TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Confused About Net Neutrality

Re: Confused About Net Neutrality

Gene S. Berkowitz (
Sat, 1 Jul 2006 01:02:20 -0400

In article <>,

> Hi,

> Been trying to keep up with the Net Neutrality debate but obviously
> it's a confusing issue. My question is, don't we already pay for faster
> service? Don't websites pay based on the amount of bandwidth they need
> to serve out? I know I pay a premium price for cable internet service
> because I get more bandwidth. Seems like most people are willing to
> keep going as we are now -- where the price is proportional to the
> speed.

Yes, you are correct. Consumers pay for the fastest connection they
can afford, from dialup to DSL to cable to fiber. Large providers pay
for their downstream bandwidth, usually on the order of tens of
thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.

> How is what the telecoms are proposing different? Are they suggesting
> that they should be allowed to arbitrarily limit or increase the
> speeds with which certain sites or traffic can reach me, regardless of
> what that site and I are paying in terms of bandwidth?

They basically want a piece of every transaction that occurs, in
addition to the bandwidth they sell. Normally, when supplier wants to
increase revenue, they simply raise the price. The over-buildout in
the 90's of capacity means that a raise in price will be met by
defection to a lower cost supplier, of which there is always one


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