Iain Morris reports on Light Reading:
The never-ending saga of net neutrality has taken a fresh twist with news that a number of Europe’s biggest telcos have essentially threatened to withhold investment in new 5G networks unless rules are relaxed.
In a “manifesto” issued Thursday, major communications service providers including BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom AG(NYSE: DT), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI), Telefónicaand Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) promised to launch a 5G network in a minimum of one major city per European Union (EU) country by 2020 and then invest further, but only if they get the net neutrality assurances they demand.
Netflix, a leading Net Neutrality advocate, says it’s been lowering video quality for some customers to protect them from overrunning data caps.
The original headline on the story is wrong. Verizon didn’t say there’s no congestion. Verizon said there’s no congestion on its network, but there is congestion on the interconnections.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly says there should be no rule until there’s evidence of an “actual problem.”
“Despite spirited public protest both inside and outside its chambers — with one audience member escorted out by security in the middle of the session — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” Thursday, formally setting in motion a process that could lead to paid priority access for some companies on the Internet.”
Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen says providers are permitted to provide different levels of service to different types of customers.
He was working for Silicon Valley networking company Riverstone Networks, which cooperated with Chinese authorities on censorship technology. And that was only part of the problem at Riverstone, which came under SEC scrutiny for scheming to defraud investors. Wu’s immediate boss, Andrew Feldman, pled guilty to felony charges, and Feldman and four other Riverstone executives settled SEC complaints.
It all crystallized for [Wu] on Sept. 12, 2001 — the day after the 9/11 attacks. He was stranded in Atlanta at a trade show with other company employees. Their business engagements were canceled because of the attacks, and, with no other plans, his colleagues decided to go to a strip club. On such a solemn day, the tawdry revelry repelled him.
“I wondered how I’d gotten there,” he recalls. “I realized that what we’d been doing all those months was abhorrent.” He had been living in a world based on nothing but money, he said, and saw that “the idea that the private sector, the free market, on its own has all the solutions is just a myth.” He added: “When it’s just about money, there are no values.”
He looked for a way out and got a job teaching law at the University of Virginia. But the Internet preoccupied him. “I thought of it as a kind of perpetual frontier, the place where everyone gets a shot, where the underdogs have a chance. The Internet has been that. And I wanted some principles that would keep it that way.”
He got back in touch with [mentor Lawrence] Lessig, who encouraged him in May 2002 to put his thoughts down on paper. The result was a sparkling memo, “A Proposal for Network Neutrality,” that asked: “What principle can balance the legitimate interests of broadband carriers in administering their networks with the danger of harm to new application markets? And how can such a principle be translated into both clear legal guidelines and the practice of network design?” The answer was in the title: a new creation called network neutrality. Mr. Lessig began sending the paper to his contacts the next month.
Imagine a chess game, but with four players. Each player has their own strategy, some have advantages….say, extra queens left over from prior games, and one has a disability…say, that player can only move their chess pieces like checkers.
In network neutrality, the four players are the government, the content providers, the network providers (carriers, service providers), and you, the consumer. You’re the one playing checkers.
Some venture capitalists at the cutting edge of Internet innovation say they will shun startups requiring fast connections for video, audio, or other services, mindful that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission may let ISPs charge extra fees to major content providers.
Five major internet service providers in the US and one in Europe have been accused of abusing their market share to interfere with the flow of the internet for end users. The accusations come from Level 3, a communications company that helps connect large-scale ISPs like Comcast or AT&T to the rest of the internet. According to the company, these six unnamed ISPs are deliberately degrading the quality of internet services using the Level 3 network, in an attempt to get Level 3 to pay them a fee for additional traffic caused by services like Netflix, a process known as paid peering.