Wednesday, 07 April 2010 00:59

Comcast wins 'Net Neutrality' appeal against FCC

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In the past few minutes, the US Federal Appeals Court has ruled against the FCC in the emotion-charged Net Neutrality case against Comcast.

Comcast, the US' largest cable company has been involved in a bitter fight with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the principles of Net Neutrality, the essence of which would require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic.

As many commentators have described (here for instance), the FCC has been plainly overstepping its own charter in order to claim any kind of jurisdiction.

Additionally, never mind the lack of FCC credibility, the whole idea of enforced equality of data is plain stupid and would lead to the rapid and total demise of all broadband companies; for it is the very ability to discriminate between various kinds of data that permits these organisations to actually make money.

A long time ago, this author made a similar analysis of Telstra's revenue stream on the basis of the likely price of a downloaded new-release video and how the amount of data contained in that download compared with the prices charged for voice traffic.

In essence, a $AU15B revenue stream dwindled to just $AU25M; a similar argument can be mounted for all instances of variable-priced data - one ends up being forced to apply the lowest price per MB for all traffic.

One would hope this is the end of the issue, but don't be at all surprised if the FCC makes a strong representation to the US Government to 'fix' the problem.


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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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