Netflix vs. Caps vs. Neutrality vs. The Internet

Netflix vs. Caps vs. Neutrality vs. The Internet

Once again we have the issues of data caps and neutrality framed in the narrative of telecommunications.
Using Netflix, Hulu, Sling.com etc. as examples — if a video provider places a cache at (or near) the head end of a cable system how could Comcast claim that they are consuming [sic] network resources when the providers are paying for the connectivity to their proximate caching server? We accept these measures because we accept a telecommunications narrative in which each conversation requires dedicated resources and that is simply not true for the
Internet. Arguing against caps saying that others might “steal Internet” [sic] only doubles down on the old narrative.
Also why are we upset with T-Mobile giving video a free ride? How does that differ from what cable companies do when they give their own content a free ride by dedicating much of the capacity of their cables to broadcast or Video on Demand. With FiOS the VoD goes over the very same IP connection as all other traffic — the only difference is that it doesn’t count against the bandwidth limit. You can see these when you place your own router before Verizon’s and see the additional traffic.
Another example of a physical metaphor is the idea of buying a cable box per television just like having a separate pair of copper wires for each phone number. Netflix and others simply limit the number of concurrent connects as a policy but those policies no longer have any relationship to the physical wires.
The Internet is a different concept and we use the telecommunications infrastructure as just another facility.
Rather than trying to address the conflicts within the telecommunications framework we need to look at the limits on our ability to programming around it. And we need to rethink the FCC’s policy assumption that there must be a for-profit telecommunications provider in middle of each connection. Perhaps
the so-called Internet-of-Things will force us to rethink these policies because things need a free-to-use infrastructure since they can’t negotiate for each connection.
Bob Frankston
http://Frankston.com
@BobFrankston