Mike, I work on this issue with the Hands Off the Internet coalition. Regarding the University of FL study, there are a few rather significant flaws.
First, as Scott Cleland points out, the authors of the study don't even know what the status quo is, that we don't have "net neutrality now." He adds that if we did, why would net neutrality supporters be lobbying for new legislation is it was already law?
Furthermore, Richard Bennett points out that,
"net neutrality legislation seeks to create a new status quo where light users of Internet subscription services are required to subsidize heavy users, and where telecommunications companies would be prohibited from offering non-Internet-based IPTV services unless competitors could access their private IPTV facilities for free (where 'free' means for no additional charge beyond what they pay for Internet service today.)
Verizon and AT&T offer IPTV services today, so this is clearly not a question of preserving the status quo.
The professors jump through hoops in order to 'prove' that light users should be required to subsidize heavy users, and then baldly assert that the only difference between 10 Megabit Ethernet on fiber (10Base-FL [sic]) and Gigabit Ethernet is at the transceiver level. No dudes, not even close: system interfaces, buses, and MAC controllers have to be re-engineered to run faster, and distances suffer."
Contrary to the wild claims of some net neutrality supporters, the ISPs don't want to and would be foolish to block access to any site. As you point out, the ISP's customers wouldn't stand for such action not to mention there are laws on the books to deal with this hypothetical scenario. Thanks.
, at 3/13/2007 04:50:00 PM
Thank you for the insight.
Of course, it's important for everyone to note that a study is not necessarily even close to be scientific, and doesn't show causation at all.
"Hands off" is perhaps a better campaign to follow as it is a little better in terms of focus.
I should say that I, personally, don't "fight" for net neutrality, just that many things they work toward, I agree with. It seems a lot of people disagree on what net neutrality really is.
In all reality, I just want service providers to serve data untouched and unmonitored, that's all.
, at 3/13/2007 08:04:00 PM
Mike, thanks for the response and I certainly agree with you, having followed this debate for a while now, that it is difficult to find two people with the same exact definition of net neutrality.
As I mentioned before my coalition is opposing the proposed net neutrality legislation that would severely limit both innovation and broadband deployment an area where we cannot afford to fall further behind countries like South Korea.
I understand your concern and Hands Off the Internet has always endorsed the four principles of net neutrality: Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice; Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement; Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.” We even took out a print ad last year to say so.
, at 3/15/2007 03:18:00 PM