LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Brian Matis
<sarcasm>I look forward to having to pay extra for the "online game" package so that they don't throttle my connection speeds when they notice I'm playing Overwatch.</sarcasm>
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Lucas Bishop
@Brian I could be off in my interpretation of how this will unfold, but I believe what will happen is your cost to the ISP will likely not be effected so much, who knows it might even go down. Your local ISPs are the ones who benefit the most from this, since they are the last mile to your house from the tier1 providers. They are the ones who can throttle content to the end user, until someone pads their coffers.

So in theory the tier1 provider (ie. Cogent) has to pay more to the last mile isp (ie. Charter) to prevent throttling, and the costs are ultimately passed on to the game service provider (ie. Sony/Xbox/etc) in a form of higher bandwidth costs for their game servers.  In turn, the game service provider will pass that cost on to you, in order to access the service. In theory, this would effect all of the services you enjoy (Netflix, Sony, Hulu, etc.) and each one of them would be passing higher access costs over to you.

So instead of having 1 higher bill (your ISP), you'll have dozens of higher bills.

I could be misunderstanding this entirely, but that's how I see it unfolding.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:Brian Matis
@lucas: Agreed, that's certainly one way it could unfold. I could even foresee some combination of the two approaches: one where there's extra cost from my ISP for certain types of traffic prioritization, and the other where certain services have to increase their rates to ensure top tier speeds.

There is one other scenario that could play out, which is the one that free-market evangelists would hope for: that this whole thing finally provides enough incentive to open up more competition in the ISP market. If my provider is doing things like selling the data on my browsing history and throttling my bandwidth based on types of services used, that it provides an opportunity for a new competitor to differentiate their service. After all, the real root of the fears regarding a lack of net-neutrality stems from the lack of consumer choice (at least in the U.S., I can't really speak for other countries). I'm not really optimistic about this scenario happening, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
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