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Getting the Twain to Meet

Sep 28, 2010, 21:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)

"I was riding around with Scott Bradner the other day when he uttered a piece of wisdom that brought great clarity to the black-hole argument-sink that network neutrality has become — and which had been depressing me for so long that I had all but given up trying to get past it.

"He said the argument had become a religious one, in the sense that opposing sides had very different beliefs. In particular this line stood out: The carriers believe the Internet doesn't work.

"That is, the carriers—phone companies in particular—are in the business of billing for uses. They are also committed to such virtues as "carrier-grade" service and five or six nines of reliability. The Internet protocol wasn't built for billing, or for those other concerns. Nor were (far as I know) any of the other protocols in the Net's protocol suite. Geeks behind many of those protocols believe in "best effort" delivery and "rough consensus and running code". So it's no wonder that the two groups talk past each other."

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