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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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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.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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