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52. Net Neutrality vs Quality of Service For IP Codecs   5/8/14   by Dave Immer

I expect the majority of internet users and small start-ups probably benefit from a net neutral internet. And I don’t like ISPs having the ability to choke a content provider. But for low-delay, live-media & data, consider paying a premium for guaranteed Quality of Service. In other words, maybe there is a middle ground where both positions can live. There’s something to be said for allowing discrimination between different tiers of service, (while enforcing strict neutrality of data sent at each tier.) This would benefit our efforts to send reliable, low latency live media for things such as medicine and emergency as well as field reporting and audio production.

Net Neutrality or not, fortunately, we don’t have to wait for our ISPs, the FCC or the courts. We can take some control over our IP Codec QoS and increase our reliability right now by using:
1. A diversity router with a remote hub for the entire LAN, or
2. A hardware codec with on-board, in-brand network bonding , or
3. A diversity software client with products like Source-Connect, LuciLive or ipDTL.

In the above examples we are bonding two or more ISP networks together. This means, for instance, both AT&T U-verse and Optimum Online. Verizon Wireless could be added also. For Source-Connect this requires two ethernet ports on the machine that is running SC. Or you could use the Personal Hotspot feature on your iPhone for the second ISP.

As more studios buy in to IP codecs for cost reasons or because they are unable to get ISDN, solutions that enhance reliability become more a requirement to stay in the game. Especially when there are expensive studios and talent booked.

-Dave