Akamai Does Not Violate Network Neutrality

from the end-to-end-vs-end-to-middle dept

Many supporters of AT&T's plans to double dip in internet charges by ending neutrality claim that the internet has never been neutral, and point to systems like Akamai as an example of this. However, as we've explained in the past, this is simply untrue. It's purposely stretching the definition of network neutrality to make a point that isn't supported by the facts. Services like Akamai help make the internet faster for everyone. It doesn't discriminate. It holds to the "end-to-end" principle that a connection you buy to the internet entitles you to reach any content across that entire network. That's not what AT&T is looking to do. It's claiming that you really only have access to the cloud in the middle, and someone needs to pay for the second half of that connection from the middle out to the server you're accessing.

Tim Lee (who, like me, does not support net neutrality legislation) has ripped apart a paper that claims that Akamai is an example of why the internet is not neutral. Lee notes that the author of the paper doesn't even seem to understand how Akamai works, and provides a nice (more technology focused) explanation for why content caching systems have little to do with the network neutrality discussion: "A network is neutral if it faithfully transmits information from one end of the network to the other and doesn't discriminate among packets based on their contents. Neutrality is, in other words, about the behavior of the routers that move packets around the network. It has nothing to do with the behavior of servers at the edges of the network because they don't route anyone's packets."

Filed Under: cdn, end to end, net neutrality
Companies: akamai


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  1. identicon
    Liquid, 18 Jan 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    But 99.999% of people that use a computer only care about speed how fast they can surf the internet... yes I can agree that they wont notice a difference in speed if they are just going from site to site, but if they are downloading programs that happen to be several gigabytes in size they will notice the difference... You should read the 2nd article that was posted... that lady was downloading 4gig moves in under 2-3 mins where it would take you possibly what 5-6 hours normally hell maybe even a whole day to download a file of that size... Even though most people don't down load files that size all the time, there is still the possibility that they might... with the way programs are being developed now-a-days they are getting larger and larger... If companies want to offer those programs for download off their sites like ohhhhh lets see Adobe, Blizzard, Microsoft, where a person can pay to download the software from home instad of haveing order it and wait for UPS to show up 3-4 days later... Why wait tomorrow what you can get right now... so yes... they will notice a difference...

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