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The Internet

Net Neutrality Never Really Existed? 157

dido writes "In his most recent column, Robert X. Cringely observes that network neutrality may have never really existed at all. It appears that some, perhaps all, of the major broadband ISPs have been implementing tiered service levels for a long time. From the article: 'What turns out to be the case is that some ISPs have all along given priorities to different packet types. What AT&T, Comcast and the others were trying to do was to find a way to be paid for priority access — priority access that had long existed but hadn't yet been converted into a revenue stream.'" Cringely comes to this conclusion after being unable to get a fax line working. His assumption that the (Vonage) line's failure to support faxing is due to Comcast packet prioritizing is not really supported or proved. But his main point about the longstanding existence of service tiering will come as no surprise to this community.

Apple TV to be a Centrally Controlled P2P Network? 165

Rolgar writes "PBS' Bob Cringely theorizes that since the Apple TV will be an always-on device with a 40GB hard drive, Apple may move to content distribution via a P2P network. The ISPs will incur higher bandwidth locally, possibly lose some subscribers to cable TV, but have fewer costs through the Tier II Internet backbone providers. Bob also expects that Google will be involved with their fiber network and advertising expertise, and my hope is that they'll bundle in YouTube content as well. The article suspects that they won't get around to announcing the full details of this plan until they hit a half million units or more, and that this Apple and Google pairing will become the equivalent of a cable TV provider with almost none of the infrastructure costs. Eventually, he hopes, we'll see a real HD revolution from Apple and Google for this service." If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it? What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

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