Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
That letter hasn't, I think, got it quite right.
It refers to *ISPs* giving preference to some data providers--that is, those
who create and run web sites, etc.--over others. But it isn't ISPs (whose
prime function is to provide us with our gateways to the internet); it's
those who provide the *backbone bandwidth*, that is, telcos, etc., not ISPs,
who feel they have been losing out because regulation prevents them from
monetising that bandwidth the way they would like to.
What they want to be allowed to do is to provide unequal shares of that
bandwidth to the data providers, depending on how much said providers are
willing and to pay them... this would inevitably result, for example, in
your having instant access to Microsoft's web pages about their poxy
firewall, whereas you'd wait a log time before the pages you really
want--namely a private security blogger's article about which firewall you
should really be using--would finally appear.
OK, it's not that simple; telcos and other backbone providers often run
ISPs, for example, but the principle of "net neutrality" means that all data
providers get fair shares of available capacity under regulations that
originally applied, in pre-internet days, solely to phone calls.
Lurking under all this is the even more sinister possibility that without
net neutrality, throttling of some data providers might in future be done
simply to cripple critics or the competition, or even for political,
ideological or religious reasons.
Regards, Peter Boulding
***@UNSPAMpboulding.co.uk (to e-mail, remove "UNSPAM")
Fractal Images and Music: http://www.pboulding.co.uk/