Paid placements over broadband pipes

The latest of Om and Niall PodSessions is now available. This week Om and I talk about the emergence of paid placement or prioritization of services on networks run by broadband providers such as your cable or telephone company.

Cable and phone operators currently prioritize the handling of data packets from their own services flowing across the network. A call placed using a carrier’s Internet telephony product will receive priority handling ahead of calls placed using competing services such as Skype or Vonage. The carriers are now in discussion with other businesses dependent on fast delivery of their content to include similar service prioritization for a fee. Microsoft might be willing to pay Comcast for a trip to the front of the pipeline for its live conferencing or gaming products. Yahoo! might pay SBC to have its pages returned faster than Google. These prioritized services will appear to be better performers for customers and lead to better experiences and sales.

This week’s podcast is titled “Towards a two-tier Internet” and available as both a podcast and a full transcript. The podcast audio file is 23 minutes and 14 seconds in length, a 10.8 MB download.

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