On 01/12/14 06:10, Todd Allen wrote:
> "Second, well, of course all providers are happy to use Wikipedia (Zero) as
> a door opener to get the customer used to different treatment of data
> (which is a clear violation of net neutrality)."
> 
> Exactly this. Net neutrality means that the pipes are totally dumb, not
> favoring -any- service over any other in any way. Not Netflix, not Youtube,
> not Amazon, and not Wikimedia.
> 
> Anything that says "Data from this source will be (treated|priced)
> differently than data from another source" is a violation of net
> neutrality. Period. That does not mean the definition is inadequate. The
> definition is there to ensure the pipe -stays dumb-, and that preferential
> treatment is never accepted.

But the pipes are fundamentally not dumb -- there is a complex
arrangement of transit prices and peering, and the companies that
built transoceanic links want to recoup their investment. What you are
saying is that you want the ISPs to provide the necessary
cross-subsidies so that the pipes will appear to be dumb, to the end user.

The question for any regulated cross-subsidy should be: what is its
social benefit? If certain telcos are allowed to choose, it will be
cheaper to access Wikipedia than cheezburger.com. Is that appropriate?
What social benefits will it provide if we regulate to ensure that
they are the same price?

Vertical integration between content providers and ISPs is probably
harmful to competition. The obvious way to deal with that is to split
those companies. But even in a competitive marketplace, from a cost
perspective, it totally makes sense that certain content providers
will continue to be cheaper and/or faster, just because of geography.

Wikipedia is naturally slow and expensive for many ISPs, because we
don't use a big CDN. If ISPs sold services on a cost-plus basis, you
would expect websites delivered via CDN to be cheaper than websites
that are located at a single site, geographically distant from their
users.

-- Tim Starling


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