Net Neutrality – Dead as a Dodo

Net neutrality is about to go the way of the Dodo Bird. Regardless of whether you are pro-Trump or anti-Trump, pro-regulation or anti-regulation, this is a huge change in how we access the internet. Will service providers favor their own services, strike deals with content providers that effectively box out smaller competitors or create a wealth of tailored, low-cost service bundles that match each consumer’s needs? Nobody knows. What is certain is that disruption is a-coming!

ISPs don’t want to be just dumb pipes that treat all traffic the same. They want the full ability to charge more for higher speed, higher bandwidth, service bundles. In theory, competition among ISPs should prevent limiting, discriminatory practices but without net neutrality ISPs will be free to speed up, slow down or block websites based on their own commercial considerations. Result? Consumers may be left to fend for themselves. Michael Beckerman, chief executive of the Internet Association warns that the FCC’s proposal “represents the end of net neutrality as we know it and defies the will of millions of Americans.”

On the other hand, less regulation could lead to more investment, more competition and lower end-user costs. If every ISP is free to create flexible, tailored service bundles they will need to compete more creatively to win customer loyalty. As claimed by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the problem with net neutrality is that it has “depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.” Competition could lead to lower costs. More and better pipes would be needed to meet growing demand. So, while this could be good for everyone, it’s not yet clear how it will play out.

What is clear is that ISPs will need powerful and agile real-time, inline traffic analytics and traffic management, in addition to flexible policy control and charging to identify traffic, applications, websites and subscribers, and to match them with the applicable service packages.

Smart pipes mean smart software to manage smart services; Allot’s multi-service gateways have the scalable smarts that ISPs will need.

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