Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Net Neutrality: Creating the Problem it Means to Solve


John J. Walters said...

I love how the government feels the need to get a finger in every single pie... Why is their impulse to get involved in everything?

I long for a government that is neutral by default, and if we want it to intercede on our behalf we have to make a lot of noise.

Ian Logsdon said...

This video doesn't address the fact that in many areas, there is only one broadband (or even no broadband) internet service available, meaning you would have to choose a substantially degraded connection in order to have free access if your provider started filtering traffic, that's certainly the case in most of the country. Also, net neutrality doesn't deal with end user pricing, it deals with the way companies providing content are treated, meaning comcast could provide select news organizations faster speeds and degrade connection quality for those who aren't paying them a premier access fee, this is different from charging based on the amount of bandwidth a company uses, because it is active traffic management, which only recently became feasible. Thus, we haven't seen it used in the worst case scenario, that doesn't mean Comcast hasn't already started filtering traffic based on the port its using, as their bittorrent throttling was exactly that sort of traffic management.

Mark Newgent said...

I may be wrong but Comcast throttling bittorrent stops pirating of copyrighted material no?

Ian Logsdon said...

It doesn't stop it, it shows preferential treatment to one type of traffic over another, the traffic still goes through. Bittorrent is not just a distribution method for illegal content, its also how large open source projects distribute content (it reduces hosting costs) and its how a number of podcasters distribute content without expensive hosting (Revision3, one of the largest companies producing podcasts uses this method). Its also how large educational resources have been distributed by a number of universities.

The problem is that throttling bittorrent slows all of this activity as well, its indiscriminate. And it didn't stop any piracy, it just slowed it down.