Everyone wants their video to playback smoothly, but is there more to Net Neutrality than smooth HD video? Yes, everyday ordinary people will be impacted and burdened with the decisions and policies being considered today.
When I was young and building a three computer network in my bedroom, I explained to my father the entrails of cables dangling from computer to computer were data pipes. I would pause and cringe as I described it as I knew the physical connection was only one layer of an almost magical onion. (Onion? Look, if they are good enough for ogres they are perfect for networks! If you’ve not had the opportunity to ponder the OSI model check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model)
Nowadays, I am more likely to compare a network to building a fleet of ships and sending them out to sea. A sea where packet storms surge, peering and routing deliver or imperil the voyage as it passes through ports to deliver cargo by adhering to protocols. To spice my tale of the Internet seas, picture a cast of characters… lusty pirates, firebrand revolutionaries, leagues of lawyers, treacherous worms, clever trojan horses, phishing fleets and our heroes the intrepid entrepreneurs!
The Internet’s complexity
The Internet as we know it today is vastly complex with a staggering array of interacting pieces. Its existence is accomplished through machines, wireless and wired interconnections, stacks of operational codes but also by writ, RFC’s and contractual agreements. The Internet is at once both physical and conceptual. It is unquestionably evolving.
It is a marvel to behold and be part of knowing that nothing like it has come before. Etheric Networks is an independent Internet Service Provider. We get involved with the details and the big picture poetry of the Internet.
Net neutrality is important to us.
We practice it.
We peer with numerous organizations to ensure the speed and low latency of data for our clients. We do this without reference to specific content. The data that is important to you… that is the data whose timely delivery is important to us.
We do not handle NetFlix video packets differently than YouTube’s, Hulu’s, Vine’s, Vimeo’s or tomorrow’s rising stars. We don’t prefer one vendor’s VoIP of another. All mail packets are created equal to our eyes. This is the central issue of Net Neutrality, not whether networking providers are free to innovate. Of course, they are.
We are free to figure out inventive methods by which various types of traffic, some of it real time while others have less inherent time requirements can be interwoven and transmitted in the most efficient means. But, within a type of traffic if one brand purchases a faster route than others the ability to compete equally in the marketplace has been undermined.
To be candid, FCC rules or any other governing body alone can not ensure and protect Net Neutrality. We the participants need to remain committed to its principles, and as consumers, we must be willing to wield the powerful weapon of choice to punish those who act against our collective interests.
We, here at Etheric Networks, remain committed to delivering a Net neutral service. We encourage you to voice your concerns and vote with your pocketbook! Interested in more information about Net Neutrality? Here are three excellent sources:
- Wikipedia’s entry with both pro and con information (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality)
- NY Times article on the history of concept (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/business/defending-the-open-internet.html?hpw&rref=technology&_r=0)
- MIT Technology Review Interview with Lawrence Lessig (http://www.technologyreview.com/qa/421384/qa-lawrence-lessig/)