Saturday, July 15, 2006

Network Neutrality

In the year 2026, my son will send the following email to a friend.
    Yo Bobby,

    How's it going? Last night, Sally and I wanted to head out to Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor for dinner. But, when I entered their Road Network Address into my car's computer, I saw that they had not paid the annual access fee to the Metro Detroit Road Authority. You know what that means! By the Road Network Protocol, my car may only travel 10 mph while on a MDRA road heading to or returning from Zingerman's. The trip from Southfield and Ann Arbor would take forever.

    So, we went to TGI Friday's instead. We were able to go 65 mph most of the way. Because they paid for class 1-B access, we also made all but two lights. At one light, there was a family on their way to McDonalds crossing us. So, they got the green. At the other light, there was a guy returning from Target.

    It did kind of make me think about my senile old dad who used to blather on about Road Neutrality or something.

When network neutrality dies, so will blogs like this. How can Blogger afford to pay your ISP for access? Similarly, how can all those sites which provide us with free games and demos pay the fees. I pay SBC n dollars a month for x bandwidth. What I do that x bandwidth should be up to me. I paid for it. If SBC needs to make more money, they should increase n. The website supports this view.

Sites like advocate no government interference in the Internet. Thus allowing ISPs to charge destination sites (ie google) money in order for their customer's packets to get there. I would be fine with this view if the ISP market was truly a free market, because I could choose an ISP which treats packets neutrally. Who wouldn't? In reality, the ISP market is an oligopoly. Most people in the United States have to choose between cable and DSL for high speed Internet access. It is in situations like this when government intervention is called for.


Post a Comment

<< Home