Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Net Neutrality - AT&T Endorses Amazon's Win-Win-Win Proposal

Paul Misener, VP for global public policy at, published a guest column at Cnet "Politics and Law" section, proposing a way to terminate the Net Neutrality debate.

See "A potential Net neutrality win-win-win" - here

Paul says that the problem is with applications and services that are performance sensitive, such as streaming video (i.e. Amazon interest) and VoIP, and suffer from the physical distance between the content provider and user (due to the number of nodes they have to go through). 

In order to solve the distance problem, content providers can, today "moving [the servers], leasing private lines, and edge caching [e.g. use CDN]".

Paul suggest to add another option - "Internet content providers (and consumers) should be able to purchase "quality of service" or "managed services" from network operators on the same basis--equal availability and no harm to other content". In addition he suggests that when capacity is increased "newly available capacity were dedicated to particular content".

Jim Cicconi, AT&T's Senior Executive Vice President-External and Legislative Affairs, quickly posted a supporting message into AT&T's Public Policy Blog - saying "I was particularly pleased to read Paul’s clear recognition that certain quality-of-service (QoS)/network management practices by ISPs are not only necessary but in the best interest of consumers. I couldn’t agree more."

See "The Not So Elusive Middle" - here.

I believe that this is a good compromise which addresses the existing guidelines of Net Neutrality, as long as it is appropriately disclosed to the subscribers. Of course, it gives some advantage to the bigger content provider who may pay the required amounts.

Nevertheless, proving that "no-harm to other content" policy is kept will be extremely difficult as well as deciding what portion of the bandwidth capacity is "basic" (which also has to grow over time) and what is the "newly available capacity" which is subsidized by the content providers/customers paying the extra.

Related posts:
  • AT&T CTO:"AT&T recently faced a shortage of the components needed to improve its network" - here
  • Charging for higher & tiered QoS is the Most Important Potential Strategy - here
  • Skype: Operators' Tiered Services will Replace Our 3G Surcharge Plans - here

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