Internet Down Under

This article from cnet–Net neutrality: An American problem? presents the views of three executives from Australian ISPs who argue that net neutrality is a problem of the typical U.S. ISP unlimited-use business model, not bandwidth.  (The article defines net neutrality as opposition to the practice of ISPs to tier or establish priorities for content).  Their thesis is borne from the ISP business model dictated by Australia’s “unique geography:”  “[A]ll ISP’s in Australia . . . have got used to pay-as-you-go and have handed those pay-as-you-go principles on to their customers.”  In other words, the more bandwidth an Australian Internet user consumes, the more her pays.  It’s an interesting take, both for what it says and what it omits.  The goal of those who advocate net neutrality in the U.S. as a matter of policy is not unlimited bandwidth for a fixed price.  The goal is the perpetuation of an open Internet architecture–not for the entire Internet but somewhere, somehow–that continues the original Internet’s non-hierarchical, no-permission-required, everyone-is-a-publisher ethos. 

6 thoughts on “Internet Down Under”

  1. Personally I am in favor of this rescue plan. The speed needed to solve the problem is far more important than the loss the problem caused and would cause. The loss is inevitable. The only way to minimize the loss is that someone take this mess. Apparently, someone has to and only could be the US government.

  2. I am surprised at the accolades Australia’s technological planning receives in the article. I lived there for six months last year and was amazed at the slow development of wireless and in-home internet, which was entirely due to the pay-by-megabyte approach. -Businesses were dissuaded from creating wireless networks for their cafes and restaurants, city-wide wireless had to come from a well-endowed government source rather than a community initiative and many university students didn’t even have internet at home.
    The costs outweighed the benefits of advancement, and the country greatly lags behind the US technologically because of it. The US owes much of its power to the concept of unlimited expansion and usage of the net. Maybe it is now time to alter the approach, but I would never say the initial decision to allow a limitless internet was wrong… It is what allowed us to stay ahead of everyone else. At least for a while.

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