AT&T and Verizon both came out a long time ago against the notion of Network Neutrality. They really, really want to pipe bandwidth to “special customers” who can pay for it, and limit bandwidth to those customers who can’t…primarily because it’s a revenue stream. It doesn’t matter that AT&T and Verizon are both crazy profitable right now, apparently.
Sprint/Nextel and Clearwire have both come out in support of Network Neutrality. Huge plus.
Now, let’s look at the phones. iPhone bound themselves to one of the worst Network Neutrality offenders, AT&T, and has effectively boosted AT&T’s user base considerably since that decision was made (and made them a bloody fortune on data plans). Android mainly rolls with Verizon these days after a failed attempt to revitalize T-Mobile’s network. Which has already committed a Network Neutrality offense (by blocking Skype last year…though you can forgive them since Skype does kinda sorta compete with their landline/internet access business…but not really a whole lot). Android came to Sprint with the Evo…but it’s kind of late to the game. Plus, Android is owned by Google, a company that waffled mightily on their stance on Network Neutrality, paying it homage publicly while making deals privately.
Blackberry. It’s on all the networks, and honestly, RIM doesn’t really have much to lose with Network Neutrality (and probably plenty to gain…especially if you have networks that funnel bandwidth up for their higher priced Apple and Android phones and play slowdown on their el cheapo Blackberries). HP/Palm. Palm has the same hand RIM has in regards to Network Neutrality…and they probably hurt their product line dramatically when they decided to exclusively launch with Sprint instead of picking one of the bigger networks. And then there are the myriad of Microsoft phones, most being HTC built. While you’d think Microsoft would be against Network Neutrality…they’ve waffled on it just as much as Google. Both companies have tried to play both sides of the fence because they both want their devices, partners, and sites a fair shake…but they both want that revenue stream that playing with pipes give them.
Which is why when I say that if you want to fully support Network Neutrality with your phone, you get a Palm Pre on Sprint. Or a Blackberry. But even Blackberry users don’t want to have a Blackberry anymore.
All a dogg wants to do is pay the same amount as everyone else to get the same product as anyone else. If I’m paying for data, and some other guy with a more expensive phone is paying the same amount for the same plan, I don’t want to be “motivated” to break my contract and pay penalties to get the same service that guy gets. Nor do I want my website to automatically take twice as long to load as a content heavy corporate site just because I can’t pony up for the corporate rate. It’s not about blanding down the Internet, the pipes run over public property and many of them were subsidized by our taxpayer dollars. We should at least get a fair deal out of the whole thing.