Sunday, August 27, 2006

Net neutrality, part seven

7. on doing something else

7.1. fix the anti-trust laws

7.1.1. "Relatively minor amendments to our Nation’s antitrust laws could be the right approach in this area." - Congressman Bob Goodlatte

7.1.2. Sensenbrenner bill - HR 5417 - "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006" - House Report 109-541 (69 pages of legislative history) - amends the Clayton Act to apply anti-trust laws to network discrimination "Advocates of net neutrality emphasize that meaningful remedies for network neutrality violators are necessary to preserve competition and consumer choice." passed House Judiciary committee, 20-13, with 13 Republicans opposed - May 2006 "This two-pronged approach has been dubbed "strict" 'Net neutrality by some, inasmuch as it not only outlaws service degradation, but would also prevent service providers from selling Quality of Service (QoS) to consumers." - 5/25/06 – Ars Technica "our bill would amend the Clayton Act - a seminal antitrust law - to make it a violation of the antitrust laws if a company, among other things, blocks, impairs, discriminates against or interferes with the ability of any person to access, use, send receive or offer legal content or applications. Such conduct would result in treble damages against the offender." - Congressman John Conyers

7.2. alternative connections

7.2.1. the future nationwide Google network

7.2.2. municipal networks - "The obvious answer is for regular folks like you and me to own our own last mile Internet connection.... The effect of this move would be beyond amazing. It would be astounding. No more arguments about Net Neutrality, for one thing, because we'd effectively be extending our ownership and control of the wires all the way to the ISP interconnect. Of course you'd still have to buy Internet service, but at NerdTV rates the amount of bandwidth used by a median U.S. broadband customer would be less than $2.00 per month. Though with that GREAT BIG PIPE most of us would be tempted to use a lot more bandwidth, which is exactly the point. There would be a community-financed Internet revolution and this time, because it would be locally funded and managed, very little money would be stolen. Dark fibers would be lighting up all over America, telco capital costs would plummet, and a truly competitive market for Internet services would emerge. In 2-3 years whatever bandwidth advantage countries like Korea have would be erased and we'd be back on track building even more innovative online industries." -

7.2.3. wireless broadband - WiMax mesh wireless - economics of the "wireless last mile"

7.2.4. confiscate the private networks by eminent domain

7.3. turn the tables, who needs who?

7.3.1. the ESPN 360 case who really has the bargaining power? content providers or network providers "Want ESPN360? Have Comcast Internet? Forget it. Comcast hasn't paid for this service. Don't worry, the good folks at ESPN have been kind enough to give you a list of the preferred providers: Frontier, US Cable, Verizon, BELD, Charter LA, Charter Stl, Grande, Mediacom, MidHudson, SMU, StarStream, MTC, Iowa Network, Services, Conway, and Liberty PR. You might be (justifiably) tempted to say, "To hell with this. I'm not choosing an ISP just for ESPN360." While that's certainly a reasonable thought -- especially if you're not the type of person who starts to twitch without his / her daily fix of PTI -- that's much easier to do when it's just one content-provider. However, what happens if more and more companies start doing this? "Wait, isn't this the net neutrality issue?" you ask. No. In fact, in a lot of ways it's the exact opposite. Unlike the issue of net neutrality which primarily deals with matters of QoS (quality of service) or filtering by the ISP, the precedent being set by ESPN is the right/ability of the content providers to force ISPs to pay usage fees on behalf of the ISP's customers. So, instead of an ISP charging companies such as YouTube, Amazon, or whomever to ostensibly recoup the last-mile costs, it's the content companies saying, "our content is so important that you need to pay us for it." - Engadget

7.3.2. "Given the market power that Google has today, they are more relevant to the Internet community than BellSouth. Given that, if I were running Google today, I would choose to implement a BellSouth Boycott and stop offering access to Google to BellSouth customers and would start advertising Cox Cable service on any requests that came from BellSouth customers in their regions. I’m willing to wager that by Q3 2006, BellSouth’s DSL group will feel the effects of their grave error in judgment." - Pulverblog

7.3.3. "We think that content providers should respond by blocking the RBOCs." - Alex Goldman, ISP-Planet

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