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Internet backbone ownership - in color!

I don't know if the question of who owns how much of the internet backbone was answered before, but regardless, this is a nice new display of it. The map was made by Bill Cheswick of Lumeta and the blog post by Ben Worthen. Found via Digg, via ZDNet...

According to Ben:

"What is this ball of colors? It is the North American Internet, or more specifically a map of just about every router on the North American backbone, (there are 134,855 of them for those who are counting). The colors represent who each router is registered to. Red is Verizon; blue AT&T; yellow Qwest; green is major backbone players like Level 3 and Sprint Nextel; black is the entire cable industry put together; and gray is everyone else, from small telecommunications companies to large international players who only have a small presence in the U.S."

The map doesn't exactly provide solid arguments for either side of the net neutrality debate, IMO (mainly because it's not broken down by region), but it does show how big both AT&T and Verizon are and makes the tiered internet idea even scarier.

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Why is a tiered internet scary?

In reply to: Internet backbone ownership - in color!

I just don't get it.

We have tiered service at plays, you sit closer to the stage and you pay more.

We have tiered service on airplanes, you sit closer to the front in bigger seats with better meals and you pay more.

We have tiered food. You pay more at the Steake-and-Ale than at McDonalds.

This isn't a communist endeavor, it is a capitalist endeavor, and in capitalism you (tend to) get what you pay for and you (tend to) pay for what you get.

No one is bemoaning tiered seats at plays, or airplane seats, or even restraunts.... why bemoan a tiered internet?

I just don't get it.

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Internet vs internet access

In reply to: Why is a tiered internet scary?

The analogies you're using are comparable to what we already have - the choice to pay for dial up, DSL, or cable. That's not a tiered internet, it's tiered internet *access*. And it's perfectly fine.

The net neutrality/tiered internet debate is different - you would have absolutely no control over whether your service was affected, because you have no control over which backbones you use. You can't just decide not to use Verizon's backbone, regardless of whether you're a Verizon customer or not. If they slow/limit traffic from a site you're visiting, you can't do anything about it.

On a side note, given that this is the telecom industry, capitalism isn't entirely applicable.

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Telecom execs

In reply to: Internet vs internet access

Good, concise explanation, urisage. Molly and Tom have also done a pretty good job of explaining the difference on several occasions.

It would be fascinating if BOL could get one of the telecom execs to come on the show and try to defend themselves. I would really love to hear them try to explain their position to people who actually understand how the internet works.

-Kevin S.

Light it up Google

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