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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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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."

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