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Old 30 May 2014, 03:36 AM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,788

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I did not think net neutrality was about content at all. Please explain.
Net neutrality is basically the principle that all content and services on the Internet should be treated equally (as bits) by the ISPs. While those in favor of not trying to enforce that by laws and rules have said that it's not content itself but the method of delivery (streaming, for example) and service providers (telephony, for example) that wouldn't be treated equally, proponents of net neutrality have argued that without it ISPs would be free to restrict certain content. For example, if an ISP lets Netflix have faster access to customers for streaming then it implies those who don't pay for that won't have it and also requires that the ISPs have an active mechanism for filtering content. Nothing would prevent them then from, for example, limiting or even cutting off content. A lot of providers have said that's a bit far-fetched but proponents have pointed out that they're already doing it by making deals with individual content providers for better access. Besides, say the proponents, it should be a fundamental principle that providers should have no control over content of any kind.

It gets a bit complicated with peering relationships and communication law but I would say that (at least from the point of view of Neutrality proponents) it's all about equal treatment of content (and services).

(I'm not taking a stand here. I hope I don't sound biased. FTR, my point of view is that in markets where the ISPs have a de-facto monopoly or little competition they should be regulated like common carriers and be required to treat all bits equally. In markets where there is plenty of competition, they should be free to throttle content or services to their hearts' delight and at their own risk.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 30 May 2014 at 03:41 AM.
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