Infographic: Defining Net Neutrality Without the Politics

Though it means different things to different people, those people mostly fall into a few camps

1 min read
Infographic: Defining Net Neutrality Without the Politics
Image: Clyde C McElroy

Despite its name, few people are neutral about Net Neutrality. This contretemps won’t end when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission convenes tomorrow (26 February) to publicly declare where the U.S. government stands on the matter. Part of what has inspired the disagreement over how bits of data should traverse the networks that together form the Internet is the lack of consensus about whether all information should be treated equally and what “equal treatment” really means. Should it really mean equal treatment for all bits? All information providers? Or should carriers be able to charge extra for premium services, but be barred from blocking or throttling access?

Earlier this month, we published an article that spelled out the arguments and counterarguments in the hope of making sense of it all. Now, Clyde C. McElroy, a former member of the general assembly under ICANN and a participant in domain name system operations (DNSO) working groups on new top-level domains, has further illuminated those points with this infographic:

As for his personal take on how the Internet should evolve, McElroy says, “I'm more in the equal treatment for all information providers camp, but think that the technical people should be in charge of exactly how that happens.”

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images
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We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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