5.22.2006

The Fight for Network Neutrality, and how it pertains to You.

In a nutshell, Network Neutrality means that everyone, everywhere is allowed to access whatever content, or run whatever applications they want. Your ISP's (Internet Service Provider) only job is to tranfer the data.

Well, the people who maintain the cables and lines (The Top Level ISPs) have been arguing with one another, and are basically strongarming sites into paying for "preferred access" to networks. Now, we as consumers, pay for internet service, and websites (like Google, Blogger, or Amazon) pay for bandwidth. So where does this extra "Preferred Access" fee end up? Into the pockets of your ISP. Otherwise, the sites you frequent could be blocked by your ISP because they won't pay protection money.

Now, I've assumed that this will never happen, that it's just the crazy worry of a few people who spend too much time on the internet. In all reality, AOL has already started blocking bulk mail from sites that haven't paid up. www.dearaol.com has been started to warn AOL users of AOL's intentions. Soon after, AOL has blocked all email with dearaol.com in teh subject or message body.

The example, which many have given, but has only recently been made clear to me is that if you frequent Amazon.com, and your ISP strikes a deal with BarnesAndNoble.com, it would very possibly, permanently block your access to Amazon.

Check out the first post by Josh at the following thread from BKV.TV. I think he does a much better job laying it all out than I do.

http://bkv.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7229

If you're interested in this whole debacle, check out these sites, as well.

DearAOL.com

SaveTheInternet.com

2 comments:

Kevin Sole said...

This makes me wonder.

The Internet, being such a global thing.. if companies started to charge for access (which Google has stated they will NOT pay), blocking websites (Local ISP, Telus, did this to people who were searching for information on the strike the workers were having)...

... wouldn't it backfire?

I don't know. I'm f'n tired. But my random thoughts tell me the geeks would revolt. Re-route, and even create entirely new networks with new technologies.

I just wonder.

Adrian said...

They would not necessarily start blocking websites, they would only slow them down in order to speed up the websites that do pay. For content in formats other than text it would definitely be a killer: a video blog would not be able to make it for example. It would be an indirect block.