Cisco weighs in on net neutrality

This is historical by now, but I was curious about it so I checked:

“We strongly support the principle of an open Internet,” Cisco CEO John Chambers wrote in a letter to Congressman Joe Barton, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We must, however, balance the fact that innovation inside the network is just as important as innovation in services and devices connected to the Internet. Broadband Internet access service providers should remain free to engage in pro-competitive network management techniques to alleviate congestion, ameliorate capacity constraints and enable new services.”

Chambers makes one very excellent point: most of the talk about Internet innovation in DC is about services attached to the Internet, and not the system of lines and routers itself. The neutrality regulations would stifle innovation in the core structure of the Internet, which will eventually lead to stagnation in the services space, even worse than the stagnation we’ve seen since the Bubble burst. That can’t be good.

4 thoughts on “Cisco weighs in on net neutrality”

  1. Perhaps you could explain, then, Cisco’s Service Exchange Framework marketing literature. It almost comes out and giggles over giving carriers the ability to rein in third-party content providers.

    One of the most significant risks that broadband service providers face is the threat from “nonfacility” service offerings. Traditional service provider services often compete with alternative “over-the-top” services such as broadband voice, online DVD streaming and downloads, and centralized multiplayer online gaming. Nonfacility services typically ride on a best-effort network and may not benefit from the same QoS as managed “triple-play” services.

    Nevertheless, nonfacility operators can provide an adequate user experience with comparatively lower operational expenses and a larger addressable market, making them formidable competitors.

    However, with the Cisco Service Exchange Framework, service providers can treat over-the-top services as partners rather than competition. By creating an open network environment through which nonfacility operators can ensure a more reliable customer experience for their application traffic, broadband service providers can create new revenue-sharing business models. The Cisco SEF allows service providers to efficiently and equitably identify nonfacility service traffic streams for billing, auditing, and guaranteed performance…

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read between those lines.

  2. Your comment reminds me of the argument made by gun regulators that we have to get rid of firearms because they can kill people. Yes, they can, and if we get rid of everything that can kill people we have to say good-bye to hammers, too. Sorry.

  3. I’m a pro-Second-Amendment guy and I don’t get the analogy.

    Giving guns to criminals doesn’t seem wise. Giving SEF to a bunch of old-school monopolists, who haven’t created an iota of value since the premiere of _Hogan’s Heroes_, seems equally rational.

  4. It’s only a problem if they use it to hurt people, and so far they haven’t. It’s not routers that kill people, it’s people.

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