Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Mark Ross-Smith, Kevin Jackson, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...