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 @ 4:46am

    Capitolistic Society

    To a small degree I agree with Wolferz. When you use cable (copper lines for those who might not know) for your internet connection along with TV, and Phone service. I can see how your money might get to a major provider, but when it comes to useing fiber I don't agree with that at all because AT&T, Sprint, Bell South, etc... All these companies lease out their copper lines to local ISP's so that they can provide a service for an area that demands it. In the case of fiber, and there are only two at this time that I know about that offer cable straight to the house is Verizon which is in selected areas such Dallas Texas, Ft. Wayne IN, and a few other places for testing purposes. The local Boad of Pulic Utilites where I live is offering Fiber to the house. I could probably say with at least 85% assuraty that when it comes to the internet you're money isn't going to a major provider execpt maybe Verizon since they have been the ones laying unlit fiber accross the country. When it comes to your phone, and cable TV then yes I can see that portion of your money going to a major provider. Thats just my reasoning I could be 100% wrong to, but hey who knows.

    Another point is that in this country you will NEVER see Net Nutrality at least like you see in other countries around the world. Our society is way to capitolostic to let that happen. People everywhere in our pathetic little country has to have their hands in the honey pot and make a little somethin somethin to. You will never see our bandwidth speed reach that of our forign allies. That's because over in Europe they believe in a socialized network for the internet. There are ALOT of articles out there that point this out.

    http://www.news.com/Internet-speed-record-broken/2100-1033_3-5242144.html

    http://www.msnb c.msn.com/id/19832184/

    These speeds are 100% possible to the home. It's just another showing of how money hungry our country is when it comes to providing services. Capitolism at its finest.

    I hope you all remember the raid that the sweedish police did on the proprietors of one of the most used BitTorrent sits Pirate Bay back in 2006 or 2007. Many articles stated that they police over there DIDN'T care what they were doing over the internet they would rather spend more time dealing with actual physical crimes. It was to the badgering of one our countries most capitolistic companies the RIAA/MPAA that got them to finally seize computers and network equipment to try and catch them breaking U.S. copy right laws. What they found out was that they were NEVER hosting ANY files on servers or computers that contained the actual data that the RIAA/MPAA was hopeing they had. The botton line is that you will never see socialized internet in the U.S. untill the government finally just goes F*** IT we don't care anymore and just orders these companies to open bandwidth, and stop throttleing back network protocols that they feel are being used for malicious purposes... WE WILL FIND A WAY TO GET WHAT WE WANT IN THE END... whether or not its on the internet... So I say thank you to countries like Europe that have socialized networks and are willing to provide their users with 40gig bit speed to the house... thats what we need all over the world... data traveling at the speed of light...

    Ok im done... Thank you for listening and just a reminder this has been a public service anouncement. Had this been an actual emergancy you would have been instructed to turn your computer off, dissconect your cable modem, and cram it in the bum of your local ISP and give them the finger for not helping with the goal of Network Nutrality.

    Thank You

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