Net Neutrality’s an IT Issue, Too

Net Neutrality: A Political Issue, But an IT Issue TooOver on IT World, Kevin Fogarty of IT World points out net neutrality is an IT issue as much as it’s a social or political one.

When is the last time you were praised by users or the CFO for giving a primary supplier the right to refuse or degrade service with no apology, no compensation and very probably no acknowledgment that it’s even happening? It probably would not be a good idea to walk into the CFO’s office in protest wear and Birkenstocks to make the case that a big corporation should defend net neutrality. But you should make the case. Or if you can’t, make sure the people who can know how to explain the risk to the legal staff and CFO.

Why? Because

Net neutrality directly affects the way your entire corporate IT infrastructure will work in the future and how much control your company will have over the technology for which it pays.

The providers will go after illegal file-sharing sites and users first, which seems logical. But, Fogarty argues, “Close behind will be companies that find solid business uses for apps that send increasing volumes of video, chat, audio, virtual desktop or streaming application traffic across the Net.”

And then? “Without guarantees of neutrality, carriers won’t have to expand their pipes to accommodate that traffic. They can just throttle it back and charge more, making more money for lower performance and blaming every other backbone provider on the Internet for being the problem.”

So the question to ask yourself: What would happen if your organization’s Net access suddenly slowed or cost more, and there was nothing you could do about it?

— Don Willmott