News on Net Neutrality



The US (United States of America) FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has just reversed Obama’s efforts to ensure that the internet remains a neutral platform for everyone - opening the door for US-based ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to create tiers of access levels - fast and slow lanes for data to travel between supplier and consumer depending on how much the supplier is willing to pay.

So, whereas at the moment essentially the only limitations on the speed at which data reaches your computer from whatever site/service you are connecting to are:

Provider’s server/s
Provider’s physical internet connection bandwidth
Up to 10,000’s miles of optic / copper cables
Consumer’s internet connection bandwidth

The new tier system would allow the ISP (?) to prioritise or even block some providers’ bandwidth, depending what the provider is willing to pay… ?

At least, that’s my limited understanding of the situation…?

Can anyone with a better understanding elaborate?

What are the pros and cons of this move?

I see that the ABC are indicating that this will flow on to Australia (and presumably as such the world) - which makes sense given that the Net transcends nations. Will Australia follow suit?




I believe what you have stated is the commonly expressed fears of not having the regulatory requirements in place.

I can see an argument for both sides. Thing is, it wasn’t much of a problem before the reg was in place, and those that tried, like Apple’s eworld and AOL didn’t do very well at all. In fact those business models failed.

I think it is always a bit of a worry when regs are imposed where there currently isn’t a problem, and it is only a fear there might be in the future. Regs are not cost free (well, they are quite free to the government people imposing them), especially to those directly impacted, and who knows what new businesses and business models didn’t get up because of the existence of a reg? Compliance costs demonstrating consistency with regs are a real cost to business, in this case where 99 percent of businesses would not be interested in exclusive enclaves or privileged access. They want to maximise their customer base.

Nothing wrong with imposing a reg if the benefits are demonstrably exceeding the current cost of no regs, but there is at least a little bit wrong with imposing a reg when the actual problem is currently negligible.

I think overall a bit of a cart before the horse issue. But also something people can be passionate about. Government policy should not be driven by passions.

Anyway, lets run for a few years without the reg. If it appears to be developing into a common problem then reimpose the regs.