Sunday, August 27, 2006

Net neutrality, part one

1. what is it

1.1. "net neutrality" as defined by its proponents is the idea that network providers should not be allowed to discriminate in the handling of traffic on the internet

1.1.1. "Net Neutrality means that if I pay for a certain level of service and you pay for a certain level of service, then we get to communicate with each other at that level." - Timothy Berners-Lee, internet founder "Potentially in the United States - but only, as far as I understand it, in the United States - is the idea that for high-speed Internet connections capable of handling video, the telecommunications companies would try to change the rules, so that if the International Herald Tribune has a video Web site and I have a browser that can do video, I would only be able to browse your video blog if you had paid my cable company some money. And that would be serious." - Berners-Lee, International Herald-Tribune, 5/31/06

1.1.2. “[W]ould it be a problem if AT&T makes it slower and harder to reach Gmail and quicker and easier to reach Yahoo! mail?” - Professor Tim Wu

1.1.3. elements of net neutrality - Daniel Weitzner, MIT - Non-discriminatory routing of packets User control and choice over service levels Ability to create and use new services and protocols without prior approval of network operators Non-discriminatory peering of backbone networks.

1.1.4. "nuts and bolts" of discrimination explained - Edward Felten, Princeton - ("One of the reasons the network neutrality debate is so murky is that relatively few people understand the mechanics of network discrimination. In reasoning about net neutrality it helps to understand the technical motivations for discrimination, the various kinds of discrimination and how they would actually be put into practice, and what countermeasures would then be available to users and regulators.")

1.2. "net neutrality" as defined by its opponents is a form of government regulation limiting what internet providers can do in providing services for its customers and funding network improvements

1.3. "the frenzied search for the perfect metaphor" -

1.3.1. the internet is . . . like the interstate - "How would you feel if I-95 announced an exclusive deal with General Motors to provide a special "rush-hour" lane for GM cars only? like cable television - "The business model that this most resembles is cable television. There's one key difference, though. In the cable world, the service providers pay channels for the rights to broadcast their shows. In the system that telco-cable is proposing for the Internet, the content providers-who provide the services that make customers clamor for broadband in the first place-would have to pay for the privilege of being included." - not a truck, it's a series of tubes - Senator Ted Stevens, June 28, 2006

1.3.2. net neutrality is "like pornography: You know it when you see it" - Congressman Joe Barton, "net neutering"

1.4. net neutrality as explained on The Daily Show by the PC guy from the Apple commercials

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