The tide has been turning lately against network neutrality, following the FCC’s action. Over in Europe, the Norwegian incumbent once fully embraced the concept, even voluntarily signing a NN code of conduct back in 2009. But apparently they’ve changed their mind according to this ArsTechnica article, and want to charge extra for YouTube and other traffic. Their argument, however gives me pause. Not because it’s new or anything, but because it’s so obviously wrong at a factual level:
“The regime for distribution of data content is free for the sender, and this must be changed,” said Telenor’s CTO. “For the content providers it means that they will have to pay to make content available online, regardless of how much they send.”
Free for the sender? That’s just silly. There may be an imbalance – depends on one’s point of view. But free? Do they honestly think Akamai doesn’t charge for its services? It’s called IP transit or CDN, and it costs money. Even Google pays, though they do much of it by building rather than buying.
Why is it that the argument over network neutrality always seems to devolve into this level of disrespect? Why not just be honest and say that the last mile is a bottleneck because it’s hard, and that those who build it deserve to make more money off of it else they won’t keep building it. That’s the real argument, and it is much harder to refute than this ‘free’ hyperbole crap.
Or they can just take a page from Comcast’s playbook, and stop peering with those networks sending them asymmetric traffic. At least that argument manages to confuse the issue.
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