Welcome back, sneakernet: Why net neutrality repeal will drive us to the edge

 In U.S.

Next on Trump’s to-do list: Kill net neutrality

It seems that with every passing administration, the issue of Net Neutrality pops back up.

The tug of war between broadband consumers, content and application services providers, large broadband and telecom providers and what sort of traffic will be permitted to transit their networks — and what quality of service (QoS) policies they eventually will apply to them — seems to be a conflict without resolution.

Ultimately, broadband services providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon never want you to leave their networks.

Our previous administration was one of permissiveness and open access to the internet for everyone, and for all services. The current administration, under President Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be positioned to give internet bandwidth providers the power to revoke or throttle that open access in an upcoming landmark vote next month.

Regardless of what the FCC vote hands down in December, the implementation of Net Neutrality (or lack of it entirely) will be the kind of hot-button issue that could very well alternate between Republican and Democratic-controlled administrations for decades.

If we accept that there will probably never be a guarantee about what kind of traffic will be permitted across provider networks to the open internet from consumer residential (or mobile) devices, then we need to fundamentally re-think how devices communicate and store data on the internet.

See also: Trump’s FCC announces plans to kill net neutrality | FCC chairman outlines steps to encourage mobile broadband deployment | Net neutrality: The smart person’s guide

We need to ensure that we can continue to use the types of services we currently enjoy — as well as those developed in the future — without interruption or degradation of quality, regardless of what sort of policy implementation we see regarding the use of the internet going forward.

Ultimately, broadband services providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon never want you to leave their networks. They want you to consume the balance of your traffic within their intranets because it’s much easier for them to control costs within their own network infrastructure.

Once traffic transits from their network onto the open internet, there are ingress and egress costs when that traffic is handed off to another provider.

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