Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Two Giant Economies Provide Experiment to “Free and Unfettered” Internet

On both sides of the argument and the ocean, believers state with conviction that their way is the right way

In my previous blog I contrasted the latest net neutrality developments in the EU with the situation in the U.S. Neither decision will settle the argument and the two camps will continue to debate the topic for the foreseeable future. On both sides of the argument and the ocean, believers state with conviction that their way is the right way, leading to a healthier Internet industry and benefits for all.

One camp takes the view that Internet openness and neutrality means that telecom service providers should not be restricted from managing Internet traffic and, if they feel it is appropriate, to charge more to third-party ISPs and content providers for premium service. Only in this way, it is argued, will bit-carriers be able to earn the revenues they need to invest in network growth and quality improvements that will benefit us all.

An opposing view of openness and neutrality is that users of the Internet (that is content providers and the users who access and pay for that content) should be able to expect that their traffic will be given pretty much the same treatment as other users' traffic. If you want to send (or receive) more bits, then you can expect to pay more money for bandwidth, but once en route, all bits should be given equal treatment. Only in this way, it is argued, will bit-carriers be discouraged from under-investing in the network in order to create an artificial capacity shortfall.

On each side of the argument there is a long list of other debating points, most of which signal doom for the future of civilization as we know it if the right path isn't chosen.

Generally I avoid taking sides on this topic, although I tend to have an aversion to heavy-handed regulation. I have also pointed out that prophesies of doom are perhaps overstated, missing the point that businesses and business models can adapt, sometimes in unpredictable ways. For example, enabling carriers to charge for favoring some traffic over others could have a more complex result than just increasing the revenues of the carriers and adding to the costs of the users. It changes the bit-carrying business model in such a way that it might encourage new entrants to the market, and some of those new bit-carrying entrants could potentially be those same content providers who are liable to suffer from the extra costs.

Three years ago, the European Union legislators, without much conviction, decided to swing somewhat in the direction of the bit-carriers, when they decided against introducing legislation to protect net neutrality. At that time they decided that carrier transparency might be sufficient: carriers could enter into any arrangements they like, providing they revealed what they are doing. This decision was similar to the decision of the United States Court of Appeals in January 2014.

Now three years after their initial decision, and presumably after much soul-searching deliberation, the European legislators have moved somewhat in the opposite direction by announcing in April 2014 that they plan to pass legislation that aims to preserve aspects of net neutrality.

What's changed? Well, it's not that their economic advisors have definitively established that there is one right way here. The arguments are still raging, and still just as confused. But note that there's a European election looming. Politicians may not be any more skilled than the rest of us in predicting with accuracy the effects of this legislation one way or the other, in terms of its realistic economic impact on the industry and on the public good. But they can count votes, and it was clear that the lines were being drawn between just the telcos on one side and on the other, most of the Internet content and services industry plus a host of consumer advocates. Perhaps the telcos might have been in a better lobbying position if they hadn't moved so slowly in implementing their own reforms to mobile roaming charges, which have been a gold mine for the carriers in Europe for years, and a constant source of customer complaints. But they didn't, so the legislators plan to hit the telcos with a double whammy, because at the same time they also announced their intention to eliminate international roaming fees by 2016, consistent with their aim to create a genuine single market for wireless services to replace the current fragmented and customer-hostile market.

The decisive vote on these two important matters will not take place until October 2014, so there's still time for attitudes to change. But it might be rather useful for the industry to have two giant testing grounds so we can assess the actual results that emerge from these two different approaches to a "Free and Unfettered" Internet. So far all the foretelling has been based on speculation, some better-informed than others. A period of, say, five years with two giant economies testing out these apparently contradictory philosophies in parallel would be one grand experiment, that would, at least provide us with something to measure. Not that I think it would end the debate. The opinions of politicians and lobbyists alike are substantially immune to evidence, but they are not immune to the democratic pressures of voters. However voters need and deserve more than the partial and loud arguments of those with vested interests, and so this experiment might be just what we all need, on both sides of the Atlantic.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Adobe has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of co...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....