January 14, 2016 — Net neutrality will continue to be a hotly debated topic in 2016, but unless the Republicans gain significant power, it will mostly be posturing – much like Obamacare has been. However, except for the political wrangling, it may be a moot discussion.
Why? Because, theoretically, smart networks and the cloud will make it so that networks are self-optimizing and bandwidth will be shifted to where it is needed. There will be no reason, other than greed of the major carriers and some MNOs, to throttle traffic or give preferential treatment to big customers.
The gotcha here is theoretically. While this looks good on paper, a lot of other things have to come together, much of which is highlighted in this missive. The net neutrality act will simply be there to enforce the policy if necessary.
Then there is the matter of Wi-Fi, and edge technologies which will be outside of the carriers control in many cases, and promise to take a lot of that data, that will account for 70 percent of bandwidth, and keep it close to the user.
Net neutrality is a good thing. I have been a proponent of that for a long time. It is a good insurance policy against the 900 pound gorillas that think they can do whatever they want with spectrum. But smart networks may just be the great equalizer.