The two-tier Internet

Two-tier Internet - cablesA flurry of articles and posts has been launched at telco’s efforts to create a two-tier Internet.

Back in the day when ISPs simply offered a connection to the Internet, this was a non-issue. It would’ve been a commercial suicide for an ISP to say: “Look, we’re going to block Yahoo! until they pay us a premium.”

When an ISP becomes a part of a telecommunications conglomerate, however, it starts to look for a way to integrate services vertically. And integration is nothing without prioritization – be it VOIP traffic or videos.

The arguments for network neutrality goes both ways. In my mind though, there’s no doubt that consumers will be hurt if networks are allowed to prioritize and even block content. It transforms the free market principle of offering a superior service or product to a golfing buddy principle where companies get a priority treatment if they rub the telcos the right way.

Analogies abound – the one I like best is reserving 2 of the 3 lanes on a motorway for GM vehicles. Come the next city though, the motorway continues with 2 lanes reserved for BMWs.

If telcos want more money for a premium service, let them offer it to consumers. I’d gladly pay for a broadband access to multimedia. In fact, I’m already paying.

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