Net Neutrality Friday

Well, it has been relatively quiet so far this year. I know some folks that have started pushing an old idea again, trying to make it new. This is what is called Open Access. Access is good. Open is good. Open Access is not so good, at least in this new flavor.

Open Access is the idea to separate your services from your physical access and be able to have multiple service providers bid for your services on a network produced by someone else. The latest twist on this comes from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), which is trying to find a reason to stay in business. The MEF built standards and got them adopted. The technology and standards are widely used and essentially won. The problem with winning is that there is no reason for your group to exist. So, the MEF is trying to create another battle.

Here is the problem. The old days of Open Access were all about different kinds of services. This is particularly true with video. The video is the one service that takes lots of bandwidths. If you go back 10 years, it was not common to find streaming services. In some places, you could have multiple video providers. That setup was not common, but Project Utopia was an example of that.

Here is the thing. Bandwidth has grown tremendously and all services are now becoming purely Internet Based. There are use cases for non-Internet Services in the Business World. But in the consumer market, we can all see the convergence of all services heading to being Internet Services. Yes, there are still a phone and video services that are not based on the Internet. We can all see that in the future this will not be true.

So, why would the MEF try to resurrect a model that is no longer relevant? I know they are trying to keep themselves around, but seriously the Internet is our common bandwidth utility. You can no longer build a service of any scale without it. So, making non-Internet Services for consumers makes almost no sense for the Service Owner.

I find this whole thing very odd and hope the MEF realizes that this is a battle that is already won and there is no point in continuing.

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
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