SOURCE: Burton Group

September 20, 2006 13:02 ET

Best Interest of Enterprise Organizations Is to Support Net Neutrality, Says Burton Group

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 20, 2006 -- Burton Group, an IT research firm focused on in-depth analysis of enterprise infrastructure technologies, released a report that evaluates the implications of net neutrality on enterprise organizations.

In the report, Dave Passmore, research director for Burton Group's Network and Telecom Strategies service, presents arguments for and against net neutrality from an enterprise perspective. He determines that it can be reduced to the following tradeoffs:

--  Without net neutrality: Investments in network facilities will be
    encouraged, but the development of innovative new Internet services,
    applications, and startup companies will decline.
--  With net neutrality: Internet innovation on the part of third-party
    content and service providers will be preserved, but there is likely to be
    less investment in new last-mile/last-kilometer broadband facilities.
    
Enterprises may find that without net neutrality protections, remote employees may no longer be able to use the Internet for some types of communications or, more ominously, customers and suppliers may no longer be able to reach web/enterprise services with acceptable performance.

"If net neutrality laws prohibit network operators from controlling traffic on their networks, and economics make it difficult to add sufficient new bandwidth, then everyone's performance will become unacceptable, especially for real-time applications like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)," says Passmore.

Passmore recommends enterprises should consider talking with their elected representatives and organizing industry lobbying efforts if they believe net neutrality is in their best interest.

"It's important to stay abreast of net neutrality-related industry developments, and even boycott network operators threatening, or using anti-competitive business practices," says Passmore.

Asserting that the preservation of the Internet is at stake, Passmore believes a solution that strikes the right balance between these conflicting interests will likely require a mix of business, technical, and legislative/regulatory developments. Alternatives that might achieve goals similar to net neutrality include network operator equipment that provides fair instead of best-effort packet delivery, or adoption of a two-tiered model where a municipal/state/local wholesale network delivers optical wavelength or Layer 1-3 services to multiple competing local retail service providers.

On Monday, September 18, Dave Passmore presented a Burton Group TeleBriefing about this report and Burton Group's recommendations for enterprise organizations. A complimentary archive of the TeleBriefing can be downloaded by visiting http://www.burtongroup.com/netneutrality.

About Burton Group

Burton Group (www.burtongroup.com) helps technologists make smart enterprise architecture decisions in increasingly complex environments. Burton Group is an IT research and advisory services firm focused on offering in-depth analysis of infrastructure technologies relating to security, identity management, web services, service-oriented architecture, collaboration, content management, and network and telecom.

Burton Group's corporate roots are anchored in an uncompromising allegiance to the enterprise technologist and grow far outside the shadow of vendor agendas. This independence stems from Burton Group's mission to produce honest, meaningful research -- created by technologists, for technologists.

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