Monday, November 14, 2011

AaI and Net Neutrality

On a previous post on Access as Infrastructure there was a discussion on the government led initiatives for ultra fast broadband.

The proposition is that the build out of new access networks is such an expensive activity that the governments of Australia and New Zealand will make the investment, using a combination of public and private money.

So with ubiquitous access a near reality and with that access provided in the same way as electricity, water, gas, and roads getting to your house what does this mean for the net neutrality debate?

If the telco no longer owns the asset and are merely a party in the trade then surely this solves the net neutrality problem? The incumbent may get preferential treatment because of scale and buying power but this wouldn't be extended to priority routing.

Moving the competition from the physical platform to the offering, as long as the telcos, CSPs, and RSPs are not government owned, then we can have comfort that the pipe is there and everyone will have the ability to offer services over it, from VoIP and any other OTT providers that Telco 1.0 operators would today be incentivised to de-prioritise in fear of canibalising voice revenues.

Separation of government control is crucial if the noise from China seeking to cease VoIP services running on the Unicom network.

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