Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 23, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Net neutrality: A market-driven idea to give discounts to users

Columnist Brier Dudley wrote that continuing with Internet neutrality is like taking general traffic lanes away for buses, making traffic worse for everyone [“Net neutrality more myth than reality?” Business/Technology, May 19]. In the Internet world, his analogy goes, the traffic comes chiefly from the demand for high-quality video delivered over the Internet.

This is not a fitting comparison. A bus rider is choosing to help make traffic more manageable for everyone, along with helping the environment, and that choice is open to everyone.

This analogy does, however, lend itself to a solution that Dudley did not consider. Some electric utilities give discounts for customers who voluntarily install a device that reduces air conditioning usage during peak times, shifting their loads into non-peak times. Internet service providers could take this approach, and partner with content providers and consumers to reduce the image quality (resolution, frames-per-second) of the content they’re viewing during peak times, offering a discount for this service.

This could provide the free-market solution Dudley is looking for, and lessen the need for high capital investment in the ISPs.

Skylar Thompson, Seattle

Comments | More in Internet | Topics: Brier Dudley, FCC, Internet

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►