Demand for Video Reshaping Internet

Peter Svensson, the AP reporter last seen carrying water for the EFF, has a new piece out on the bandwidth shortage:

Internet service providers and consumer advocates agree that some form of network management, also called “traffic shaping,” can be good for everybody. Not all Internet traffic has the same level of urgency. It makes sense for the service providers to give priority to a voice call, which needs a steady stream of quickly delivered data, over a movie download.

This is unusual territory for telecommunications providers — in the old telephone network, some phone calls aren’t generally prioritized over others. Prioritization makes the Internet more like the postal system, where you pay for delivery speed and quality of service.

Indeed, one the major problems with Internet regulation is the tendency of the consumer lobby to insist it act like the old telephone network. If the only tool you have is a telecom regulation, every computer looks like a phone. But on the Internet and its access networks, every user competes with every other use for Quality of Service, and that’s why we need traffic shaping and other forms of QoS.

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