Thursday, April 8, 2010

Net Neutrality Discussion in Germany (II) - DT Position

Earlier this month we heard about the German parliament discussion on Net Neutrality (see "Net Neutrality Discussion in Germany" - here). Now we get the Deutsche Telekom position. In one word "NO" for Net Neutrality.

DT CEO, Rene Obermann , told the Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) - ""Without our telecommunications networks and modern primary products there wouldn't be any online services coming from Google or Apple,". He has also said he would like to "charge companies offering data-intensive online services more for use of the Telekom's networks. Google, for instance, may be asked to pay Telekom extra for priority rights to stream its YouTube videos over the company's networks." See more in a Deutsche Welle article - here.

For many years, carriers such as Deutsche Telekom saw themselves as providers of dumb pipes. I remember DT managers telling me that "we don't care what we transfer on our network; we move our customers' bits from point A to point B".

More recently, these carriers realized that not all bits are equal - some have more value, and if a carrier can commit for an SLA to certain applications - this is a business opportunity. Yet, most of the incumbents are not yet deploying DPI/traffic control solutions, not to mention charging content owners for SLAa.

DT's official response (by DT's spokeswoman Marion Kessing) to Deutsche Welle was more conservative - "the company supports net neutrality and existing standards must be maintained  However, data traffic is rising rapidly and that much of this type of traffic, including gaming and television over Internet, can not tolerate delays in the way that traditional web and email traffic could."

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