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Net Neutrality: Practical or Political?

Net Neutrality:  Practical or Political?

How the Video Internet will Further Disrupt U.S. Peering Ecosystem

Bill Norton has kindly agreed to lead our Mediated Bandwidth Working Group. This group is responsible for defining the business agreement between ISP to provide Media Grid services. This paper outlines the approach and how the participating InterStream ISP can all profit from the InterStream ecosystem:

A Proposal for Pricing Media Grid Services

Previously, I mentioned that InterStream must play some role establishing the standards for the quality and objective price comparison of media grid services. As we move through our pilot, we have to keep our overall intentions to create a broadly available new bandwidth commodity known as media grid service. In order to gain an understanding of both where we need to go with the service as well as how to price it, we need take a quick examination of the past.

How the Mediated Bandwidth Agreement insures Common Carriage

We've been articulating InterStream's vision for a premium service Internet for some time now. It is becoming increasingly clear that ISPs want to use our approach and technology because they see the potential to sell significant new services in addition to reducing their costs of peering and/or transit. It is important to understand that the economic model the Mediated Bandwidth Agreement (MBA) also insures that common carriage will be inherent on the Internet backbone.

What is “Discrimination” when it comes to Net Neutrality?

I've been pondering the implications of Kevin Martin's statements to the press yesterday. Slowing down one network application over another is the same as giving priority to one application over another. How do we distinguish the difference in these two methods when it comes to net neutrality?

Why Net Neutrality is a Technical Problem and not a Political One

I promised in May to expound on the reasons why net neutrality is a red herring. There are a few very vocal proponents out there who believe that pre-emptive regulation of the Internet is necessary. On the other hand, we strongly believe that the real problem lies in having the ability to objectively measure the quality of broadband connections. I'd like to review the arguments in this post and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Universal Interconnect Agreements for the Media and ISP Industries

InterStream has frequently been asked to articulate the differences in our approach to creating a new wholesale bandwidth interconnection agreement over the "traditional approaches". Unfortunately, there really haven't been any traditional methods that have gained wide industry traction for offering "diamond lane" services at exchange points. About 4 or 5 years ago, one small and relatively isolated ISP in Asia began offering this kind of service using MPLS-based VPNs (Multi-Protocol Label Switched Virtual Private Networks).

ISTP over High Speed Broadband

Something interesting is happening with broadband offerings and pricing lately -- at least here in the U.S. Verizon and Time Warner have annouced and delivered support for much higher speed connections to some select households. In effect, the speeds they're offfering will allow consumers to get broadband TV service over their higher speed in the broadcasters simply make their content available on the web. The downside from a consumer standpoint is quite simple.

Mediation Policies and the Tiered Internet

Now that we have reached a common understanding on how the Mediated Bandwidth Agreement can be implemented with existing peering and transit agreements, a more thorough examination of Mediation Policies is in order. Let's begin by taking a looking at the existing highway system as a congestion metaphor:

InterStream’s Mediated Bandwidth Agreement

I've previously described what we mean by mediation. The media industry most certainly now understands how important this is and how it is in their self-interest to make sure Internet Service Providers (ISPs) mediate their networks. Previously, we described this in the context of the "OSPA," or Open Source Peering Agreement. After several discussions with ISP partners, we decided that we didn't like the term.

The Implications of Mediated Peering & Transit (Pt. II)

In my last post, I reviewed what it means to offer "diamond, truck, and best-effort lanes" for service levels on the network. The need for diamond and truck lanes today is primarily an economic one. Savvy entrepreneurs and technologists have effectively figured out how to obtain bandwidth that is nearly "free" through the use of peer-to-peer (P2P).

Mediating IP Peering and Transit (Part I)

I think I've given you a good overview of what I mean by mediation, before. In essence, mediation not only means offering Quality of Service but also throttling applications which are ill-behaved or should not be consuming too much bandwidth during congested usage periods. Some in the industry call this network bandwidth and traffic management.

Sunrise/Sunset Rules and the ISTP Namespace

In advance of our first Anti-Piracy Forum meeting, I want to describe our proposal for the management of the ISTP namespace. This is by no means cast in stone. However, I think it provides a good framework for discussion on how we can think about the namespace management issues. Let's gain a common understanding of the problems with the ICANN-manged namespace and how a privately managed solution can be implemented.

Understanding the Current State of Affairs

What is InterStream’s Long-Term Vision?

Ok, ok, ok... enough emails already... I realize we've stirred the pot with our anti-piracy proposal to "mediate the premium tier Internet" and in putting together an Oversight Board. So, now I'm being asked what is our "real vision" for InterStream.

Why Hollywood should support Anti-Piracy through Net Neutrality

I know, I know, I know… InterStream support net neutrality? If net neutrality means that we can get the Internet to insure any legitimate user can get on those “diamond , slow, or in-between lanes”, then we have a fair system that gives us a great multimedia experience. Right?

Well, things get a bit more complex even if we reach broad agreement on what fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAN) access means.

Another Take on Joost, BitTorrent, Move, Netli, U-Verse & FIOS

I am frequently asked about InterStream’s competitive positioning versus a number of other “video distribution infrastructure” solutions that the media industry believes have been gaining momentum. Frequently, most businesses are advised not to even consider alternative models as competition. However, in this case, the market is so nascent, the business models and technologies so raw, that the emerging market differences become very apparent.

The Economy of IP Bandwidth

Warning: This post is a bit geeky. If you’re not technically minded, you may want to check out the next one


Mediating the Network

I’m often asked by what do I mean by “mediating the network”. I’ve covered the topic a few times before. However, this time I want to be a bit more specific.

Digital Property Rights on the Media Grid

The Ethical Point of the Debate: Anti-Piracy on the Media Grid

What Bandwidth Costs really mean to Big & Little Media

I've been following the rather lengthy debate over the past year and a half or so regarding whether YouTube could have ever gotten started if their was a "Tiered Internet". People like Larry Lessig have claimed that start-up little media companies like YouTube could never get established because they would never be able to afford to establish the relationships or pay the fees.

Can Hollywood be saved?

For a PDF of this blog entry, click here

Now that the Hollywood self-love festival known as the Oscars is over for another year, it's time to for me ask the Hard Questions – what's wrong with Hollywood, and what can be done about it?

No, this isn't more complaining about content. This is about delivery and distribution, which is where Hollywood has traditionally made its money, and where Hollywood today is most at risk.