Abolishing Net Neutrality is Bad for IoT.

Submitted by Gabe Moretti on Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:03

Gabe Moretti

Applying general economic theories without knowledge of the specific attributes of the effected sector is not only foolish, but dangerous. The has evolved to become a dimension of human reality. Our Internet reality is different from our terrestrial reality. Our personality in the Internet is different from our physical reality. What we say, what we read, what we watch is different than the same things in our daily life. The Internet no longer belongs to anyone, especially to the providers of the engines that make the Internet available. These companies do not create the Internet, with some exceptions do not create content, they are simply transmitters. To give them the power of controlling how the contents are distributed means allowing these companies to police the content, promoting some and even censuring some others.

The Internet is a subject for sociologists and philosophers, not businessmen and accountants. The Internet is both powerful and dangerous, a mean to increase knowledge and to distribute false data, and it gives each user the responsibility to decide what to write and what to read, what to produce and what to view. In this way it is contributing to the growth of the human race, even if with growth come errors and negative consequences.

The Negative Aspect

The most probable outcome is a stratified Internet with layers of costs depending on the provider to offer various transfer speeds. This is not what was taken into consideration when the IoT was designed. IoT depends on fair and equal Internet communication so that the process of transferring data between gateways and the cloud can be achieved securely and at any required bandwidth.

If net neutrality is abandoned all users will either suffer selective slowdown in data transfer with possible security implications or incur additional costs. Discounted or free plans are likely to provide less security, since security is a significant differentiator when designing stratified fees plans.

Without net neutrality service stratification is a guarantee. Providers will look for ways to charge fees for timely transfers, more sophisticated security measures, and greater bandwidth. Of course, all three issues can be priced separately to increase revenue.

Providers that also generate content will bias service toward their content, crating a new class of “fake news” since unbalanced information is disinformation.

Individual consumers are in the same predicament as corporations since rates will go up if nothing else because there is a justification to do so. Comcast, for example, has already pre-announced a “fast lane” plan with higher prices.

The Positive Aspect

If the decision is final this may be the justification to create an industrial Internet using the Internet existing infrastructure but creating a new protocol dedicated exclusively to the IoT or more specifically the IIoT. Existing service providers could make this happen without exorbitant investments. Protocols could be designed from scratch without having to adapt to what exists today. Network security could then be improved by taking into consideration malicious activity defenses in the design.

Another solution is private clouds. The gateway will then function as the separator between real time and batch processing so that data transfer is independent of bandwidth. Gateways will require additional local storage, either solid state or rotating, and scheduling algorithms to manage transfers.

Conclusion

To implement alternative Internet protocols available technology is all that is required, but there will be additional costs. The result is that as the present administration strives to make national companies more competitive, abolishing net neutrality increases costs while promising additional revenue to a very small number of Internet providers.