Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hardware firms oppose Net neutrality laws

This morning, the online news publications are trumpeting the hardware vendors' party line: they oppose net neutrality.

Some of the largest hardware makers in the world, including 3M, Cisco, Corning and Qualcomm, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday firmly opposing new laws mandating Net neutrality--the concept that broadband providers must never favor some Web sites or Internet services over others...

Gee, that's surprising. I wonder what kind of hardware Cisco anticipates selling to the carriers?

For a quick answer, simply look at the Cisco Service Exchange Framework (SEF), whose marketing literature basically runs out and high-fives the reader over its ability to rein in third-party content providers like Google or eBay.

Here's a small taste of of the SEF recipe:

One of the most significant risks that broadband service providers face is the threat from “nonfacility” service offerings... [these] services typically ride on a best-effort network and may not benefit from the same QoS as managed ... services. Nevertheless, nonfacility operators can provide an adequate user experience with comparatively lower operational expenses and a larger addressable market, making them formidable competitors...

...The Cisco SEF allows service providers to efficiently and equitably identify nonfacility service traffic streams for billing, auditing, and guaranteed performance...

It doesn't take much in the way of creative thinking to figure what this kind of hardware could do for the carriers. Want to hamstring Google's performance because the carrier's introducing a new search engine? Can do. Want to to degrade eBay a skosh to promote the carriers' brand new local auction service? No problem.

Giving Cisco SEF to the telcos is like handing a loaded Glock and a twelve-pack of Corona to each person leaving prison. A lot of things will probably happen: and all of them are bad.

Go to SaveTheInternet and act:

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