Openet Issues Comment on Google/Verizon Net Neutrality Plan
September 14, 2010 - Openet
DUBLIN, Ireland – September 14, 2010 – Openet, the leading provider of Transactional Intelligence for the world’s largest and most innovative network service providers, is issuing comment on the ongoing controversy surrounding the Verizon/Google Legislative Framework Proposal. The plan is designed to preserve the open Internet while allowing network operators the flexibility and freedom to effectively manage their networks. The proposed principles essentially create a fair approach to traffic shaping, while enabling carriers to create revenue streams by prioritizing content on wireless networks.
Openet outlines the following pain points addressed by the proposal:
Congestion: Openet supports the idea of creating revenue streams from prioritized traffic and content, especially given the predicted growth trajectory of mobile broadband. According to ABI Research, the number of mobile broadband subscribers will surpass 1.5 billion by 2015. While service providers are taking steps to ensure that network performance is not compromised, traffic is already slowing down content delivery, and the only way to fairly and profitably manage network congestion is to apply policy rules based on subscriber contracts and plans.
Application Performance: The rise of applications means that their performance is critical to the satisfaction of consumer and business users. Degraded performance has the potential to compromise certain applications, and may even eliminate their value. For consumers and organizations alike, allowing unlimited use of network bandwidth to compromise content or applications equals a failure of service. With this in mind, operators should be allowed to offer levels of service to ensure that OTT content is always high quality, as long as traffic is prioritized by type rather than favoring some providers over others.
Competition: While Openet sees significant value in prioritized traffic, it does not advocate treating it in an anti-competitive manner. The ability to give precedence to certain types of traffic, such as video or business applications, and adjust network speed should be afforded to all consumers and enterprises on an equal basis. Content and applications that are hosted or owned by the operator should not benefit from a higher level of service than those from over-the-top (OTT) providers.
“It’s a very interesting time in the industry,” said Mike Manzo, CMO of Openet. “In addition to the market and service provider concerns about traffic prioritization and Net Neutrality, we also need to keep end users in mind. For the proposal from Verizon and Google to work, consumers and enterprises need to be willing to pay for prioritized content. Our experience in helping to provide wireless service packages indicates that this will be of interest to end users who care about the quality of their content—but the proof will come only when such an offering hits the market.”
While service providers are already creating wireless Internet service packages designed to combat congestion, there is additional room for innovation and control. Mobile devices will play a role in consumers’ willingness to invest in service packages and optimize their experiences, especially as smartphone adoption continues to grow and the multimedia tablet computer market heats up.
“Service providers’ greatest concerns, in addition to service degradation, are about the costs of network build out and ability to manage transaction volumes for a significant number of data services. In light of this escalating cost, operators want to reserve the right to charge more for premium services, and for different levels of these services,” said Marc Price, VP of Technology at Openet. “With this structure, a premium user on a device such as an iPad could be charged more to reserve a high speed toll lane on the information highway—ensuring that the device performs as advertised without congesting the network.”
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