Via Doc Searls, we find out that the "tiered service" outbursts from BellSouth and Verizon are even stupider than they sounded at first: Neither of them are tier one backbone providers. Which means that they aren't so much asking to provide better QOS for some providers who pay extra - they would actually be engaged in degrading the service of everyone who didn't. I kind of thought that such "offers" usually came from gun toting gang members. Doc quotes Hamish MacEwan:
Of course, as everyone not a Telco knows, things are not delivered to Internet customers, they are *requested* by the customer who pays for that service from BellSouth (substitute your Telco of choice, we have a microcosm of this debacle in NZ at present). Google, or any other website, server, etc. is irrelevant, they make their own arrangements independent of other users of the Internet.
It is this decoupling, and the autonomous networks structure of the Internet that is one of its critical advantages. If the customer wants better performance, they pay for it.
How was BellSouth proposing to impair the performance of Yahoo! vs Google anyway? Kneecapping packets as they entered Bellsouth's portion of the Internet?
The "Improved Quality" these guys plan to offer sounds an awful like the "Improved Quality" that Microsoft intends to give me with PVP-OPM. Thanks, but no thanks.