Net neutrality is an idea referring to a complete lack of discrimination in the traffic on the Internet. In other words, net neutrality would mean that all packets of data are treated the same, with the same priority.
When I watch Netflix, and my show stops while Netflix is buffering, I know some Internet Service Provider is throttling down and restricting Netflix. In those moments I cry for net neutrality.
However, net neutrality doesn’t seem efficient. The Internet is full of noise and not everything needs to move at the same speed and priority. Spam, for one.
I have two cars. My old car is a beater. I did not pay much money for that car and it costs me very little to operate. It rattles and has a top speed of about 55 miles per hour. Therefore, I usually drive it on the roads where the slow cars and trucks go – the road with lots of stops. When I drive that car, I’m not in a hurry.
My other car is a racer. An Audi TT with a big engine and a desire to fly down the road. It cost a lot to purchase and maintenance costs are fairly high, too. But when I want to get somewhere fast, I just in the TT and zoom.
Why should the Internet have the same choices? Fast roads for fast trips. Slower roads for slower trips. We get to our destination either way.
Throttling traffic for Quality of Service also feels right to me.
Therefore, I support Internet Service Providers handling traffic differently. However, I think there should be two prices. One for slower, QoS-enabled, freight; and a higher price for traffic that flys unencumbered. For the record, I’m willing to pay an extra buck or to for Netflix to stay in the fast lane.
Steve Hunt, CPP CISSP, is a strategist focusing on cybersecurity, safe cities, safe business, and critical infrastructure protection. He entered the ISSA Hall of Fame. Steve’s career covers the breadth of the industry: cybersecurity, physical & homeland security. He also ran the risk management think tank at Forrester Research. As a recognized expert on best practices, security trends, and technologies, Steve helps executives at the world’s largest organizations create value in light of physical and cyber threats. Security Magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people in physical security. CSO Magazine gave him the “Industry Visionary” Compass Award.