At this week’s Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission Internet traffic hearing, Google’s Canada Policy Counsel, Jacob Glick, raised a point that we’ve been arguing for the last few years. Glick said:
“We urge you to reject as false the choice between debilitating network congestion and application-based discrimination….This is a false dichotomy. The evidence is, and experience in Canada and in the U.S. already shows, that carriers can manage their networks, reduce congestion and protect the open Internet, all at the same time.”
While we agree with Glick to a certain extent, we differ in the alternative proposed by hearing participants — simply increase bandwidth. This is not to say that increasing bandwidth isn’t the appropriate solution in certain circumstances, but to question the validity of a dichotomy with an equally narrow third alternative doesn’t exactly significantly expand the industry’s options. Especially when increasing bandwidth isn’t always a viable solution for some ISPs.
The downsides of application-based shaping are one of the main reasons behind NetEqualizer’s reliance on behavior-based shaping. Therefore, while Glick is right that the above-mentioned dichotomy doesn’t explore all of the available options, it’s important to realize that the goals being promoted at the hearing are not solely achieved through increased bandwidth.
For more on how the NetEqualizer fits into the ongoing debate, see our past article, NetEqualizer Offers Net Neutrality, User Privacy Compromise.