Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Net Neutrality, India, World

Net Neutrality, Bandwidth Management, India, US..........

Yesterday read an interesting article about Net neutrality and how it is treated in the US and how we do in India. This was the editorial of Economic Times (dated 3/27 Tue). For those who are not aware of this, ISP providers can actually if they want to, find out the kind of applications that is flowing say whether it is Facebook, YouTube, p2p like bit torrent, Sap/Oracle, movie streaming, cricket streaming etc. and can control the speed of each one of them - worse they can make those downloads faster those who pay higher premium or make their own application if they have any much faster and slow down at different rates (what is called Throttling) for different applications.

Something like assume your cable provider should air all the channels but he will put his channels at the regular speed and may be those who pay him premium at also regular speeds and few channels who might not pay him may be at a slower speed and assume watching your cricket at a slow motion speed or watching a action flick movie at 1/3rd the speed - Oops you say and I can hear it :-) 

Yes we should not give that control to the ISP providers and they will kill the whole internet the very purpose of why it was created and why it survived so far. US strictly follows this rule and wont allow ISPs to control who goes fast and what goes slow (but they do know what goes for sure - you cant manage what you cant measure - remember) (this is done using a technology called DPI or Deep Packet Inspection and uses software which are specialized in them say like what i7 networks and others do). But in India we don't have a clear law about net neutrality as far as ISPs are considered and I do find many times and some traffic is slower than other traffic especially during business hours. We in India need to get this law enacted soon before the internet becomes a matter for just few rich guys.

That does not mean that I don't support the shaping or throttling at all but should not be done at ISP level. Yes enterprises can always do so that their expensive bandwidth is mainly used for business critical applications rather than people downloading movies or streaming cricket or football or even p2p downloads or say people deciding to put such a device at their home and the owner of the house deciding what needs to be prioritized and what needs to be throttles and what needs to be blocked and ofcoursewhat really happens as per the usage of his or her bandwidth. Don't you like to see a report like your phone bill which says your bandwidth was ofcourse fully used but this % was used for facebook, this % was for movie streaming, this % was for your online games not just that, % usage-wise based on user and even say based on devide-wise (how much your Ip enabled TV consumed versus your ipad) - don't you love that data and that much control - I see some smiles - yes we could have that metrics and control but in our hands and not in our ISP hands. After all we live, & breathe democracy - it is almost like freedom of speech and freedom of choice and freedom of expression!!

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