Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tim Berners-Lee Defends Net Neutrality

Dan Worth, reports to the UK Technology site, V3, on Sir Tim Berners-Lee's presentation at the Nokia 2010 event yesterday.

"Sir Berners-Lee has called for the internet to remain an open and equal platform, and said that any moves towards tiered traffic delivery should be resisted in order to ensure continued innovation and development. .. the underlying network infrastructure of the web needs to remain unaltered to stop large firms dominating content delivery .. There are lots of businesses out there that would like to make their sites load faster than rivals', or governments that would love to be able to restrict or slow down access to certain sites for political reasons, but the moment you let go of net neutrality you lose the web as it is"
See "Nokia World: Tim Berners-Lee defends net neutrality" - here
Nevertheless, we see more operators leaning towards tiered services (including Vodafone's CEO, speaking at the same event) - see "Europe Goes to Mobile Data Tiering" - here.

1 comment:

  1. Tiered traffic delivery can imply several scenarios and, in one of these, I don't agree with Tim. Some real-time services, especially broadcast TV, are very sensitive to packet discards and/ or sensitive to delay. If the internet is to become a vehicle for delivery of all services then it needs to be engineered so that these services are of acceptable quality to the end user. So, if Tim objects to quality of service controls in the internet, which amount to a form of tiered delivery, then I disagree. If the objection is about a bundle of services being delivered more favourably from one provider than another then, again, I may disagree. If the "favoured" service provider has elected to purchase more bandwidth apart from the final mile then of course their services will be delivered more favourably up to the common point of contention. And this model of bandwidth allocation is reasonable because it is open to any service provider to pick their own level. No-one is systematically excluded. If Tim means systematic exclusion (such as "treat all Skype calls badly") then I agree with him.