Networking

Glasnost: Enabling End Users to Detect Traffic Differentiation

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Executive Summary

A confluence of technical, business, and political interests has made "Network neutrality" a hot button issue. The debate revolves around whether and to what extent Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who own and operate data networks, should be allowed to differentiate one class of traffic from another. Many ISPs want to restrict bandwidth-hungry applications that can hurt other applications in the network. Some also want to control applications such as VoIP that reduce ISPs' ability to profit from competing services of their own. In contrast, many content providers are against traffic differentiation because it gives the ISPs arbitrary control over the quality of service experienced by users.

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