June 27, 2014

Net Neutrality & Internet Capabilities

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From my point of view I see is the loss of net neutrality as a boon for the technology of the Internet as a whole.  If service providers can charge more for ‘premium’ content it stands to reason that the provider has to offer a ‘premium’ class of service for that content. This concept is totally lacking across the Internet. Today there is no class of service or quality of service distinction provided by ISPs. Verizon might have a scheme that is used in its network (most likely not to classify user Internet traffic), as does AT&T and all the others. The point is that none of them have a single agreed upon scheme.

Net Neutrality Graphic


Definitions abound in the RFCs as to what the classifications should be and what quality guarantees should be applied, but no one has ever implemented these across the broad Internet. They have been successfully implemented in Enterprise networks for years, voice, video and data routinely are passed between locations on the same pipes and routers. Each traffic type offered its own distinction and quality treatment.

With the opening of the Internet to multiple tiers of traffic costs, a global means of traffic classification and quality is possible. Peering between carriers could have CoS/QoS agreements that effect routing and service provider choices (the coin of the realm, as to say). This treatment would foster more service providers to meet the agreements or run the risk of losing customer traffic.

Once a global system is in place a totally new set of services and capabilities could be offered over the Internet that would foster competition and development…

While there are purported to be many winners and losers in the Net Neutrality wars, the battle is far from over. One winner I could see is the Internet itself and the quality guarantees that could be offered.

Peter Southwick