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Net Neutrality – Pete Farmer speaks

PortcullisOpen Internet & Net Neutrality – both are terms that are meaningless to many and equally emotive and commercially crucial to many others.

As with many things in life, there’s a spectrum of what this means. At one end, there’s a threat to civil liberties, commercial strategies, intellectual property and safeguarding against illegal content. At the other end, there’s (for want of a better phrase) a type of technological anarchy whereby there are ideological demands that all packets of data should be equal regardless of the content, legality, source or otherwise.

ITSPA’s members all operate in the VoIP space to some degree, so the subject of throttling (sorry, I think the marketing term is “traffic shaping”), blocking etc is both emotive and important to their businesses; so I think it is worthwhile explaining what I think the average VoIP provider means by Net Neutrality.

The first qualifier is that we always talk about legal content. What is legal and not legal varies by jurisdiction and is defined by various legislatures around the world; we would not necessarily expect any definition of an open internet to include illegal content.

We would also say that prioritisation of some services is an important