Friday, July 08, 2011

Net neutrality and the NBN

Part 2 of Kim Chandler McDonald's (KimmiC's) interview with Vint Cerf has been published.

In it he mostly traverses three topics, net neitrality, transparency of NBN costs, and e=health.

On the net neutrality issue he makes an assertion that the NBN in Australia should restrict the net neutrality concerns. As I discussed in my ACS-TSA policy gap forum piece on interconnection, the market power issue doesn't go away simply by virtue of the separated access network. It is changed, it becomes more manageable - but it is not eliminated.

Despite the Convergence Review getting the importance of any-to-any connectivity, their Emerging Issues Paper the issue is only dealt with under the rubric of "exclusive content" as opposed to "differential connectivity".

The e-health discussion simply reveals again how vexed is the question of health. Ultimately the glimmer of hope might come from the realisation that the best standards are built by user communities and the best applications come from end-to-end rather than mediated models.

Finally, the bit that made a bit of a headline, was Cerf calling for clarity in NBN cost data. The logic seemed to be that in the theory of "competing nations" we wouldn't want other countries to actually realise how cost effective an FTTP network by Government is.

The facts are that the Government and NBn co can keep some expectations secret, but their real costs will eventually be on the public record.

I for one think our NBn risk is about failure to get the downstream market working properly than failure to get the NBN built - they are NGN risks, not NBN ones.

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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