Net Neutrality Reaches Ireland

Interesting point picked up by Adrian Weckler at the 12th annual TIF charity ball.

The director of Eircom wholesale spoke about the development of broadband infrastructure in Ireland. Among the many points, he loudly approached the topic of Net Neutrality and about whether it would be “fair that these publishers should pay at least part of the cost of building, operating and maintaining these networks”.

To be fair, the customers pay their bills for a contented service and the publishers pay for usually expensive backbone connections. Does this not achieve this purpose already?

What would be their proposed business model for getting support from publishers? Would there be a threshold of traffic traversing the operators network above which a publisher gets charged? Would there be an attempt to get big publishers to sign deals so traffic can reach customers in a timely manner? Or would they try something like the TV licence approach (“its theoretically not feasible to administer such a billing scheme so we just charge everyone”)?

While they’re currently within their rights to try to govern the traffic on their network, I can’t imagine the average home customer or publishers liking it too much. The customers could move to another network and the publishers could block traffic going to the network that levies them with additional charges.

Wed 12 May 2010