The question arises from time to time, particularly from those technically inclined, whether the threats to the Net from the telcos and cable companies are real, and whether the network operators really could discriminate among their traffic to the advantage of some, and the disadvantage of others. Following the training of my earlier years, I asked the source. Herewith my emailed question, and the reply from Vint Cerf:
Q: “How could a Verizon or AT&T or Comcast technically implement a discriminatory service? If you could give me an example or two, as technical as you like, it would be most appreciated.”
A: “It's easy – buy equipment from Caspian routers. These routers can manage 5M simultaneous flows and can shape each of them. The telcos could simply degrade/shape traffic from specific IP addresses to their customers as they wish.
“Some of them are already planning to use this gear to assure certain Quality of Service features for their streaming video services to the detriment of others.”
Who knew it was that easy?