All Talk, Little Action on 'Net Neutrality Front? - Page 2

 By Tim Scannell
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Debate and discussions continue

Last week, Comcast and others took part in yet another hearing on 'Net neutrality and other network issues, this time hosted by the House Commerce Committee in Washington, D.C.

The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA), a trade group representing more than 100 P2P and social networking software providers, content rights holders, Internet service providers (ISPs) and others, also convened in Los Angeles to discuss the problems and possible alternatives.

One action on the table is to establish a guideline for "the safe and efficient use of P2P services," DCIA CEO Marty Lafferty said in a statement.

The goal of this initiative is to have everyone concerned agree to a set of rules of operation and effectively police themselves to avoid any government intervention.

"This effort will supersede the previously announced proposal to develop a 'P2P Bill of Rights & Responsibilities (BRR)' and broaden the scope of this endeavor," Lafferty said.

BitTorrent chief technology officer Eric Klinker doesn't buy into the excuse that no temporary alternatives exist to targeting P2P application, or claims that the Internet is running out of steam.

"It's just a fact of life. Technology's not going to stand still, and the Internet is not going to stop growing," said Klinker, who spent some time working at an ISP. "Investing more in the technology and infrastructure would avoid any real or imagined problems. A little more competition wouldn't hurt either," he noted.

Supporting this view is an ABI Research study released earlier this year that points to an impending bandwidth crunch due to increased IPTV activities and high-definition television programming.

As a result, cable operators worldwide are expected to spend up to $80 billion over the next several years to expand network bandwidth.

"If you are a seller of those kinds of services, the best thing you could hope for is a shortage," analyst Craig Mathias said. "The Internet is a big, global worldwide phenomenon, and I just don't see it being constrained by any single carrier or operator."

Updates prior version to clarify that the House hearing on 'Net Neutrality was last week.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

This article was originally published on May 16, 2008
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