December 5, 2010
FCC Net Neutrality Plan Stuck In The Middle With You
Columbia University law professor Tim Wu talks to Ezra Klein in the Washington Postabout the FCC's current net neutrality plan. The proposed rule isn't available, but certain points are known. There's transparency in management practices (something old) and tiered pricing (something new). Wireless should be treated differently is in the mix as well. Public advocacy groups are unhappy and the telecoms are grumbling. Professor Wu's comments are fairly pragmatic on what's going on. It's not net neutrality the way he would define it, but it's not all bad.
Update: For an interesting take on the tiered pricing issue, check out this article in the San Francisco Chronicle. One of the problems facing carriers/ISPs is the amount of streaming video running over their networks. It's not as if your ISP doesn't want you to have your movies, just that you should pay extra freight for the bandwidth they take up. If this article is correct, get ready to buy Internet plans by speed and by the amount of data consumed. The implications for streaming anything are clear. Entertainment via the Internet is going to cost more, whether it's video, music, or video chat. The Buggles next hit (they reformed for one show, at least, their first one live, no less) might be Video Killed The Internet Star. One question, though. If this happens, does that mean people who download via torrents will not have their traffic slowed as Comcast did to the ire of the Kevin Martin led FCC? We all know how that turned out. [MG]