Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The idea of having a perfect world called the Internet, in which you can go and do whatever you want, is in question. The Open Internet (often referred to as Net neutrality) means that consumers and clients have absolute liberty to do whatever they want online. However, Verizon Communications which is one of the successful American ISPs submitted an appeal and challenged the FCC to impose the permit to forbid certain aspects and parts of the Internet.
The reactions of others
First of all, the cable industry said that they don’t plan on applying these rules because of their policy. They believe that every single one of their clients should have the liberty and chance to explore the whole online world instead of having restricted access to certain parts of it. People may argue that cable providers had the motive to limit access to certain services because it interferes with copyright laws. However, they are investing billions of dollars in new infrastructure, technologies, services, and other. Also, because the broadband networks have pushed the quality of online content, the consumers expect the chance to enjoy watching that content in HD resolution smoothly. However, you need a quality connection to take advantage of the next generation of broadband and cable internet.
What is the future of Open Internet?
No one can predict the future of it until the federal court in Washington DC revises the appeal. If we assume that it’s going to stay the way it is now, you won’t notice much. However, it’s beneficial in the long run because of a few simple reasons. First of all, if certain providers get the permission to restrict particular services, it slows down the whole progress process. Also, it’s quite impactful from a financial point. For example, if a particular ISP restricts access to a popular video platform or social network, the content creators will either lose their jobs or drastically decrease the amount of it.
Bear in mind; the ISP doesn’t necessarily need to forbid access, they can charge for it. It’s not something that’s well-received by consumers. People want to have the freedom to do whatever they want without anyone interfering.
Is it going to have a major impact on consumers?
It’s a hard thing to predict, but judging by the development of the case, it’s not going to impact the consumers that much if it gets approved. It doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, though, but it’s not as impactful as one might think. Also, since the cable providers said that they wouldn’t impose this method of control, you can always opt for some other ISP if yours applies the restriction system.
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As we mentioned in one of our previous articles, there was some tinkering between Free Press and one American ISP about whether this payment method should be implemented. The said ISP conducted research in four US cities to test the customer reaction. However, even Congress got involved because people from Free Press didn’t believe in the legitimacy of this study.
The concept of Consumption Based Pricing
The idea behind this method is pretty simple – you need to pay only for the amount of spent data. In simpler words, the more units you spend, the more you’ll pay. However, there are numerous levels within this method. For example, a provider can set a cap for a particular level and determine the price. If you step over that limit, you won’t lose connection, but you’ll enter a new level and pay a bigger price per point of data. It’s very similar to the way you pay the electricity bills.
There are both benefits and disadvantages of this pricing method. People who use less data advocate the application of consumption based pricing because they’re going to pay less. However, demanding consumers aren’t pleased with it, at all. The main factor is that there are far more demanding users than there are people who check their email or social networks and spend fewer data. Conducting a clear and thorough research is only the first step. It gets far more complicated later on when the providers start using it.
What are the effects?
If this payment method becomes a thing, it’s probably going to slow down the overall improvement of the Internet. In fact, the speeds are only getting higher, the new generation of broadband is coming soon, and video streaming platforms such as YouTube heavily depend on good bandwidth and stable connections. Therefore, it’s hard to say, but it doesn’t look good. If ISPs decide to charge per unit, the number of heavy data consumers will drop instantly. As you can see, it limits the creativity of many quality content creators, researchers, students, and the whole population in general. The bad thing is that half of these consumers are less than 40 years old.
Because the consumption billing system didn’t show impressive results, the providers are more than ready to invest in new ideas and research the market further. Pleasing as many clients as you can is a challenging task, and that’s why most of the American ISPs collaborate to find the optimal compromise.
The biggest drawback is the fact that no one knows when it’s going to happen. One of the characteristics of the Internet industry is the unpredictability of the market. However, that’s why it’s evolving rapidly. If providers decide to cap data usage, the improvement of the whole industry will slow down. Luckily, many companies cooperate and share information with each other, which is a good indicative of better conditions for the consumers such as higher speeds, better connection, and so on.
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The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) has a never-ending mission to keep track of the overall evolution of the World Wide Web and follow the demands and requests of the public. In other words, it’s an organization consisting of numerous countries that collaborate with each other to improve the way people experience the Internet. They hold a meeting every year in a different location, all around the world. The reason behind this is pretty simple – the Internet is global, not local. However, the most impressive fact is the number of attendants. Even though people think IETF isn’t much relevant, it’s far from the truth. In fact, they are quite relevant considering they had over 1200 attendees in 2010, which is an impressive number, to say the least.
The number of participants is growing every year. For example, 42 countries participated in Hiroshima in 2009, and 52 countries attended the same seminar a year later. One of the big surprises was the fact that the representatives from the United States weren’t a majority. While the US had 320 attendees, China had 366.
The working groups within IETF
This organization has working groups focused on specific aspects of different areas such as applications, the Internet, operations and management, routing, real-time management, infrastructure, and security and transport area. As we can see, they have dedicated a lot of resources to achieve their goals. In fact, to give you a better insight into the size of this organization, there are over 120 active working groups in these seven areas, which is an impressive number.
Their effectiveness is also high. In the last quarter, IETF issued over a hundred RFCs (Request for Comments.) Bear in mind, every single one of these requests consists of more than three thousand pages of work. The good news is that there are over sixty of these requests already on the way to becoming a standard.
Plans for the future
As we all know, the online world will continue to evolve regardless of our efforts. That said, it’s certainly going to improve on a much faster rate if we invest time, money, and experts to speed up the process. The number of available resources and technologies directly affects the pace of the evolution. Luckily, a lot of experts see the necessity for collaboration, even with the competitors. After all, the most important thing in any business is the customer’s satisfaction.
One of the great things about IETF is their influence on governments and politicians. Instead of restricting and shutting down parts of the Internet, the governments try to find a suitable solution for various problems in IETF’s documents and analysis. The online world is simply too big for the government to ignore it. Also, it’s dynamic and complex which means a lot of people need to tweak and fine-tune things every day, and it’s too much for the government to handle by itself. That’s why we need organizations like these, to help and speed up the growth of modern technology.
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