Sandvine Says Yes To Bandith Management Along With More Fun From Day One Of The CRTC Hearings

In day one of the CRTC hearings into Bandwidth Management, Sandvine who is best known for providing the gear that Comcast used to throttle it’s users Internet connections made an appearance. What they had to say will get your attention:

“In times of congestion, an unmanaged network is not a neutral network,” he [Don Bowman, CTO of Sandvine] said. “Inequalities in application design and user behaviour mean that an unmanaged network inherently favours certain applications and their users.”

So what he’s saying is that network neutrality doesn’t exist and networks need to be managed for the good of users. Of course the fact that that requires his gear (or similar gear made be companies that compete against him) has nothing to do with that of course. He wasn’t the only one who sung from that songsheet:

Scott Stevens, vice-president of technology for Juniper Networks, a company that also offers internet traffic management technology, said part of the problem is technologies such as streaming video are very different from applications the internet was originally designed for.

“They don’t talk and be quiet. They hum constantly,” he said, in contrast to older applications such as email that exchange data only intermittently.

That means new network tools are needed to manage traffic, and companies need the flexibility to be able to develop those tools, he said.

“We feel it’s very important that innovation is able to occur at the network level.”

While there is a certain amount of truth behind that statement, there is some self interest there as well. Fortunately, there were some people on the other side of the argument:

John Lawford, counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which is representing three Canadian consumers groups, told the CRTC Monday that DPI could invade privacy by revealing things such as the type of application, how long it was used and the types of search strings entered by the user. It could also be misused for marketing or unfair pricing.

“There will be abuse,” he said.

You think? It doesn’t take a genius to see that if you give a a major telco like Bell or Rogers the ability to throttle, they’ll use that ability to not only do everything mentioned above, they’ll also take out stuff like VOIP so that they don’t have to compete against it.

Let’s see what day 2 brings us.

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