Network Accountability

1/28/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

After the recent declaration by much of the internet that "net neutrality is dead," some interesting things began to happen.  The market took action.


In my post at the time, I criticized the desire for many people to hand over the regulation of this area to a government body that is no more pure than the companies the legislation is intended to "protect" us from.  It is our job as customers to keep the industry in line, and it looks like the reigns are finally being picked up.

The Business insider published a statement by Netflix where the onus to maintain a neutral treatment of network traffic is placed on the ISP
"In the long-term, we think Netflix and consumers are best served by strong network neutrality across all networks, including wireless. To the degree that ISPs adhere to a meaningful voluntary code of conduct, less regulation is warranted."
 Considering there are no cases of serious breech of the mentioned "voluntary code of conduct," I agree very much with this stance.  They did continue with the statement, though, saying that some circumstances might merit more intervention
"To the degree that some aggressive ISPs start impeding specific data flows more regulation would clearly be needed."
I will concede that there will definitely be need to pick the conversation back up if such a circumstance arises, but there is no need to start signing over the regulation of our traffic to the FCC.

Google has taken a strong stance in encouraging ISPs to self regulate by ranking their Youtube performance so you can appropriately wield your influence as a consumer and keep providers accountable.  This is a brilliant and bold step on Youtube's part and I would hope that other services would also start publishing similar data.


The whole point behind the net neutrality debate is that consumers deserve the freedom of choice in their data consumption.  It's really an issue of network accountability just as much as it is than network neutrality.  You can't have one without the other.  Making data of this sort public across the board is exactly what is needed to keep the consumers in the drivers seat instead of greedy providers, or the FCC they run.



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