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ISP can charge for priority traffic

by on07 September 2007


Net neutrality is out the window in the U.S.


In another blow to Net neutrality in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Justice announced that ISPs should be allowed to charge extra for priority Web traffic.

This news comes as the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing high speed Internet policies and the DOJ is apparently opposing Net neutrality. AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast have all said that they want the option to charge customers more for traffic prioritization. Of course, this is totally contradictory to the concept that ISPs should remain neutral and provide equal access to all content on the Internet.

The main argument against Net neutrality is that some customers abuse their connections, and these customers should be forced to pay for a higher level of service; or, they should have to accept a lower tier of priority over customers that are already paying a higher price. The main example that the DOJ is using to make this argument is that it is no different from the different delivery modes offered by the U.S. Postal Service that range from bulk mail delivery to overnight delivery. The DOJ is also saying that without additional revenue streams, expansion of network infrastructure by ISPs will be hammered.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras encouraged the adoption of Net neutrality regulations quickly to promote investment and innovation. We agree that Net neutrality is important, and that ISPs need to provide equal access to everything on the Internet. It seems, however, that U.S. ISPs would prefer to engage in a discriminatory type of strategy against certain Web sites and services, and/or charge users more for the privilege of accessing these sites.

It amazes us how far behind the U.S. is compared to other countries on the subject of Net neutrality.

Last modified on 07 September 2007
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