In the continuing annoying debate on net neutrality, one thing that the telco supporters keep bringing up is the idea that breaking net neutrality is needed to stop "freeloaders" from using up all the available bandwidth and choking off the network for everyone else. Of course, generally speaking, none of the people or companies described as "freeloaders" actually are freeloaders. They're all paying for the bandwidth they use. If part of the problem is that the telcos gave them too much bandwidth for the price, that's a telco pricing problem -- not a net neutrality one. No one is saying that connectivity can't be priced on usage. However, Tom Evslin, in his continuing series of smart thoughts on network neutrality, is now explaining why so-called freeloaders are not the problem in network congestion. He knows what he's talking about, as he started AT&T's WorldNet ISP to compete with AOL many years ago. It's an interesting read that pokes a lot of holes in the claims from telco backers that somehow these freeloaders using BitTorrent are going to kill the internet. Instead, those people are helping the network operator, spreading content out during off-peak times, making the network much more valuable to users, and bringing content closer to the various endpoints. Update: Meanwhile, along similar lines, rajesh points us to this blog post from someone at Global Crossing explaining how the numbers BellSouth is giving out about just how expensive it will be to offer IPTV are totally wrong. The baby bells lying about their actual costs? What a surprise.
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