Service discrimination via two-tier internet

Blog, Design with Intent, Discriminatory Architecture, Internet economics

The spectre of a two-tier internet (see Control & networks) looms closer again, as detailed in this Boston Globe article – Telecoms want their products to travel on a faster Internet (via Furdlog).

“The proposal supported by AT&T and BellSouth would allow telecommunications carriers to offer their own advanced Internet video services to their customers, while rival firms’ online video offerings would be transmitted at lower speed and with poorer image quality.”

As long as they present it that way, it’s always going to sound worse than “we’re going to give our customers better speeds and image quality,” but I suppose it amounts to the same thing: the system architecture is being (re)designed to restrict consumers’ behaviour.

“‘The consumer’s paying for 20 megabits coming into their home,’ [Alan] Davidson [Google’s Washington policy counsel] said. ”They should be able to use that 20 megabits to use whatever services they want.'”