Traffic Blocking: A Financial Issue, Not A Technical One
from the get-your-wallet-out dept
Several ISPs and telecom providers’ first reaction to the likes of Vonage and Skype has been fairly predictable, network neutrality be damned. The Wall Street Journal today has a round up of many network providers’ feelings on the matter, hidden under the guise that heavy users are hogging bandwidth and slowing down service for all their other customers. But one consumer advocate nails it when he says it’s not a network-management issue, but rather a revenue-maximization issue, with an exec from Time Warner saying they’re looking at different ways to control traffic, but that “Revenue opportunities…definitely exist.” So, basically, it sounds like more providers will implement “price blocking”: you’ll be able to use whatever you want, you’ll just have to pay extra for it . The problem is that these ISPs are looking to block services with which they compete — Vonage packets might get hung up, for instance, while data for a provider’s own VoIP system sails through just fine. FCC boss Kevin Martin has said that market forces will keep providers from blocking certain traffic on their networks, but that’s not an assertion that’s held up. But given how the commission has changed Internet freedoms into entitlements, and how the industry wants regulation to disappear, it’s hard to see this situation getting any better before it gets a lot worse.