GigaOm and Forbes: Information Super Traffic Jam??? (Must Read)
Here is a snippet from the Forbes.com article:
Robert Kahn and David Farber, the technologists known respectively as the father and grandfather of the Internet, have both been highly critical of network neutrality mandates. In a recent speech, Kahn pointed out that to incentivize innovation, network operators must be allowed to develop new technologies within their own networks first, something that network neutrality mandates could prevent. Farber has urged Congress not to enact network neutrality mandates that would prevent significant improvements to the Internet.
Without enormous new investments to upgrade the Internet's infrastructure, download speeds could crawl to a standstill. It would be unfortunate if network neutrality proponents successfully saved the rapidly aging, straining Internet by freezing out the technological innovations and infrastructure investments that would enable next generation technologies to be developed and deployed.
The video-heavy, much vaunted Web 2.0 advances of the last couple of years were made possible at low prices to consumers because the speculative overbuilding during the bubble era created massive overcapacity that made bandwidth cheap and abundant. It's now all being consumed.
One solution suggested by network operators is to prioritize traffic based on service tiers and use revenue from content providers in the premium tiers to subsidize the high costs of infrastructure deployment. The MoveOn.org crowd denounces this solution for creating Internet fast lanes and relegating everything else to the slow lane. But as the Deloitte report shows, the likely alternative is that there will be only slow lanes, potentially very slow lanes as soon as later this year. Call it the information super traffic jam.
Advanced networks cost billions of dollars to deploy and need to generate predictable revenue to make business sense. The infrastructure companies are unanimous in their belief that offering premium services with guaranteed bandwidth will be necessary for them to justify their investments. Quality-of-service issues alone are likely to require tiering, because in a world of finite bandwidth, people won't want high-value services like video and voice if they can be degraded by the peer-to-peer applications of teenage neighbors.
Picture of Phil Kerpen: