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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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August 11, 2008 2:26 PM

VidChat: Michael Johnston Says To FCC, "Just Tell Us The Rules" On Net Neutrality

On Friday August 1st, the FCC came down with its ruling against Comcast for its previous treatment of P2P traffic, where during times of peak usage they would prevent/stall users from connecting to P2P networks.

This decision did not come without disagreement among the Commissioners, and reactions have been mixed, with some calling it a victory for neutrality, others disappointed at the leniency of the penalties, Comcast still claiming innocence, and AT&T;/Verizon crediting it as proof that the current regulatory structure protecting net neutrality is sufficient.

But these only represent some of the opinions and truths about what the FCC's ruling really means to the future of the Internet. Last week in an email chain with Michael Johnston, VP of IT at Jackson Energy Authority, a municipal fiber deployer in Jackson, TN, I learned that because of how vague the FCC's ruling was, the uncertainty that creates is hampering their ability to move forward with certainty when it comes to innovating on their network.

This is an important message for everyone to recognize about the potential downside of pursuing imprecise regulation/legislation of network management on the pace of innovation in bringing about the next generation of the Internet.

Here's a link to that previous VidChat I did with Michael where we discussed the challenges of delivering P2P traffic as a network operator and what this all means in relation to his belief that the solution to concerns about net neutrality can and should be found in market-driven solutions.

You can find, download, and read the various opinions of the FCC Commissioners on the FCC's homepage. Just scroll down a bit and they're listed in the entry on 8/1.

If you'd like to join the conversation, have something interesting to say, and want to do a VidChat with me on this or related subjects, submit a comment with your email address and I'll contact you to schedule a time and share with you what you need to get set up.

Despite the impression that net neutrality is an issue with two polarized sides heavily entrenched against the other, I'm a firm believer that in the end everyone agrees more than they disagree on this subject. If we can just sit down and listen to all affected parties we'll be able to find real solutions to these real problems.

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