Network Newspeak

As I predicted yesterday, the telecomm industry showed up at today’s Senate Commerce Committee meeting and found a way to advocate for THEIR version of network neutrality–the one that lets them filter what customers get over the internet-which isn’t really all that neutral.

Say hello to network diversity, and what Congresscritter wants to be accused of being against diversity?

Per the National Journal’s Insider Update:

Under the concept of network neutrality, telecom and cable companies could not block or impede content from competitors over high-speed Internet networks. … But on the eve of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the issue, the cable industry promoted network diversity, a notion that relies on market forces.

“To me, network neutrality at this point is premature,” Vanderbilt University law professor and visiting University of Pennsylvania professor Christopher Yoo said at a press briefing.

Yoo is the author of a new cable-funded report, “Promoting Broadband Through Network Diversity.” The National Cable and Telecommunications Association sponsored the report because Yoo has been a frequent critic of net neutrality. …

During the briefing, Yoo argued that operators of broadband networks should be allowed to “experiment” with varying network architectures. If the government does not interfere, he said, some broadband operators might choose net neutrality and others might offer “walled gardens” with proprietary content.

Yeah, so which garden is AT&T going to pick to put its customers (like me) in?


3 responses to “Network Newspeak”

  1. George Avatar

    Why does this come as a surprise? If you were given 5 minutes to speak before the committee, would you present a fair and unbiased view, taking in all sides? Or would you say what you believe? I suspect the answer is #2.

    What a lot of “free press” advocacy groups don’t realize is that all corporations aren’t on the same side in this issue. In Tuesday’s Washington Post, there was an article about a growing battle between Verizon and Google. Verizon’s rep called Google “freeloaders.”

    I think this battle will become far bigger and more complicated than the way it seems now. You will have companies like Google, Disney, and other corporations that use broadband battling the companies that own it. The users share an interest with consumers, and will present their side that way. Users want a free and open marketplace. The question is will Republicans, who usually favor free markets, side with the users or the owners. If they side with the owners, at some point maybe 50 years from now, companies like Verizon will become like Amtrak. Government owned, and mired in debt and corruption. All aboard!

  2. Doug Avatar

    Yeah, I read the press release about Yoo the other day and “network diversity.”

    It’s kinda long, but for those interested, he wrote this paper about network diversity.

    “Network neutrality would lock the Internet into a one-size-fits-all architecture that would only reduce broadband providers’ ability to manage their networks and meet the increasingly varied demands that consumers are placing on the Internet,” concludes Professor Yoo.

    “The explosive growth in Internet traffic and the emergence of time-sensitive applications, like streaming video and Internet telephony, have greatly increased the problems of congestion. At the same time, it has opened up new ways in which broadband networks can compete with one another. At this point, it would seem imprudent to foreclose any particular response unless and until some specific harm to consumers can be shown.”

  3. […] As a final note, my pal John pointed out to me that at the Senate hearing nobody actually used the term “network diversity” as I mistakenly implied.   […]