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Net Neutrality Alone Won’t Solve ISP Throttling Abuse, Here’s Why

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    Last Updated: November 5, 2014


    MojoKid writes Net neutrality is an attractive concept, particularly if you’ve followed the ways the cable and telco companies have gouged customers in recent years, but only to a limited extent. There are two problems with net neutrality as its commonly proposed. First, there’s the fact that not all traffic prioritization is bad all of the time. Video streams and gaming are two examples of activities that require low-latency packet delivery to function smoothly. Email and web traffic can tolerate significantly higher latencies, for example. Similarly, almost everyone agrees that ISPs have some responsibility to control network performance in a manner that guarantees the best service for the most number of people, or that prioritizes certain traffic over others in the event of an emergency. These are all issues that a careful set of regulations could preserve while still mandating neutral traffic treatment in the majority of cases, but it’s a level of nuance that most discussions of the topic don’t touch. The larger and more serious problem with net neutrality as its often defined, however, is that it typically deals only with the “last mile,” or the types and nature of the filtering an ISP can apply to your personal connection.

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