Net neutrality: The end?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about net neutrality and suggested that the neither it nor alternatives appeared perfect; although it might not be such a bad thing to mandate it. Now it appears that there will be no mandated net neutrality in the US for the time being.

In Australia, last week Telstra (our dominant ISP) suggested that it would not oppose net neutrality so long as it could have tiered pricing to users. This argument is consistent with my earlier post; you have to be able to charge someone for differential speed. I note that content providers in Australia do not seem to be as aggressive on all this. There is hardly any comment in traditional media.
What is more of a concern is the combination of download limits and exclusive content deals. When Telstra hosts content it can make this content ‘download free’ to its customers giving it an advantage of other ISPs. They would be forced to have true unlimited downloads or give Telstra an advantage — not in speed but in price. It is those things that we really need to watch out for.

In the end, net non-neutrality in the US will impact upon us as we try to access content there. How that will resolve itself is anyone’s guess.

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