Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Confusion about Verizon and Net Neutality

Actually, I'm more confused about Google. Actually, I don't understand the whole thing. All I heard was that Verizon and Google proposed a payscale for the Internet, so people who pay more get their stuff pushed to the front and those who don't pay won't get found the same way they can be found now.

Which sounds like a terrible idea to me. So why is Google, my champion of Goodness on the Internet, signing on with this?

So what do I do? I google more information. Naturally.

This is where I found good explanation of exactly what Google and Verizon are proposing. Basically, it doesn't sound that bad. But none of the restrictions they are proposing apply to wireless? Which is, experts say, is going to become how we all access the Internet?

This source explains:
It seems that the prevailing logic is that there's simply not enough spectrum for this idyllic "play fair" scenario to truly work, so fewer restrictions would be necessary for the wireless internet space to blossom as the wireless side already has. Moreover, we get the impression that these guys feel the wireless space as a whole is simply too competitive right now to withstand any red tape.
I'm not convinced. A significant (and we're assuming growing) percentag of Verizon's business is in wireless, but they won't have to submit to any of these regulations?

And this is where I learned just how sneaky they are being.

Google...after all these years...why?

This article, on the other hand, says Google and Verizon have the right idea, saying they are only advocating "bandwidth shaping that is vendor-neutral but traffic-specific", which is important:
All of us involved in running networks pay attention to the types of traffic flying about on our lines. We wouldn’t be very good network admins if we didn’t ensure that traffic that needs to get through fast gets through fast and traffic that can tolerate some latency tolerates a bit of latency when it needs to.
But he goes on to say that his mom's Skype call should take precedence over her neighbor's porn downloading. That doesn't sound vendor neutral to me. He argues that we have to do something to prevent the giant traffic jams coming our way since the Internet is growing so fast. How about just developing more efficient ways to deliver more bandwidth, instead of rationing an arbitrarily small amount? I don't have the technical knowledge, but I'll definitely be finding out.

Facebook, of all things, is criticizing this in the interest of openness and fairness. Really, Zuck? But more importantly, really Google? Facebook is in a position to criticize you for this?

I hope this gave you guys a little bit more clarity on the issue; it helped me understand it better. I'll be following this though, so check back for updates!

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