There are strong indications that the “net neutrality” coalition of portal giants is breaking down. Microsoft and Yahoo have withdrawn from a cooperative agreement to support net neutrality and Google has been in discussion with access providers to come to some deal on “fast lane” content expediting for a fee.
The truth is that there has always been a level of dialog on this issue, and the portal players are now realizing that they need an alliance with the telcos. We believe this is linked to the Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco announcements on supporting the “ecosystem” of web developers and telco service features that were made last week.
We also believe this might be the signal of a major shift in Internet direction. The likely cause is the increased interest by access providers in content delivery networks (CDNs) to substitute caching for core bandwidth and earn money from the substitution. Lack of settlement has been the bane of the Internet for a decade.