Friday, December 22, 2006

Net neutrality isn't just for Christmas

A Palladium Club mega-uber value reader points me to a presentation on Net Neutrality from Japanese regulator MIC some ten days ago. I note in particular: slide 15, which shows a 20% YoY increase in IP traffic; slide 16, which shows a big increase in bandwidth consumption by P2P applications on the downlink; and most interestingly, slide 17, which shows P2P consistently consuming over 50% of upstream bandwidth. Given that Japan is now ex-growth in DSL and firmly on the pathway to near-ubiquitous fiber, these stats will probably prove to be unsettling to EuroTelcos facing NGN deployments of varying flavors and intensities. This is one reason why in a recent "year ahead" piece for clients, I highlighted the dreaded Net Neutrality as an issue which may generate much more debate and activity in Europe in 2007 than in 2006. It is clear that a significant number of telcos are taking matters into their own hands, at least as it relates to BitTorrent (thanks Wired), but I wonder what the consequences will be with Big Media now firmly in the P2P game? With enough documentation of indiscriminate throttling in a given country, do we eventually see complaints to, say, the WTO?

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