Well, I was going to do something a bit different this week following on last week’s post. Then, as normal the FCC decided to write my post this week for me. I need to personally thank all the folks at the FCC for making my Friday an easy one.
So, what am I talking about? If you have not heard or read, the FCC is trying to restart Net Neutrality by separating what they call “Back End” Connections from “Retail” connections. Needless to say that a lot of this is leaked to get initial feedback and therefore incomplete. A “Retail” connection is between an ISP and a Consumer. A “Back End” Connection is from an ISP and a Content Provider. What the FCC would do is then ensure that Back End Connections are handled in a Neutral Manner.
Let me stop you right now as your head is probably spinning. The idea of this is that Consumers can create deals with their ISP to have a higher level of service. The thinking is that the Consumer will be able to pay some more and get streaming video at higher quality. The other way to think about this is that Consumers will be able to pay for the use of certain amounts of bandwidth to be used.
The goal would be that Content would all be treated neutrally so that the end result is that all Content is available and usable. People that wish to consume more would pay for it. There is at least one thing that I consider very valuable in that part of the proposal. Today, people pay for service by the rate that bits can be exchanged at the interface they buy. That is useful, but allows for no value for the network that is more internal. The quality and cost of that network is never exposed.
Beyond that, I think that there is at least one more big issue. There would need to be some significant changes in the way things are named and structured from a regulatory standpoint. There would seem to be a large possibility that the Courts would overturn the changes. In order to move forward here, having an idea of what is and what is not within the current framework is very important.
My primary comment to all of you is that nothing that has been put out about this is in stone. We are still early in this process and need a lot more details before we start thinking about things in terms of good or bad for us. So, relax and have a great weekend.
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