Fix the System

The poltical system of the USA is facing major issues of which the average citizen is unaware. The power to fix these issues lies solely in the hands of the public.

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Location: Peabody, Massachusetts, United States

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Why Net Neutrality?

Take a look at your Cable bill. When was the last time it got cheaper or offered you more for the same price? Technology gets cheaper every day, why should a technology driven company not take advantage of this? Computers get cheaper, networking equipment gets cheaper, why doesn't cable get cheaper?

The answer is simple.

Cable and telecom companies are NOT tech companies, they are MEDIA companies. They make their money on content.

However, the home user is not the customer of the cable companies. Their customers are the advertisers. We are the cable companies' suppliers. We supply them with eyes which they can sell to their advertisers. So, in actuality, their product (advertising) probably is getting cheaper, but not for you.

So, are you going to trust the companies who are charging you to sell your time to play fair with companies who would take your time away from them? After all, if you're browsing Amazon.com, you're probably not going to be watching the shopping channel at the same time...

It's just a matter of time before cable and telco providers try to take proprietary ownership of the Web as a whole. Degrading certain traffic is the obvious first step to crushing the competition. We can stop them here, now, or let them have the Internet.

We don't care if people can access our blogs or not anyway, right?

Update 8/4/06:

Why Now?

It is at this time that many hardware manufacturers and ISPs are starting to implement Quality of Service (QoS) features. QoS levels make it possible for someone to prioritize traffic that requires more consistency than normal net traffic, such as voice or video. The reason for this standard is to differentiate traffic that is resilient to brief interruptions (standard) such as web pages, email and file transfers versus traffic that requires more cohesivness such as VoIP and video conferencing.

Small VoIP providers such as Vonage and Skype would like to implement these features. Large ISPs would like avoid giving priority to this traffic, but would like to give the priority 'lanes' to their own VoIP services. There are standard priority levels for most if not all existing types of traffic. It is regulation that is needed to make sure that traffic is tagged with the appropriate priority markings, and that equal priority markings are being treated equally.

Make no mistake about it, traffic on the net will be prioritized. The object of Net Neutrality is to make sure that the QoS standards are followed the same for all traffic, regardless of its source or destination.

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