What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple?

“In May, the last time the eye-glazing phrase ‘net neutrality’ made the front pages, 150 Internet companies — led by Netflix — were petitioning the FCC to keep the Internet ‘open and free,'” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “Apple was conspicuously absent from that list.”

“One of the reasons, we learned a few weeks later from Frost and Sullivan’s Dan Rayburn, was that Apple was making its own separate peace with Comcast and other Internet service providers (ISPs),” P.E.D. reports. “But we shouldn’t confuse that with the net neutrality debate President Obama stirred up again this week, says Rayburn. ‘Net neutrality,’ he says, ‘is neither good nor bad for Apple.'”

“Paid interconnect, which is what Apple has negotiated, is different from content ‘prioritization.’ That’s the third rail of net neutrality, and Apple — as far as I know — hasn’t stepped on it,” P.E.D. reports. “‘Apple is spending money to connect to ISP’a access points,’ says Rayburn. ‘They could be arguing like Netflix is, and say ‘we shouldn’t be paying for this!’ But you don’t see Apple out in the market saying the fees are unfair. Why is that?'”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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9 Comments

      1. I defined Net Neutrality here at MDN many times. It’s this simple:

        Let the data packets flow, not matter from where, or to where, or from whom or to whom.

        That’s all there is to it! NOT confusing at all. Nothing nebulous. It’s the simple Internet we’ve all loved since 1995.

        1. NO matter from where…

          And yes, We The Geeks have been enjoying the open Internet a lot longer than since 1995.

          What’s NOT Net Neutrality is what the telecom Oligarchy wants to do to it NOW and in the future, which is rake in money making it a toll road at every twist and turn. That’s very simple to understand as well. No confusion. No nebulousness.

          1. Ok. No “toll roads.” I agree with that. Let’s put that in Derek’s net neutrality definition and go from there.

            1. No Toll Roads: ISPs don’t get to charge me extra for using any service. I’ve already paid for internet access and I’m not going to pay them for access to someone else’s service. That’s just immoral, and I completely agree.

            What’s rule #2?

            1. I would like to add no throttling.

              1. No Toll Roads: ISPs don’t get to charge me extra for using any service. I’ve already paid for internet access and I’m not going to pay them for access to someone else’s service. That’s just immoral, and I completely agree.

              2. If you sell me a 300Mb/s down and 20Mb/s up, as an ISP, you do not get to tinker with my traffic speed. I don’t care if I’m downloading Avengers 2 a week before it premiers. My traffic is none of their business.

              3. Transparency : Definitely want to know what’s going on with traffic management.

              Question… shouldn’t some traffic to certain types of organizations get priority like, for instance, telepresence to Hospitals?

  1. Q: Why is the very simple term ‘Net Neutrality’ referred to as ‘so-call net neutrality’?

    A: It is done so as a method of manipulation and propaganda. It is a way to confuse people regarding what Net Neutrality quite simply is. It’s a way for the Telecom Corporate Oligarchy to fog the issue and destroy Net Neutrality while the sheeple wander around wondering where their beloved open Internet went.

    IOW: It’s bullshit.

    1. I understand your reasoning Derek (practicing my diplomacy.. is that good or what!!!), but the reason that it is called “so called” is that the meaning has shifted and evolved over time.

      It was quite simple in the beginning, back when Tim Wu coined the term in 2003, i.e. all data should be treated equally. Who couldn’t get behind that.

      Since then the complexity of the Internet has grown, primarily due to the success of certain content providers and the emergence of video as our largest amount of traffic.

      No single body can guarantee that all traffic will be treated equally. Time Warner can say that they will treat all traffic equally, for instance., but once your packets leave their network, they have no control over what happens in the greater Internet.

      In other situations, you might be receiving your content through a Content Delivery Network which is going to provide you with better results than if your traffic actually made the full geographic trek from content provider to you. If you interpret Net Neutrality the wrong way, some people call that a “fast lane.”

      In another situation, like what Netflix does, the content provider might install a full content server within the edge provider’s facilities. The two strike a deal together to allow this. The results is that Netflix traffic doesn’t have to traverse the greater Internet, and is just a few hops from you. Still, no fast lane was created but Net Neutrality proponents claim there was. No one’s traffic was slowed down either. In fact, due to the size of Netflix traffic, pulling it out of the central “cloud” and putting it close to the edge actually improves overall Internet performance!

      Net Neutrality has lost it’s meaning.

      There needs to be a new definition of what it is we really want to fight. We want to make sure that these efforts to improve quality continue, while at the same time sneaky ISPs don’t tinker with traffic to favor one kind over another.

      Even Tim Wu says net neutrality as he defined it is not possible on today’s Internet and he’s backing a plan I do not understand yet that involves completely rebuilding the Internet with dedicated send and dedicated receive lanes. Don’t know how he’s going to accomplish that.

      Obama of course is calling for Title II authority over the Internet. Giving the Government Control over the Internet was never the intent of Net Neutrality. Tim Wu says giving the government Tile II authority is one solution, but we don’t want the Government having that much control over the Internet any more than the people of China like having their government controlling the Internet.

      It will be too hard to resist screwing with it, too hard to resist milking it for taxes, to hard to resist censoring content (ala television), to hard to resist strangling it in general.

      “So Called Net Neutrality” is not propaganda. It is a call for you to be clear what you mean. That’s why AT&T is saying, “Whoah, wait a minute… will we still own our investment here? What do you mean by Net Neutrality?”

      I’d like to see a very clear, concise, and extremely specific set of Net Neutrality rules. Even then it will be hard.

      What if you are Time Warner. What if you own the rights to zillions of old movies you want to put on the Internet on demand. What if you do nothing but put servers in your facilities. Just by the nature of those servers being geographically close to your customers, they benefit, and will presumably get better performance. You didn’t create a slow lane or touch a single packet.

      What should Net Neutrality say about that?

      We didn’t even get into paid and free peering!

      1. Tim Wu says giving the government Tile II authority is one solution, but we don’t want the Government having that much control over the Internet any more than the people of China like having their government controlling the Internet.

        I’m with you. We know perfectly well how corrupt and manipulated our government is right now. Screwing up the Internet by way of lobbying, ad nauseam, turns into the same old horror the Telecoms are planning right now via their monopoly power.

        As for over-complicating the situation with worrying about what’s going out there beyond the ISP’s server, that’s out of the hands of both the government and the Telecoms in any case. There’s your ‘market place’. At this point in time, I say let it be the market place. Stay out with the manipulation and monopoly power.

        For certainly the near term, we’re just worried about that market place being locked out, filtered, toll roaded, ‘I demand to make money I don’t deserve!’ ISP gouging of customers with usage fees, etc. Kill the possibility of all that immediately and just make them dumb terminals where the packets flow in and out, they have nothing to do with what from where.

        This isn’t so hard.

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