Saturday, August 30, 2014

5 Ways VoIP Calling Can Help Your Business

5 Ways VoIP Calling Can Help Your Business
By Soubhik Chakrabarti

Businesses and companies want to avoid spending the tons of money they do each year on phone bills. While talking to customers and clients is necessary, reducing the cost of calls which can be quite an amount if one is making international calls, has been a constant headache for businesses. Thankfully, the solution seems in sight.

Introduction of cloud based technology and VoIP

You can make free international calls using VoIP and cheap international calls is a reality. VoIP calling is helping small business to get back on track. There is no need to pay hefty phone bills today. You can make free international calls through using VoIP. By making VoIP calls, international calling will be a lot more cheaper. What's more, it is way more easier to handle and talk to customers and clients through the use of VoIP as well. The reason is simple. VoIP calling offers a myriad number of advantages over the traditional form of calling. Be it talking to many customers at ones which you could not do if you had a traditional phone line or making the right noises when it comes to sealing the deal, VoIP solutions can be quite handy today.

VoIP services cater to the needs of all kinds of businesses, even small scale businesses. But, how is it, is the question? This questioned can be answered under the following heads:

1. Mammoth number of calls: VoIP calling allows a large number of calls to be answered at the same time which small businesses can't do otherwise. If they want to do so, they will have to set up a call centre which is needless to say a very expensive affair. Research shows that almost 70% of callers hang up when they hear the voice mail and most of these callers are potential customers.

2. Customer satisfaction and Professionalism: When all calls to your company are answered by you in a professional manner, more number of customers are satisfied.

3. No holiday: Be it Easter, Sunday or Christmas, your customers will have uninterrupted access to service. They can place orders, make complaints at any point of the day at any point of the year. There will be no lunch break or loo break. 24x7x365 support availability to the customers.

4. Cost efficient: Imagine small businesses setting up departments to provide call centre like facilities. They will have to train people, buy, maintain and update the necessary hardware and software. This is a very expensive affair and VoIP calling provide a shortcut to all such problems.

5. Disaster recovery: Even if traditional phone wire lines are broken or maintenance work is going on or be it any problem, there is always a back up in through VoIP calling.

Make VoIP calls and drive in more profits!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Understanding Mobile Broadband

Understanding Mobile Broadband
By Dave E Carter

For starters, mobile broadband is the term used for internet technology that can be accessed by the use of mobile devices.

Not to be mistaken with wireless broadband, mobile internet does not utilize wireless router. Instead, this technology allows you to access the web regardless of your location. As long as you are within the coverage area, then that should be enough to get you connected to the world wide web.

Naturally, the speed varies depending on the provider you use. This type of internet connection has seen great improvements as of recent times and majority of users nowadays confirm that they are having a better experience with it. Its flexibility is an advantage that draws a lot of users. Just imagine the convenience of checking your email and visiting your favorite websites even if you are on a travel. However, this is not recommended if you are a heavy user who loves downloading full-length films or playing online games.

A modem and a SIM card should get you started. This modem is usually called the USB dongle. In case you want several users to share the same connection, you may also check out mobile broadband routers. Contact service providers in your area and they'll immediately offer you with numerous options. Aside from mobile phones, many modern laptops now come equipped with built-in 3G broadband modem.

If you are always on the go, this is definitely an option worth-considering. For example, business travelers will find it very satisfying to stay connected to the web even in between trips. You will be able to read email and reply to important messages at once.

Staying in touch with your family or friends through social networking sites is also possible. You may even post pictures directly on your social media account without having to wait until you're home and are able to use a "proper" computer. Of course, the same can be said if you are on a vacation or other important trips.

These are just some of the main advantages you can enjoy if you will start using mobile internet. Again, you have to shop around to get the best deals. There are a lot of potential service providers anywhere but try doing some research first so you can find the best offers. Read reviews and feedback from other customers to determine which provider can guarantee the best performance in your area.

This link can be helpful as you try to learn more about mobile broadband.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Internet Privacy Issues And Why Security Is Important

Internet Privacy Issues and Why Security Is Important
By Deepak Sharma

The ever-increasing use and our dependency on the internet always leads to intense discussion about the cruciality of internet security and privacy for the user. There are several issues responsible for polluting the internet and most of these germinate from the user's lack of knowledge about what to share and how to share online. One basic fact users should always keep in mind that whatever they are uploading, downloading or sharing using the internet, can be accessed by someone, one way or another. So, whether it's a free Wi-Fi service or a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, precaution is always better to take in order to avoid online frauds.

Privacy Issues

Social Networking

Over the last few years, we have seen the sudden rise of social networking and its dramatic impact on the people. While using these social network, we often forget that it's a virtual world and people can be deceptive here. People active on social networks, especially the teenagers are now convinced that they need to carry a pseudo life over these networking sites to get attention from others. To make their friends show what a superb life they are spending, they often put private information on these sites, without paying attention that these information can be misinterpreted and misused by others.

Other than online fraudsters and pornographers, the internet privacy rights over social networks often get hampered by the advertisers. These social networks sell the private information about your life, your likes and your geographical location to the advertisers to earn some extra money. Privacy is a really big question over the social networking sites and the only way to protect it is to regulate only those information which you choose to share over the internet.

Cookies and Malware

Cookie is a small file of information that the website sends to the user's web browser in order to track who are their frequent visitors. It is a good way to evaluate the preferences of the viewer and is a great way for effectively sustaining their viewership. Though, a cookie is nothing but a small file that contains information about the user's online activities on a particular website, it can really turn to a fatal weapon if this information falls on a wrong hand. Imagine, if someone with wrong intension gets all these files, they can see what website you have visited, the transactions you carried out, your details that you entered etc. The risks get higher in case of online transactions as the email address and the password also get saved.

Though, cookies are not harmful, but some websites store cookies on the visitor's web browser without their permission. In cyber law, it's a grave offence because it often becomes the reason for activation of malware, spyware, unwanted advertisements and other spam. To safeguard the privacy of the user, the internet laws have been revised several times over the past few years. The US Government has introduced Cyber Acts like Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Internet IP Act (PIPA) to extend their control over the internet.

Hacking

Unauthorized network access or hacking is a most common threat that internet users experience. The hackers are actually online fraudsters who gain unauthorized access to your account, computer or network; by doing so, they can enjoy complete control over your transactions and can misuse your network or account for illegal purposes. This is most common in free Wi-Fi and public Wi-Fi networks as many people access and share the same connection. To stay safe from unauthorized access, it is highly suggested to use the personal Wi-Fi hotspots. In this, the user's connection is encrypted by security codes and the user can share the access only to whom they want to share.

Moreover, people who do online transactions should be careful enough. Payment gateway pages having SSL (Security Sockets Layer) and HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) encryption are the most trusted to do online transactions. SSL creates an encrypted connection between the user's web browser and the website and safeguards the private information from eavesdropping, data tampering and message forgery.

With the advancement of internet technology, fraudsters are getting smarter to carry out illegal online activities like hacking, phishing, spyware and virus attacks, identity theft, cyber-bullying, child pornography etc. Thus, it is high-time for internet users to act smart and get some knowledge about how they can enjoy a safe online surfing experience.

USA WiFi Hotspot Services - Get cheap 3G/4G Internet Services for Student, Corporate and business Travelers. - USA Voice and Data Services

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things To Consider Before Settling On A Mobile Broadband Plan

Things to Consider Before Settling on a Mobile Broadband Plan
By Dave E Carter

The whole world uses it but only a few truly understand what mobile broadband is. Mobile broadband, for those who aren't in the know, is also referred to as WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) and is a term used to describe high-speed internet access from mobile providers to portable devices. If you are on a data plan that allows you to send emails or browse through websites from your smartphone over your mobile provider's 3G network, that's mobile broadband.

These days, there isn't a person on the planet who isn't connected to the internet one way or another, whether they're at an actual office, working from home or dashing from one appointment to another. With the world and its mother constantly online, technology can also continue to keep up and become faster and more reliable.

However, it is finding these reliable connections that can become quite overwhelming or confusing for most people, especially when ISPs and mobile broadband providers constantly bombard consumers with various offers, promotions and discounts designed to tempt and convince them to sign up immediately. But if you keep your head and do your research, you will be able to make sense of it all and cut through the hype and be able to choose the best ones for you.

But as with anything worth having in life, you have to exercise careful thought and consideration before settling on anything definite. In addition to knowing exactly what you want, you need to be armed with all the necessary information about mobile broadband and compare all the plans that are available to you in order to get the best deals and these are ones that are not only worth your money but also ones that meet your requirements. Anything less is considered a waste of your time and something not worth your hard-earned cash.

We all have a lot of favorite things to do online - downloading or uploading videos and music files, watching streaming videos, viewing Instagram photos and photos posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you're working from home, you do a lot of video conferencing in addition to uploading and transferring business documents.

Mobile broadband makes all that easy to do, practically giving you total freedom and convenience to do anything and everything you want, without worrying about speeds and data limits (if you got unlimited broadband plans). It is especially great for travelers who have to work from unusual places (and where hotspots are not available) because they can get at least 11 hours of productivity each week, a feat by any other standards.

So what are the things you need to consider before you settle on a mobile broadband plan? First things first, you need to consider your data usage. If you send emails without attachments and do a lot of browsing, 100MB should be enough for you. If you send emails with photo attachments constantly from your phone, upload photos to your social media accounts and download apps or songs as well as streaming media then 200 MB should suffice.

In the same light you should also consider your uploading and downloading speeds. Plans today are offered at very competitive prices but you should know how to compare on an apples-to-apples basis in order to determine the best deal, meaning you compare the exact same plans amongst providers including bundled services.

Next, you also need to compare contract terms, special add-ons and features. Most companies will require you to stay locked in a contract for a particular timeframe in order to get the discounts and promotions that come along with the plan. Just make sure you are aware of and understand the early cancellation fees you need to pay if you decide you're not happy with the service. You also need to check what hardware is included with your plans and what you need to buy with your own money be especially careful about freebies.

And last but not the least, consider their customer service and tech support reliability because more than anything, you'll need to know that whenever your connections break down at any time, help and rescue is just a phone call away.

When you want the best connections, you know you only need to go to one place. Check out iprimus mobile broadband at Comparebroadband today and get only the best when you want it, when you need it.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Power Of The Internet And How We All Benefit From It

The Power of the Internet and How We All Benefit From It
By Zack P Bauer

If you think about it, those of us who lived during the 80's and the few years after before 1995 remember quite well how it was like to live without a cell phone, how it felt to write letters to friends and family that took days to reach them and how it felt like to actually traipse happily to the mall to buy stuff. Slow, yes but sometimes, one can't help but wish life today was as simple as it was before.

Or maybe not, considering how much people depend on the internet. It never ceases to amaze how much the internet has changed the way we live and how much easier it has made life as we know it. Yet, despite the obvious benefits of complete flexibility, ease and convenience, there are still some people who live closer to the technological set-up of 1995 than that of 2014. Not many go online 24/7 and there are even those who still stubbornly use typewriters (I know of two friends who refuse to use a PC or laptop ) and who can't even use a cell phone without help.

Still, most of the world hinges their very existence on the Net and can't imagine living life without it. Kids these days, can't imagine having to take down notes by actually writing them down on a notebook rather than using a Mac Book. Global leaders can't imagine having to physically travel halfway around the world just to talk to their peers instead of using Skype or Yahoo Messenger or maybe even just their smart phones. Large corporations can't imagine having to operate their businesses manually, with results being manifested in days rather than minutes.

There isn't anybody in the world that isn't familiar with the internet by now. Even in Africa were the internet and mobile penetration rates are considered the lowest, is now rising meteorically. In places were development and progress couldn't happen are now starting to make their mark, thanks to the ability of broadband internet to bring them closer to civilization. Health care that couldn't extend itself to the remotest parts of the globe is now possible - thanks to online specialists who are able to make remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.

Education as well, has also made some significant leaps and bounds by being accessible to people who couldn't go to school or college for financial reasons. It is now possible to learn seven languages all at the same time through online courses and even those who can't tell a spatula from a ladle can cook like master chefs after just a few days of online cooking videos.

Granted that there are downsides to using the Internet (as all Hollywood celebrities will tell you), it still has more pros and cons and would still be preferable over manual labor. It has opened up many opportunities for business and employment as seen by the significant rise in the number of work-at-home jobs and online businesses. We are given a new lease on life and as such, we deserve only the best and most reliable connections to continue living and growing.

If you want help finding the best, there's only one place you need to go. Check out the internet service connection via ConnectNow and know you're getting the best connections you deserve.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Ideal Internet Service Provider You Should Have

The Ideal Internet Service Provider You Should Have
By Alex J Martin

There is no perfect internet service provider in the world, but it is possible to look for the ideal one that will provide your specific connectivity requirements.

The ideal service provider is not always the one with the flashiest advertisement or the most outrageous promos every month. If it can provide your connectivity needs at home or at the office, then that is the provider you should be in contact with. That is the company that is ideal for you.

They should service your precise location on the map. Since not all of them can give customers in every city and in every state the kind of connection they need, you have to research on the internet service providers by location first. Rule out all providers that will not be able to set up a connection in your home and choose from the remaining ISPs in the list.

They should b be able to accommodate your online activities. What are the different activities that you will engage in on the Internet anyway? Do you use the internet solely for checking emails? For video streaming? For your home-based job? For managing your online store? For downloading and uploading files?

Regardless of the number of activities you engage in online, you need an allotted bandwidth that will allow you to do all the activities you have to do. Bandwidth is essentially a measure of your internet's capacity to support your online activities. The higher the internet bandwidth allotted to you, the more files and the more activities you can do. The internet service provider that can give you the bandwidth allowance you need is the ideal one for you.

They should also be able to give you the prices and deals that meets your budget and needs. Prices may also vary depending on the plan you choose. Some offer prices higher than others while others can price theirs lower than the great majority.

If you are looking at different service providers, look for their broadband bundles and select the bundle that best fits your budget and connectivity requirements. Are their rates reasonably priced for a fibre broadband? Are their ADSL rates affordable enough for your monthly internet allowance and the number of users in your household?

Also, look for the deals and promos that they offer. Do they offer free installation? Do they offer 1 month free broadband connection? Do they offer 50% discount on wireless routers? Make it a habit to read the fine print of their ads or their website if they have one about these perks that you can enjoy if you sign up with them.

Australia alone is home to a lot of internet service providers and it is essential to select the best one who you think and believe will provide you the connectivity requirements you specifically have. It helps to talk to a sales representative aside from simply researching on your own. Factor also the kind of customer support service they extend. Sometimes, the support they give can be a big qualifier for you to proceed with their services or not.

Alex Martin is a writer and editor. He used to be a marketing professional for Activ8me. With expertise in consumer electronics and NBN Fibre broadband backed by 8 years of experience in the Telco industry, he is up to speed with the latest innovations in digital & consumer technology. Although he is no longer connected with Activ8me, he wishes to continue sharing his endeavours and insights in ways ordinary consumers can understand

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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Doing The Math On "Net Neutrality"

Doing The Math on "Net Neutrality"
By Braham Singh

I'll try keeping this simple to avoid confusing myself.

There was a time when men were men and would sign off on Internet peering arrangements in bars over a beer - drawing up the T&Cs on a napkin over a handshake. Devolving down through UUnet and PSINet and the erstwhile MCI etc. & etc., these grandfathered arrangements continue to be the Internet's backbone.

As a result, as well as from Internet Transit providers kowtowing recklessly to competitive pressures, the wholesale cost for connecting to the backbone (Internet Transit), comes to around a buck per Meg today, maybe less. The winners? YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Internet TV who massively use the highway at a price/Meg that may connect them to the consumer, but has no connection to reality. Netflix alone takes up 40% of the Internet's capacity - mull over that.

At the other end of the Internet - where the wholesale network ends and customer delivery begins - the cable companies and Mobile Operators (MNOs) have to keep upgrading, increasing throughput, reducing costs to keep abreast of the flood of content pouring in over the wholesale network to meet customer demand. All the while, the video content provider is paying a buck a meg to his ISP and nothing to the cable provider or the MNO carring his content.

Additional irony: The MNO & cable operators who don't directly peer with the content providers, pay their ISP to flood their network with content and then pay more to ramp up the network to handle the flood. The only way to recover the cost is from the end-user who anyway has reached the end of his tether re. ability to pay. The MNOs were advised last year that their mobile Internet costs had to drop to 0.1US cent per MB to remain profitable. This is when Netflix and Hulu and Internet TV video have yet to become a major portion of the Mobile Internet stream, as they shall in a few years from now. A few years from now, is also when users will no longer want to be tied to WiFi to watch their movies but insist on doing it while on the move. Best of luck, Mr. MNO.

Now I am no fan of cable monopolies or any monopolies and as a consumer myself, am rooting for real net neutrality. However, net neutrality should not equate to a subsidy. The Comcast - Time Warner merger is potentially more harmful to net neutrality than Comcast charging Netflix to carry their content and thereby remove some of that burden from the Fixed Line consumer (that's me!).

Similarly, AT&T's Sponsored Data service provides a bigger highway for the video gang as well as for the RT Apps in return for payment, instead of passing that cost to the Mobile consumer (that's me again!)

Therefore, if the FCC is really serious about consumer protection this is what it can do: Allow the ISP/cable guy/MNO to charge the content provider. However, once a content provider is charged for access, then there should be no double-dipping and the consumer cannot be charged more by Comcast or AT&T to view the same content.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Net Neutrality and The End Of The Internet

Net Neutrality and The End Of The Internet
By Braham Singh

To the best of my knowledge, here's what happened. Comcast wasn't happy at a ton of Netflix traffic hitting their network and decided to re-engineer commercial arrangements. All part of the pull-push nature of Internet relationships.

Consequently, after the back & forth, to & fro, pull & push, the yelling & the screaming, now instead of going via a transit carrier, Netflix directly peers with Comcast in a paid-peering arrangement. Par for the course and happens all the time, except in this case, we are told it's the end of the Internet as we know it. Here's the thing. Anyone in the industry will tell you such arrangements and changes occur frequently between parties managing traffic flows and throughput - par for the course, like I said. Ostensibly at least, the bilateral peering arrangement between Netflix and Comcast is similar to all those other such agreements out there collectively allowing the Internet to work.

So, how did it become the end of the Internet, as we know it? Where and how do "Net Neutrality" concerns fit into a peering discussion/dispute/arrangement? And if it does, then does that mean the Comcast - Netflix arrangement is not a peering agreement? Or is it that peering agreements now come within the purview of this Net Neutrality thing? It's left regulatory bodies, ISPs and content providers wondering what the future holds; not just here in the USA but in Asia and Europe as well.

The top most concern voiced across the media is over this whole new cost being applied on the Internet by the likes of Comcast - owner of eyeballs. However Netflix was already paying it's transit carrier to access Comcast. Under the new arrangement, Netflix simply eliminated or reduced its flow via the transit carrier and connected over paid-peering directly to Comcast. Where was the additional hit on the end user? I looked around for data on what Netflix was now paying Comcast, but of course it was confidential. What was it paying its transit carrier earlier? Confidential. The best take on the subject came not from the 'concerned' and the 'aggrieved' but from this blog post: http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014/02/heres-comcast-netflix-deal-structured-numbers.html.

Next, one decided to dig beyond the plethora of generalities and look at the specifics on how this deal endangered net neutrality. I mustn't be looking carefully because besides populist concerns and appeals to the FCC to intervene and save the Internet, I could not find anything beyond high-level corporate-speak. No real case is out there in public for the likes of me to sink my teeth in. That though, is more than enough for the media to sink their teeth in and before we knew it, the Internet was in peril.

Here's the one thing I did find out. To the best of my knowledge, 'Net Neutrality' as spelt out by the FCC only applied to Comcast, after they acquired NBC. No one else was bound by Net Neutrality provisions until now, with the latest ruling of the FCC who - thanks to the content providers and transit carriers crying murder - has cast itself, going forward, as the champion of the Internet and vowed to ensure there won't be "two Internets." So rather than keep the Internet neutral, we have now allowed the FCC to step in and decide fates. Someone once said, "Be careful what you ask for... "

In conclusion:

1) If the new Netflix - Comcast arrangement is nothing more than paid-peering, then it is nothing more than paid-peering and has nothing to do with 'Net Neutrality'.

2) Even if Comcast is saying they will provide two kinds of paid access via peering, one being best effort and the other being with QoS under SLA, that's also fine and not endangering the Internet. Such arrangements are allowed in Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and elsewhere. It's not a big deal.

3) It only becomes a big deal should traffic be separated based on what's in the packets. If Comcast for example, were to sneak a peek into the packets and not allow video or voice or force them through via different pipes, that would be a concern. Several countries for example, block voice/Skype traffic. That's worrisome. It's not wrong to say however, that I will give you ordinary best effort access and premium access. If the video provider insists on streaming his traffic over best effort access and not use the premium service offered, its up to him and should be allowed. The FCC has a role in ensuring that the actual throughput over a best effort or premium pipe, is actually what the ISP claims it is. Beyond that, it should shy away from interfering in market commerce.

4) One more thing the FCC could do. It could ensure that monopolies remain broken up and that consolidation doesn't mean a dangerously small number of providers holding the customer to ransom. This is what happened in the health insurance market where they carved up the country into turfs for the insurance companies and anti-trust be damned. The same thing appears to the happening over the Internet's last mile in the USA and that's a potential 'Net Neutrality' concern.

Now, please show where I am wrong and blow me out of the water.

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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Net Neutrality Does Not Equal Net Utility

Net Neutrality Does Not Equal Net Utility
By Larry M. Elkin

The most strident proponents of "net neutrality" want the Federal Communications Commission to declare broadband a utility, so the government can ensure that everyone gets equal access to the best Internet service that today's providers can offer.

Had they gotten this wish back in 1999, there is a good chance we would all get online today using state-of-the-art dial-up modems.

The FCC is trying to walk a fine line in its regulation of broadband. By a 3-2 vote, it has advanced a proposal that seems to be a reasonable attempt. The proposal would allow large traffic generators, like Netflix, to enter into deals with Internet service providers to ensure the fastest possible service, and thus underwrite the infrastructure that their service requires. At the same time, the proposal would prevent broadband vendors, like Comcast, from blocking or severely slowing traffic from competing websites that do not pay extra to use the fast lane. New Internet sites would reach consumers at whatever speeds consumers paid vendors to provide.

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC, has emphasized that the commission's goal is "an open Internet" (1) and has argued that the rules respect the principles of net neutrality, suggesting that the definition of the concept is not necessarily self-evident. Ajit Pai, the senior Republican on the commission and one of the two dissenters, said that all the members shared common ground in wanting to protect a free and open Internet despite the split vote, according to The New York Times. (1) The dissenters argued that Congress, not the FCC, should establish policy for regulating Internet traffic.

In essence, then, the dispute comes down to what "free and open" means. As Seattle Times columnist Brier Dudley observed, those opposing the FCC's proposed rules are disingenuous or naive if they claim that the Internet is currently neutral and free. "Since the rise of the commercial Internet," he wrote, "it's been a place where you pay more to get faster and better service, whether you are a consumer or a company on the other end of the pipe." (2)

Differentiating types of Internet traffic is actually necessary in order to provide a smooth user experience. Bandwidth is not infinite, and companies that provide broadband services not only can recognize that not all Internet traffic is created equal, they should. Data packets that carry your voice call or the next frame of your streaming high-definition video must arrive exactly when expected, or you will notice the difference. The packet carrying part of the homepage of your favorite news site - or an ad appearing on that homepage - is not so time-sensitive.

This sort of logic has already played out, to some degree. Netflix has made agreements with Verizon and Comcast to allow the service to bypass congestion at hubs connecting ISPs and transit providers, despite arguing that the FCC should ban such payments. Ars Technica reported that Netflix performance speeds on Comcast improved by 65 percent after the deal.

Federal regulation preventing broadband providers from sorting high-priority traffic from less urgent demands would be counterproductive for those of us who want the state of Internet connection technology to continue to improve. And it is neither unreasonable nor unfair to want companies that push the demand for higher speeds and more bandwidth to shoulder some of the costs involved in providing it.

This is not to say broadband providers should have no regulation whatsoever. In particular, the prohibition against blocking or disrupting competing vendors' content is an essential consumer protection. Differentiating types of traffic is useful, but protection to make sure it isn't discriminatory due to the traffic's content is wise. While recognizing this, the FCC seems to be taking care not to clamp down on ISPs so severely that they are inhibited from investing in new or improved services.

The FCC's proposal will draw a big pile of comments for the next few months, while it remains open for public reaction. A lot of those comments will be critical. Net-neutrality advocates have already called the proposed rules "a stake in the heart for Internet openness" and "an insult to those who care about preserving the open Internet." Online and offline protests have sprung up, based on distrust for broadband providers or the idea that a "fast lane" must necessitate a "slow lane" that is substantially worse than what most users see now.

But perhaps the most telling sign, to an outside observer, indicating that the FCC's proposal is a compromise is that it has already drawn criticism from both sides, not simply the most extreme defenders of net neutrality. Verizon issued a statement warning that subjecting broadband to strict regulation "would lead to years of legal and regulatory uncertainty and would jeopardize investment and innovation in broadband." (1) The FCC is caught in the middle of fight in which everyone claims to want the same thing: faster, better Internet.

There may well be room for improvements in the FCC's proposed rules, but the proposal is still a good start. If we want vendors to keep investing in ever-faster and wider pipes, then the parties who do the most to fill those pipes must at least be allowed to help foot the bill.

Sources:

1) The New York Times, "F.C.C. Backs Opening Net Neutrality Rules for Debate"

2) The Seattle Times, "Net neutrality more myth than reality?"

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