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Without Net Neutrality UK ISPs Say It Would Be “Perfectly Normal Business Practice to Discriminate”

Phillip Dampier September 29, 2010 Net Neutrality, Public Policy & Gov't, TalkTalk (UK) Comments Off on Without Net Neutrality UK ISPs Say It Would Be “Perfectly Normal Business Practice to Discriminate”

Heaney

While Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski continues his indecisive dawdling over whether to enforce Net Neutrality in the United States, the United Kingdom’s two largest Internet Service Providers have openly admitted without such protections they would openly discriminate against content providers’ traffic.  In fact, discriminating against providers based on who paid and who didn’t would be a perfectly normal business practice for any ISP, they declared.

Senior executives of both BT and TalkTalk let the truth spill from their lips at a Westminster eForum on Net Neutrality, something companies like Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T surely wish they hadn’t done.

The surprisingly open dialogue was covered in detail by PCPro, and sent on to us by our reader “PreventCAPS”:

Asked specifically if TalkTalk would afford more bandwidth to YouTube than the BBC’s iPlayer if Google was prepared to pay, the company’s executive director of strategy and regulation, Andrew Heaney, argued it would be “perfectly normal business practice to discriminate between them”.

“We would do a deal and look at YouTube and look at the BBC, and decide,” he added.

When asked the same question, BT’s director of group industry policy, Simon Milner, replied: “We absolutely could see a situation when content or app providers may want to pay BT for quality of service above best efforts,” although he added BT had never received such an approach.

TalkTalk’s Heaney declared Net Neutrality a mythical concept, saying they already discriminate against traffic now that they have their foot in the door with “traffic management” policies.

“It’s a myth we have Net Neutrality today – we don’t,” he said. “There are huge levels of discrimination over traffic type. We prioritize voice traffic over our network. We shape peer-to-peer traffic and de-prioritize it during the busy hour.”

If British ISP’s are willing to discriminate against non-paying traffic on its networks, are American ISP’s going to act any differently?

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  • Bill: @Joe V - If you have Att Uverse like I did you may have an alternative. Even If its regular dsl you should check out DSL extreme. Phillip wrote an a...
  • Limboaz: While arbitrary usage caps, crappy service and overcharging are bad, the bigger issue to deal with is the crony capitalism and corruption that lets co...
  • Write about this: I went out and bought a new doc sis 3 compatible modem...now they are still trying to charge me the 10 dollar fee and my account is showing two modems...
  • Joe V: You forgot to mention Phil that Comcast as horrible as they are, there's another telecom giant just as bad : AT&T-they also imposed usage-base...
  • lllllll: While yes Google can cause harm right now they aren't the problem. The main Problem is these corrupt ISPs that refuse to upgrade the Network and Expan...
  • Limboaz: Not happy times for Comcrap. Hopefully this signifies a new trend of activism when it comes to regulators overseeing companies that refuse to play fai...
  • Phillip Dampier: We know John Malone and Charter are still very interested, but the last attempt met with a hostile response from TWC management. There will need to be...
  • Bob: So does Charter now step in as the new suitor ?...
  • lllllll: T-Mobile cut off limit is Somewhere over a few TBs/ Month. Also I'm not in a Semi Rural Area Either. I'm in a decent size City. Data Usage doesn't equ...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think what is unique is that Google can seamlessly switch between T-Mobile and Sprint, which is a good way to deal with both carriers' temperamental...
  • Phillip Dampier: I thought T-Mobile throttled unlimited users if they got 'out of hand', whatever that means. I assume IIIIIII is in a semi-rural area where tower cong...
  • Limboaz: Ironic a mobile phone company can deliver that kind of bandwidth while cable ISPs using a fiber-optic infrastructure have to be so miserly. The cable/...

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