Network Neutrality and Wireless Networks

According to this CNN Money report, unrestricted access rules for wireless networks would hurt users more than help them. This follows the recent news of Google and Verizon brokering a compromise on the definition of net neutrality, a set of rules that ideally, would ensure that no company could place data-access restrictions on Web content, sites, platforms, and associated equipment.

“Here’s how the current system works. Wireless networks are built assuming people will get on and get off quickly. Like with cable networks, anyone accessing a cell tower is using spectrum that someone else in the area can’t. But unlike cable, which is built with high-capacity fiber, a wireless network is built on the theory that just 10% of subscribers will be using the spectrum at the same time.

“That was fine in the voice days; not so much when high-pixel phone screens are sirens crying out for streaming Netflix (NFLX). If wireless carriers using today’s technology wanted to mimic the capacity of DSL or cable, they’d have to triple the number of towers for each subscriber. Upgrading the network is neither simple nor quick. While it only takes a minute for one anime-over-Android addict in a neighborhood to bring down everyone’s cell service, it takes three years in some cities for a new cell tower to get approved. The carriers want to be able to control their traffic; customers should, too.”

Read the Full “Net neutrality for wireless? Don’t count on it.” Story at CNN Money

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