Two speed broadband – there is no faster
It seems that our politicians are easily fooled by the telecos and their regulatory capture. Just yesterday the UK’s Culture minister Ed Vaizey announced his support for a ‘two-speed‘ internet. The idea is superficially attractive – content providers pay a premium to have their stuff delivered faster, and the consumer benefits from improved service. It’s like the company you buy petrol from also paying your road tolls.
The problem – there is no faster. There is only slower.
For sure it would be nice if somebody was building the extra physical infrastructure to bring me a faster internet. But that’s not what’s happening here. The UK’s ambitions are still set desperately low at providing 2Mbps services for all, and now our politicians want to allow the open part of that to be slowed down even more.
Let’s also figure out who pays, and for what… ‘Heavy bandwidth’ services (anything that distributes video) are singled out as ‘most likely to be hit with higher charges’. These services already pay for big fat pipes, and it’s fair to ask why should they pay again? It’s also fair to ask who does the paying? With YouTube and ITV.com charges could be passed back to advertisers, but I fail to see the win here. With BBC iPlayer it would seem that there’s an expectation that a part of the TV license fee should be used as a telco subsidy (having failed to get a ‘broadband tax’ into the last finance bill). Nice money if you can get it. I wonder how much BT spends on lobbying, and how many fibre to the home roll-outs that would buy?
Filed under: technology | 2 Comments
Tags: broadband, net neutrality, network, neutrality, telco