Solution To Net Neutrality? P2P And Shame?

from the it's-something dept

As the ongoing debate about network neutrality gets more and more ridiculous, at least we’re starting to see a few more creative ideas show up. The real issue, again, is the lack of competition in the broadband space — due mostly to the FCC allowing the telcos to get away from promises made in exchange for monopoly rights of way. The problem is that regulation isn’t a great solution either — which too many net neutrality supporters brush over. The telco arguments in favor of breaking net neutrality are flat out ridiculous and easily disproved, but that doesn’t mean that regulation is the answer — especially if the regulations are to be managed by the same FCC. New technologies could help alleviate the competitive situation, but those won’t be ready for some time, which could make things messy. Andy Kessler’s idea of scaring the telcos straight is a fun one, but not likely to actually get much support. Now Cory Doctorow has another suggestion on ways to keep network neutrality without regulations (all the way at the bottom). His idea is for a distributed peer-to-peer system that constantly monitors the internet to try to catch any indication that the telcos are breaking net neutrality (or even if there’s just a glitch in the network). While the article doesn’t indicate it, the idea then would probably be to name and shame the company — and force any breakage of net neutrality to stop. This is similar to the naming and shaming being done in the Craigslist/Cox situation that actually has absolutely nothing to do with net neutrality (though it’s continually, wrongly, trotted out as an example). Of course, it’s not clear how such a system would help in cases of new and different services being crippled — such as VoIP networks or video over IP. It is important to better monitor the networks and try to keep the telcos honest, but when they’re just going to come back and make bogus claims about network stability, it’s not clear the naming and shaming will be all that successful. It still seems like a better idea is going to simply be to encrypt all traffic so the telco has no idea what to degrade.

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Comments on “Solution To Net Neutrality? P2P And Shame?”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: cox and craigslist

Hi Craig,

I read the entry, but I still don’t see how this is an example of net neutrality being broken. It appears that it was a mistake (and some still say the mistake was on Craigslist’s side).

Network neutrality isn’t about bugs, but about a conscious effort by a telco to degrade the performance of a competing party (or make their own service more accessible). Even you admit that nothing was done on purpose here.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: cox and craigslist

I didn’t say anything like that was broken; please help me out.

Hmm. I think we’re talking about different things. All I said was that people keep trotting out Craigslist/Cox as an example of where someone broke net neutrality.

You wrote that I didn’t quite have it right.

So, if you weren’t talking about using Craigslist/Cox as an example… what did I not have quite right? I’m willing to write a correction. I’m just trying to understand what needs to be corrected.

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