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LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay

Many telecom industry watchers believe broadband operators should get a little something in return for their carriage of high-bandwidth IP services like voice, gaming, and video, according to the results from the latest Light Reading poll.

A growing number of companies are profiting from the delivery of increasingly bandwidth-intensive services over the public Internet, and some telco, cable, and satellite broadband providers feel that they are footing the bill. Some even refer to providers of bring-your-own-access services like Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) and MovieLink as "squatters."

Most Light Readers feel that the market, not the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , should determine the carriage responsibilities of broadband operators when delivering various types of IP services. (See Net Neutrality Goes to Washington.)

Our poll on the subject just closed at 3:00 p.m. EST today, and nearly 400 readers weighed in on the issue. (See Net Neutrality.)

To begin with, 62 percent of our readers think that broadband network operators have every right to ask for a "QOS fee" from content providers wanting to ensure smooth delivery of their IP services. The question of QOS fees has been top of mind in Washington lately, as lawmakers and lobbyists discuss whether or not rules around the practice should be included in new telecom legislation. (See Survey Sparks QOS Fee Debate.)

Most readers -- 66 percent -- believe broadband providers will take some action to degrade the quality of competing voice services running over their networks. The VOIP community often points out that IP phone calls use a small amount of bandwidth compared to video and gaming applications. The network owners counter that some Skype Ltd. users use a VOIP connection to monitor their children at home, leaving call sessions open for hours or days on end. (See QOS Fees Could Change Everything .)

The RBOCs have lined up behind BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), which said publicly it endorses the idea of charging content providers the QOS fee. BellSouth says it is exploring the idea of selling certain video and gaming content providers a higher tier of broadband service to ensure QOS for the customer.

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), for one, has said it will not consent to such arrangements with broadband operators. (See Google Says No to QOS Fees.) The company, among many others, is pushing lawmakers to codify net neutrality principles into law and give the FCC enforcement authority. (See Google Goes to Wonkytown.)

Only 30 percent of our readers said the commission should block broadband providers from charging Internet companies for higher levels of QOS. Most observers believe the commission itself isn’t eager to get involved unless the telcos and Internet players can’t come to an agreement on QOS fees among themselves.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin recently said publicly that, while the commission would never allow a network operator to block a given Internet service, “limiting” or reducing the speed of the service was a quite another thing.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 4:07:14 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay Here is another one...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

This is QoS on email.

Steve.
stephencooke 12/5/2012 | 4:07:16 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay Hi,

I just saw this item...

http://www.iht.com/articles/20...

Steve.
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 4:07:16 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay Looks like us Bell heads don't have a monopoly on charging for the free internet!!!
It is really a big bet that could really backfire.
LR what do you have on this??

OldPOTS
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 4:07:44 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay Since you asked how to dup your post.
I have gotten logged out while preparing a post. I then repeat the post and my original post appears.

My solution to this has been to prepare post in a word processor and then copy the post to the reply web page. I note that others use a familiar editor to create their post.

OldPOTS
desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 4:07:45 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay What's with people posting the same thing twice?

-desi





;-)
desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 4:07:45 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay What's with people posting the same thing twice?

-desi
rwelbourn 12/5/2012 | 4:07:45 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay Do we really think market forces should be left to sort this issue out? What breathtaking, free market naivety!

Left to their own devices -- based on Commissioner Martin's nod and wink -- the telcos and cable companies will surely begin to strangle any third party service that threatens their own businesses, whether it is VoIP or video download, unless they are prevented by regulation from doing so. Market forces will have no effect, because both parts of the telco-cableco duopoly wants the same outcome.

What is especially galling is that these very same companies tout the speed of downloads in their TV adverts, while they attempt to poach each other's customers. Now they are attempting to hold to ransom the very traffic that they promote, making it sound like they're charging the content providers, not the consumers. But we all know who ends up paying, don't we?

Am I saying that the telcos and cable companies should be forced to provide QoS to the likes of Vonage at no cost? No, but they should not be allowed to block or degrade that traffic, either.

What's needed is a level playing field -- the separation of broadband access from the services that are provided over it, with equal access provisions -- but it would be naive to expect that, too.

Ma Bell is dead. Long live Ma Bell! (And Comcast, of course.)

Rob
dad1944 12/5/2012 | 4:07:46 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay If 66% did not see a problem in charging more then I'll wager that 60% of those work for "Mother"! It's a sad state of affairs when we let the PHONE COMPANY (Mother) destroy the CLEC industry then get the Congress to re-write the Telecom Act in their favor! Now, they want to stifle competition again!! Remember when AT&T divested all of those "costly phone companies". Now we are down to just a few competitors (AT&T is owned by Southwestern Bell) and these few "RBOC's" are controlling the industry again. Now, along comes VOIP and they will lose both money and market share so they want to charge more?? Does anyone out there see where this is going?
dad1944 12/5/2012 | 4:07:46 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay If 66% did not see a problem in charging more then I'll wager that 60% of those work for "Mother"! It's a sad state of affairs when we let the PHONE COMPANY (Mother) destroy the CLEC industry then get the Congress to re-write the Telecom Act in their favor! Now, they want to stifle competition again!! Remember when AT&T divested all of those "costly phone companies". Now we are down to just a few competitors (AT&T is owned by Southwestern Bell) and these few "RBOC's" are controlling the industry again. Now, along comes VOIP and they will lose both money and market share so they want to charge more?? Does anyone out there see where this is going.
unlimited 12/5/2012 | 4:07:47 AM
re: LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay In arguments for incremental BB Internet access charging there always seems to be a presumed right for the telcos to make up for revenue lost in recent years. This is a terrible justification for pricing. There are of course consequences for everyone involved in the telco eco system which will skew reader views.

However, the way forward is to focus on what general consumers want. Not that they entirely know what they do want. But most have a good idea what they don't want which starts with higher prices. It's obvious consumers don't want VoIP but they do want lower price telephony. They don't want QoS and premium prices, but they do want web pages to load instantly and file transfers to complete in seconds. They do want protection for their personal data and for their computers. And much more. The problem is that access providers only say, for this premium price we can do x, y, z which trust us will be great for you. This is not a focus on user value. Actually, technological complexity is a real problem for consumers and not much is being done to ease the situation. Even audio systems have become incredibly complex in recent years. I have seen many incorrectly configured digital surround sound systems in people's homes. What chance do consumers have to put in a home network and hook it up securely to a broadband service?

If the priorities are reversed to helping users first and finding new revenue second then success might follow.
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