2009: The year of network neutrality


Word is out that Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will yet again introduce a bill codifying the concept of network neutrality as early as January 2009. It won’t be the first time he has done so, but this time the deck will be stacked with a few extra Democrats. And some Republicans have also been open to the concept.

RBR/TVBR observation: At the risk of oversimplifying, the idea of net neutrality is that internet providers should be carriers just like the phone company has always been – they carry whatever is sent without discrimination, just as they do not monitor phone calls for content, and without discrimination as to who is sending or receiving, just as you or I are would be treated exactly the same as Alexander Graham Bell himself.

On the content end, net neutrality would prevent an IP provider from denying access to a competitor.
The phone analogy breaks down, of course, when considering content. One phone call is pretty much like another; but transmitting a two sentence email is very different than transmitting a three-hour movie. We suspect that the true internet battle will to be in the area of traffic management.