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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5343/libertarian-ceo-tj-rogers-of-cypress-semiconductor-on-net-neutrality-and-solar-subsidies/

Libertarian CEO TJ Rogers of Cypress Semiconductor on Net Neutrality and Solar Subsidies

July 19, 2006 by

Good interview here. I liked his comments on “Net Neutrality“: When asked what he thought about it, he responded:

This is where basically the Net is not allowed to discriminate? I think it’s an obscenity. I think people that have paid for the wires and cables should able to charge whatever they want for their product. And for other people to come in and force companies to run their businesses and set their prices is absurd. If some of those companies came into being by virtue of a government monopoly–the old AT&T comes to mind–then fine. But to go and tell companies what they can and cannot charge money for–that’s un-American. It’s against freedom. It’s just bad news.

{ 5 comments }

gmlk July 19, 2006 at 11:34 am

The argument is more tricky then this:

Take Google. Google offers a service. They pay a lot of money to their internet provider Y. Alyssa is a internet user. She pays for her internet access to her internet provider X. Notice that internet providers X and Y do pay for the traffic they send each other in some way.

Why should Google pay internet provider X (with whom Google has no business, not even any contact) every time that Alyssa accesses Google?

Doesn’t this look like racketeering: shopkeepers who have to pay protection money if they want to keep receiving customers?

The other question: Do we need the government to step in?
Answer: NO!

Let the market decide which kind of internet people really want. Just see how populair internet providers are which limit internet access to populair services.

Curt Howland July 19, 2006 at 11:55 am

Great interview indeed. It’s nice to read a smart person talking on a subject they understand. It reminds me why I enjoy lectures by people who really understand their material, almost without regard for the material itself.

What the pro-Law people seem to lose track of is that every packet is already paid for twice, once by the sender and once by the receiver. I pay more being able to send and receive more, just like Google.

So what if AOL decided they want Google to pay them for access to their many eyeballs. Google could turn around and charge AOL for access to their mucho content.

It’s not a “chicken/egg” problem, there is no way to say that “you gain more value from your content than I do from my eyeballs”. It really does fall into the Austrian Economics calculation problem, there is no way to put a dollar sign on one or the other as compared to each other. Value is relative.

By going through the effort of passing packets efficiently, Google and AOL both gain by making their mutual customers happy. I just have never understood why some “suits” cannot grasp that simple idea.

David C July 19, 2006 at 11:56 am

My understanding of the debate is that when you route thru the internet – the traffic you generate routes thru networks you have no control over. The companies who own these middle networks wanted to track down the end traffic and send the users a seperate bill. Normally if a company tried this, end users (like google) would say “get lost, we’re not paying”. If the middle provider responded by cutting google off, all the people who use them would tell them to get lost too and they would go broke. So normal free market forces are keeping the net neutral.

However, these middle providers decided to push thru a bill that would require companies like google to pay them. This way the telcos can negotiate deals with the end user ISP’s to route traffic thru their networks. It is my understanding that they had to do this because there are regulations in place that force them to offer bandwidth to ISP’s at certain prices. With the new onslaught of video services – they would get slaughtered. It is also my understanding that this is also the reason there is so much unused dark fiber in the US.

Anyhow, so then companies like google worried that telcos would make deals with the ISP’s to conspire to route their traffic in the most expensive manner and decided to push net-neutrality.

Summary, if my understanding is true, then “net-neutrality” and the problems it causes are a symptom of prior bad government regulations. The new tiered bandwidth law will fix the problems caused by forcing the telcos to provide service to independent providers, but will break the market forces that cause network traffic to be neutral, because they can bill third parties that are not part of the transaction. Hence net-neutrality.

Curt Howland July 19, 2006 at 12:20 pm

David C., not quite. The reason that you and I can send packets back and forth is because through the entire path there are agreements. Explicit contracts.

For instance, my ISP, JoeBlowInternet, isn’t big enough to peer directly with QuickBackBone. So JBI contracts with a bigger ISP, say @Net, to act as default. Since @Net is huge, everyone peers with them at their peering points like MAE-West, MAE-East, PacBell-NAP, AADS-NAP, Mom-NAP of Oshkosh Wisconsin, etc.

The different carriers, big and small, who meet at the peering points, have explicit agreements about passing traffic between them, sometimes but very rarely separating out the down-stream “default” customers like JBI, because us Network Engineers were able to show the suits 10 years ago that everyone benefits from open peering.

So now your ISP’s default backbone provider, QuickBackBone, has the packet, which gets passed through to your ISP, bouncing around the (hopefully) shortest path until it arrives at your server.

At each hop, there is an explicit contract. The idea of “no control” is false, and I’m coming to the conclusion that it is obfuscation being passed around by people who either don’t know what they’re talking about, or worse, folks who don’t want YOU to know what they’re talking about.

Inability to reach a destination is a network failure. Treat it as such, and just like what happened to AlterNet when they didn’t play the peering game nicely, uncooperative ISPs and backbone providers will lose customers and fail.

fancyleprachaun July 19, 2006 at 4:56 pm

Well that’s all fine well and good, but I still don’t understand what this legislation is supposedly requiring that is getting people scared that there will be a tiered internet, as if there were a lower class internet with access to jack crap, and an upper class internet with access to everything.

Or they seem to think prioritizing packets based on content will give rolling blackouts to parts of the population trying to reach a certain site, like they’ll have to wait days to reach youtube because it streams massive amounts of bandwidth.

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