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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quick musings on Net Neutrality

A couple of quick Sunday morning ponderings:

- Sprint's new femtocell service is designed to work with any ISP/cable operator's broadband. It's a separate standalone box which plugs into a router, rather than a new integrated home gateway product & bundled broadband service. Now to be fair, Sprint appears to have a comparatively relaxed policy on open Internet access & Net Neutrality, especially given its WiMAX deployment plans. But I've got to wonder whether any fixed operators/ISPs will try & encourage it to pay for premium QoS for its femto traffic on 'their' broadband infrastructure.... Presumably it'll be pretty easy to spot as it'll be heading to a central network aggregation node. I can't imagine Verizon will be too chuffed at helping backhaul Sprint's CDMA traffic...

- I wonder how 'mission critical' Internet services like Google now are to large telecom companies. Presumably they use it to search for market information, track competitors, look for technical papers, screen new employees and so on. Also presumably it's fairly easy to spot searches emanating from main HQ or R&D sites by IP address. How much leverage would Google or Yahoo have if they threatened to block (or start charging) for searches emanating from, say, a major carrier's employees?

4 comments:

David Doherty said...

Excellent analysis.

I think these cases are just the tip of the iceberg.

Collectively i feel they will make the case for us all to participate in networks of virtual tunnels.

For an example see tor.eff.org

Anonymous said...

"I wonder how 'mission critical' Internet services like Google now are to large telecom companies."

If Google were switched off tomorrow, I could still get market and competitor info from agencies, new employees from agencies and technical papers from agencies. Pretty much as I do today. Pretty much as I have done for the last 5 years.

You on the other hand, would be screwed.

Another well thought out post "pondering" irrelevant issues.

Dean Bubley said...

Ah, another erudite comment from my new anonymous regular poster. If I'm not irritating at least a couple of people, I'm not trying hard enough.

It's easier to ruffle an ostrich's feathers when it's got its head stuck in the sand, I guess.

Liviou said...

Hi Dean, Thanks for your view.

I'm not convinced by Anonymous' stance. Actually i find your objection rather irrelevant.

You say: "pretty much as I've done for the last 5 years". It tells it all. You've not seen the world changing and still used the "good old methods". But those are getting a bit rusty: more expensive, quickly outdated, less extensive, more difficult to access and much slower, less interactive and user friendly.

There is indeed room for charging enterprises for specific Internet searches. And looking at how google got almost a monopoly it could try. But that would be very risky though.
No other information and communication media has been moving as fast as Internet. Google has got a light speed success (burying the then famous Altavista). But the reverse can be true as well. With the wrong move, it could be a matter of months to bury Google. Yahoo is trying some interesting moves (eg guided search).