May 18, 2006  ·  Lessig

There has been good progress in the Net Neutrality debate. Critical to this debate is that it not become a left/right issue — because however much we on the left push it, it is not properly seen as a left/right issue. The Christian Coalition has now helped by announcing their support for Net Neutrality principles.

Also, PublicKnowledge has a great PSA on the issue.

  • http://www.redbanktv.org Tom L

    One of the reasons this has turned into a Left/Right debate is because the focus has turned to a More Regulation / Less Regulation debate.

    I�m not convinced that this has to be a More Regulation v Less Regulation debate.

    I hope to affect Net Neutrality by making it a market driven demand. If you consider the towns, communities and states in which Verizon and AT&T are applying for cable TV franchises as consumers, then they can choose whether or not they want the telco�s services. If we can make Net Neutrality one of the deciding factors when it comes to granting IPTV cable franchises then we will effectively be driving the market. If Verizon is faced with a choice: Either uphold the tenets of Net Neutrality or the State of New Jersey will not grant you a cable TV franchise then what are they going to do?

    I�m making progress in my small NJ town. I think I�ve convinced the town to officially question Verizon�s position on Net Neutrality before continuing with franchise negotiations, they are working on the wording right now.

    You can read about my efforts at: http://www.redbanktv.org

    I hope to get more towns to start questioning the telcos on Net Neutrality. This is a great opportunity to build from the grass roots up.

    If you agree, please help me spread the word. Thanks — Tom

  • http://www.tyranny.com/ rapier

    Okay, so I need to understand this a bit more. How is this any different, at least at a conceptual level, than QoS? Well, except for the fact that QoS is a pain in the ass because of the E2E requirements. I guess this sort of like an ingress to egress QoS. Anyway, you know as well as I that the concept of different service classes in network traffic has been part of the protocol almost since its conception – its even built into the TCP header. In fact, providers have already been doing something like this for years. MPLS makes it really easy to setup unique paths within a network to speed transit. This really just seems like an extension of that.

    So is the problem that people actually want to make use of something that has always been possible but was rarely used in the past?

  • spinmeister

    rapier, your pleas are futile. get another job.

  • http://HowToPrimers.com Kevin Farnham

    I was very surprised to read that net neutrality is something favored primarily by the left. The Wall Street Journal’s May 18 lead editorial clearly favors a free and open Internet, but they find the term “net neutrality” somewhat problemmatic. The article claims the regulations being proposed in the name of preserving net neutrality will actually have a damaging effect. When the WSJ says “Don’t regulate what isn’t broken” are they just being dumb?

  • three blind mice

    Anyway, you know as well as I that the concept of different service classes in network traffic has been part of the protocol almost since its conception…

    indeed. “the net” already treats UDP and TCP packets differently. do the proponents of “net neutrality” believe that this non-neutral handling of traffic is unjust? and if not, then isn’t the label “net neutrality” just another well-intentioned fraud?

  • Ryan H

    “indeed. “the net” already treats UDP and TCP packets differently”

    This would be true, but they don’t do is discriminate between different UDP packets or between a TCP connection from one source and a TPC connection from another. The NN debate is over just that. Should your company be able to slow down your connection to Google (which you have paid for) but not to Yahoo because Yahoo has paid them more money? When you try and watch streaming video off the net should it only come down at 5 k/s on your 5Mb line because you have not paid them the premium that they want to ‘ensure proper delivery of media content’? That is the real issue. Extortion of a service that we are already paying for.

  • three blind mice

    Should your company be able to slow down your connection to Google (which you have paid for) but not to Yahoo because Yahoo has paid them more money?

    well Ryan H, where we are (in NW London at this moment), there are three ISPs providing internet access over the co-axial cable that comes into our flat, another three ISPs who carry DSL traffic over the twisted copper pair that comes into our flat, at least three cellular operators who provide GPRS access to the net, and, at present, two cellular operators who provide WCDMA access.

    we have, in other words, the choice of a dozen different “companies” – each offering a slightly differentited service – from whom we can choose.

    “net neutrality” is a choice of one.

    if there is, as net neutralists would have us believe, a large demand for “neutralness”, then certainly the market will provide such an option.

    wethinks that the “real issue” here is that dot communists are afraid of consumers having choice.

  • Ryan J

    “we have, in other words, the choice of a dozen different “companies” “

    Lucky you. In your siution, i agree that the debate over NN has conumer action as a viable answer. However, where I am (Alberta, Canada), the choice of ISPs is limited to 2, one DSL one Cable. Yes, there are other companies which re-sell these two services nder differing conditions, but that is no real chice as in the end, the data is all being caried on one of the two networks. The situation is similar in much of Canada and the United States. For that mater, you might want to look into your dozen companies andcheck how many of them are simply leasing bandwidth off of one of the others.