Peering or End of the Internet as we know It?

Peering or End of the Internet as we know It?

One of the top tech stories in the headlines of late is the dispute between Comcast and Level 3.  For those of you who were ignoring mass media last week: the dispute is over traffic handling agreements, apparently spurred by the announcement of a deal between Level 3 and Netflix to carry the latter’s streaming video.

Depending on who you listen to, the Comcast / Level 3 dispute is either a simple peering disagreement blown out of proportion or a gross violation of network neutrality principles and the beginning of the “tiered internet.”  So, where does the truth lie?  According to TPI’s Scott Wallsten, probably somewhere in the middle.   

Scott shared his views on the Comcast / Level 3 dispute on the EEEI Spectrum podcast, “This Week in Technology,” hosted by Steven Cherry.  In short, he identified the conflict as a dispute over who will pay for the increased cost resulting from the video traffic.  He also explained that there is a possibility of incentives to erect barriers to competition in such a deal but that the DOJ can adequately deal with such concerns through antitrust enforcement.  Scott also discusses his predictions on the outcome of the dispute and the future of the video delivery business.  The podcast can be found here.

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