John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Qualcomm Calls for Traffic Shaping

Add another voice to the cacophony around net neutrality: Qualcomm’s. Speaking at the CTIA wireless industry conference in San Diego Thursday, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs warned of a looming crisis in wireless capacity and said it must be met with some form of traffic shaping.

“It’s very obvious that we are pushing the limits of the amount of capacity we have,” Jacobs said, adding that network neutrality regulations should not restrict operators’ ability to manage their networks.

“Operators should have the ability to say: ‘let’s be fair, this person’s moved a lot of data, this person’s used a little’, if they’re paying the same amount, then the person who’s used less will get more access….We are on the side of, yes, you have to be able to do something to manage your network, but it’s not the right thing to go in and say one service or another is OK.”

In other words, Qualcomm (QCOM) favors usage-based throttling. In theory, this should ensure that all customers get their fair share of bandwidth every hour of the day. In practice, however, it has meant something else entirely. So the question remains: If data traffic is to be shaped (and I am not saying that it should be), who will determine how it will be shaped and, more importantly, who can be trusted to make that determination fairly?

Jacobs’s remarks come a day after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski reiterated the Obama administration’s call for network neutrality.

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