|By Esmeralda Swartz||
|March 7, 2014 11:00 AM EST||
In the ongoing debate over net neutrality, brought to the forefront this past week by the Netflix, Comcast, Verizon deal, there is now increasing dialogue about what could happen if some form of real blocking and favoring starts to happen. For some this is the nightmare scenario: only popular and profitable services get capacity, because they can afford to pay. Rates go up significantly and niche applications are blocked or relegated to the slow lane. When you sign on with an internet service provider (ISP), you will then get access to only the restricted portfolio of services offered by the ISP. It will be just like signing on to a cable company and getting just the programming the cable company has chosen. What else should we expect? This is taming the wild west of the Internet and making it just the same as traditional cable TV. But, we have a right to ask, if service providers can adjust charging for the optimization of the increasingly scarce resource of bandwidth, what incentive is there for them to build more capacity? Why not just keep the network the way it is, and command higher and higher prices for the privilege of using it? Actually, the way things are today, with most households and businesses having no choice of supplier (or a choice of two, each with the same philosophy) the ISPs can do what they like, as long as they maintain transparency.
It seems we can expect to see ISPs each issuing their list of Internet "channels" - it will ultimately become simpler to provide a list of what we can access, rather than a list of what is blocked or slowed down. You can choose one ISP or the other, but don't expect to get everything you want from either, or even both. That's why net neutrality activists are a bit depressed. However, I can offer some hope.
The end of net neutrality can be a step forward for competition in the world of Internet access, as it will offer further differentiation opportunities. Differentiation opportunities are good for competition. If the only difference between services is price, then it's tough for new entrants to make a business case for entering the market. However, if every access provider offers a different suite of preferred edge providers, this expands the opportunities for differentiation and hence for competition.
Who will step in and introduce the kind of heavyweight competition needed to prevent the nightmare scenario becoming reality? This is a network infrastructure business, and traditionally the cost of entry has been prohibitively high. That's why we tended to think of telecom carriers and cable companies as "natural monopolies" and chose to live with it, mitigated by a modicum of regulation. But, once again, it's worth pointing out that the world is not the same as it was twenty years ago when the net neutrality debate took off and legal wrangling began. The cost of bandwidth has plummeted, broadband wireless access technologies are much more capable and cost-effective, and there are many large corporations (Apple, Facebook and Google come to mind) around that are just as rich as the carriers. Also, there are investors out there, interested in anything disruptive and game-changing.
This net neutrality decision will almost certainly change the competitive landscape in ways that would have likely not happened under the old regime. For more blogs on this topic, follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Mar. 28, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,146
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Mar. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,385
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Mar. 28, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,987
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Mar. 28, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 548
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Mar. 28, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,393
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being predicted with the growth of the Internet of Things (and The Coming Age of Many Zettabytes) in the near...
Mar. 28, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,778
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Mar. 27, 2015 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,004
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Mar. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,120
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Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,673
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,713
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Mar. 27, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,348
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
Mar. 27, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,362
Sonus Networks introduced the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, a virtualized Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) offer, purpose-built for the Cloud. The WebRTC Services Solution provides signaling from WebRTC-to-WebRTC applications and interworking from WebRTC-to-Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), delivering advanced real-time communications capabilities on mobile applications and on websites, which are accessible via a browser.
Mar. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,677
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Mar. 27, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,518
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Mar. 27, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,115
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Mar. 27, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,385
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Mar. 27, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,681
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Mar. 27, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,369
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Mar. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,927
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Mar. 27, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,511