December 29, 2009
QoS after Net Neutrality: What are the Odds?
By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
What are the odds any new 'network neutrality' rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission will allow some new form of permissible packet prioritization? Analyst Benoît Felten at the Yankee Group (News - Alert) has taken a stab at quantifying the odds.
He believes it is unlikely rules will allow a regime where application providers pay Internet access providers for prioritizing their services. Such 'pay to play' options are examples of business-based discrimination, and though not obviously illegal (talk to any mass market grocery retailer about 'pay for placement'), they are unlikely.
They do believe three other options are most likely, though.
Felton believes packet prioritization or other similar means of maintaining application quality of service will be available as a feature end users can request and buy.
Felton also believes application providers will be able to buy Internet access provider application program interfaces to enhance the performance of their applications.
He also believes it is highly likely application providers will be able to buy access services that are embedded in a device, such as the Kindle using wireless networks to allow end users to download books and other content.
Felton also believes it is possible, though not as likely as the aforementioned business arrangements, that application providers might be able to buy content delivery services in the local access link, much as content and application providers now can buy CDN services from providers such as Akamai to traverse the backbone network and improve end user experience.
What is the bottom line? The FCC’s (News - Alert) network neutrality rulings should not significantly affect service providers’ new revenue strategies, Felton believes.
Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Patrick Barnard