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Net Neutrality protests, why????

by Nicholas Buenk / August 13, 2010 12:35 PM PDT

Jeeze, googles got an agreement out of verizon to protect wired, who'd have thought that would ever happen! And yet people are still complaining. Nothing gets done without pragmatism, and google has half one here and protected wired. They can work on wireless later. But that is a very different situation. Wireless is very bandwidth constrained and will never able to be free of needs of network management. The most we'll be able to do is stop carriers favouring certain companies content over others. And let them stick to managing by protocols.

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My inner pragmatist agrees...
by minimalist / August 14, 2010 1:27 AM PDT

but the cynic in me knows that the free market apologists are smoking crack if they think that this will all sort this out without any regulation. The airwaves are just as much of a public resource as street right of ways. If businesses want to profit from public resources they have to give something back to the public.

I'm OK with letting it slide for right now because wireless broadband really is still a good ways off from being a real alternative to wired. But the FCC needs to watch the wireless carriers like a hawk and step in at the appropriate time. If they wait until wireless net access is as ubiquitous as wired broadband is now to do demand neutrality standards be met, the battle will already be lost.

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by Nicholas Buenk / August 14, 2010 7:33 AM PDT

I think it's extremely unlikely wireless will ever catch up to wired.
There's only so much spectrum to share among all users in a cell. Note AT&T is suffering huge congestion problems, and according to reports. The average usage of their users is only around 200MB!!! Bandwidth on wireless is simply too scarce to be an alternative to wired.
Hence the carriers are implementing data caps.

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AT&T is suffering huge congestion problems because they
by minimalist / August 15, 2010 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Well...

built out their network on the cheap, compressing the signals to hell and back to cram more calls and data onto fewer towers. AT&T sound quality is horrible when compared with Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. They may advertise they have "the fastest 3g network" but that network is spread so thin we all get to suffer together.

There is no reason we can't have net neutrality on wireless networks and let carriers manage their growth with data caps. What we are getting instead is a wholesale land grab from carriers who want to privilege their own content or that of their "partners". Once you dominate a market and control the pipes that deliver that market, all the net neutrality principles in the world won't give your competitors a fighting chance. The damage will have already been done. Don;t think for a second that Google and Verizon aren't keenly aware of this fact.

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Another thing is....
by Nicholas Buenk / August 14, 2010 7:43 AM PDT

Data caps might actually be a way around this.
Currently, you know if you have an iPhone, the 20MB download limit over 3G for iTunes and AppStore right? And limit on skype and facetime etc from doing 3G voice calls... These heavy handed efforts to reduce network congestion (among many others on the cell tower end of the network I'm sure), wouldn't be necessary if users were charged by data. And the price of data caps were set at the rate necessary to discourage data use and keep it at a level the network can handle.
If the FCC enforced net neutrality rules on wireless. Data caps would be all the carriers would be left with to stop their networks becoming congested and unreliable (ie, like AT&T Silly )

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