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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Craig Newmark, Jun 26th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    cox and craigslist

    Actually, you're not quite right about that, please check out the latest entry on my blog,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 26th, 2006 @ 9:57am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    nathan, Jun 26th, 2006 @ 10:38am

    This whole debate is reaching such an enormous pitch among blogs these days that a lot is being confused in the dialogue and I feel bad for anyone trying to jump into this mass of material right now. That said, I found this post to be a pretty good resource, bringing up some interesting points.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    nathan, Jun 26th, 2006 @ 10:40am

    sorry to double comment...

    ...but I just blogged in reaction to your post as well as Cory's piece.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Just-, Jun 26th, 2006 @ 10:43am

    Check if you getting what you diserve

    There is a really good website that allows you to test the speed of you internet connection so you can check if what you getting is really what your ISP promised. Very simple test, no Java no extra no nothing click here to check it out:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Craig Newmark, Jun 26th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: cox and craigslist

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

    Please note that the Authentium people have now repeatedly stated it's their bug.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 26th, 2006 @ 1:16pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Robert Nelson (profile), Jun 30th, 2006 @ 5:43pm

    cox and craigslist

    I ,cringley has a novel solution for net neutrality involving seed money to fund the last mile, put up by Microsoft and others preferly in a consortium as a win-win both for the consumers who get a fat pipe and for Microsoft who would be actually innovating instead of gobbling up another possibilty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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