly. What every happened to the monopoly busting and competition friendly laws of the 20th century?

By Trisped on 4/28/2006 6:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
In the US however, there is no long and recently, some large telcos, organizations and government bodies are opposing net neutrality.

It looks like you broke two sentences here and put them together. “there is no long and recently,” the recently does not flow with the first part of the sentence, “no long” doesn’t flow with the last part. If you could reword this it would help.

The quote in the last paragraph could have been lead into differently by saying:
…designed to prevent telcos so they can not “block, impair, degrade,…”
And don’t forget the to between designed and prevent.

RE: Grammar
By KristopherKubicki on 4/29/2006 5:37:56 PM , Rating: 2

Networks already have...
By Chrobis on 4/28/2006 11:59:58 AM , Rating: 2
Most networks already give priority over more important packets. Networks are usually not on a first come first serve basis. Voice and streaming media are almost always given bandwidth first over things like http content.

All this is trying to do is charge more for something that already takes place.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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