Peer-to-peer throttling is bad, says Verizon

Got FiOS? If so, Verizon might not start depriving you of that sweet, sweet bandwidth for peer-to-peer file sharing. At least not anytime soon. The folks at Ars Technica have found a transcript of a panel discussion in which Link Hoewing, Verizon's Internet & Technology Policy VP, slammed Comcast for its former P2P throttling antics. Here's part of his statement, which intertwines with policy discussion:

In the short term, we have been working, trying to come up with a consensus framework, with Google, as you know, with a statement we made a few weeks ago in the [FCC's Preserving the Open Internet] NPRM. And we laid out three or four things that we thought would help to create a new framework that could work. And it was built around several things.

First, a standard for what you can do when a bad actor does do something in the Internet ecosystem that is damaging. And so, we came up with a standard that says any of the players on the Internet should not do anything that harms users or competition. . . . [T]ake the Comcast case, in that case, they were using reset packets and it clearly did harm a lot of users. They were not able to use the Internet, some of them. So that principle basically says you can't do that kind of thing, even if it's network management to deal with congestion problems. That's not appropriate. So I think it would have worked as a way to manage that process.

In case you're wondering, this is a transcript from a Progress & Freedom Foundation seminar held in Washington, DC last month. The seminar was titled "What Should the Next Communications Act Look Like," and it also involved speakers from USTelecom and Intel.

Verizon's Link Hoewing. Source: Verizon.

Rather than government-mandated network neutrality, Ars says Verizon is pushing for a "private-sector group that hopes to work out network management principles"—a so-called "third way" in the network neutrality debate. I don't know if letting big corporations police themselves has such a strong track record of success, although on the flip side, the government might not have the technology chops to draft up a truly sensible piece of legislation here. What do you think?

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