VerizonIn carrier news, Verizon is making some bold statements about bandwidth usage. According to the IDG News Service – Via Network World – Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said, “Heavy broadband users should help shoulder the cost of their traffic, but Verizon Communications does not give preferential treatment to some Web traffic.”1 This is a sticky situation. 2

Lowell McAdam

Lowell McAdam

This argument comes on the heels of a major ISP announcement, “Comcast and Netflix have agreed to a multiyear deal that will speed streams from the video service to Comcast’s U.S. broadband customers.”3 Comcast has no problem throttling up speeds for its partners, for profits. Verizon, it seems, has no problem charging individual customers to throttle up their bandwidth. McAdam, on the other hand argued that the wireless company would not selectively affect speeds based on traffic to certain website or domains:

We make our money by carrying traffic…That’s how we make dollars. So to view that we’re going to be advantaging one over the other really is a lot of histrionics, I think, at this point.4

Rather, the individual user, not the websites or domains, should bear the burden for service:

It’s only natural that the heavy users help contribute to the investment to keep the Web healthy. That is the most important concept of net neutrality.5

Before examining this statement i here is how Wikipedia describes Net Neutrality, emphasis added:

Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

It seems that McAdam’s statement, to the effect that everyone pays based on usage, is in direct conflict with net neutrality, rather than being “the most important concept of net neutrality.” In fact McAdam’s statement is in direct conflict with net neutrality. Thus, it seems, McAdam is either deliberately convaluting the argument, or has no idea what the hell he is talking about.

  1. Grant Gross, IDG News Service, Via Network World, “Verizon: Heavy Web users should pay more,” February 24, 2014  
  2. Back when I lived in Boston, I had Comcast as my ISP. Unbeknownst to me, the plan to which I was subscribed had a bandwidth cap – I can’t remember the exact number though. During my time in the city, I purchased an Xbox 360. After having the console for just about a week, my internet shut down. I had exceeded the cap. I had to pay all sorts of fees and service charges to get the internet turned back on. After going through this, I have to say that this sort of capping, and throttling is complete and utter bullshit. I eventually switched to Verizon as they werre the only ISP in my area that did not have some sort of bandwidth cap on their service. Rant over.  
  3. Nancy Weil, PCWorld, “Comcast, Netflix reach interconnection deal,” Feb 23, 2014  
  4. Grant Gross, IDG News Service, Via Network World, “Verizon: Heavy Web users should pay more,” February 24, 2014  
  5. Ibid