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Chris Decker
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There is a lot of confusing of the issue in this comment thread. First of all, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't really see anyone arguing against traffic shaping or QoS here. There's nothing wrong with network optimization so long as it's fair and relatively invisible to the end-user. What most net neutrality proponents are against is non-competitive practices such as a company like Comcast throttling a competitor's service to make their versions of said service more attractive. Allowing that sort of gatekeeper-ship to providers that may or may not have competition in many areas is going to stifle innovation and competition by dumping consumers back into the same content and communication monopolies that existed before the internet. On the subject of "I'll do what I want with my wires," you do realize that there are good reasons to allow some government regulation for infrastructure services, right? Would you be ok with telephone providers intentionally crippling service between their customers and those of their competitors? How about the power company being paid by G.E. to provide a lower tier of service to homes that primarily use Sylvania light bulbs to hurt their competition? That type of vertical integration is acceptable when we're talking about entertainment, but not infrastructure services, which the internet is quickly becoming (if not already there). Also keep in mind that ISPs DO NOT OWN THE INTERNET. They own YOUR DRIVEWAY to the internet, and because of that they are in a unique position to hold their customers for ransom. Let's pretend you rented your driveway from a 3rd party. Should they have the right to monitor and regulate where you drive your car to and when? On the subject of "it's a non-existent problem," some of that has to do with the fact that the FCC did guard against this type of behavior until April of 2010 when an appeals court overturned a ruling requiring ISPs to keep their networks open. Right now regulation is in limbo, with both sides waiting to see how currently-evolving legislation pans out. There has been plenty of evidence of some large ISP's intentions when it comes to this issue. Shall we all wait until their respective lobbies close the window on any sort of protection against this behavior before we pay attention to it? On the subject of "hey, there's not unlimited bandwidth so they have to regulate usage somehow," ok, I have no problem with that...on one condition. Don't sell me your service on a tiered scale that you can't maintain. If I pay for 6Mbps service downstream I expect to be allowed a 6Mbps pipe whenever I want it regardless of what I'm using it for. If I'm using the bandwidth that I paid for without exceeded my allotted bandwidth I should not have my bandwidth lowered for using it more than other customers. If the ISP's infrastructure cannot sustain 6Mbps of usage from me then they should not sell me such a service.
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2011 on The Importance of Net Neutrality at Coding Horror
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Feb 21, 2011