#DEAct #Google and #Verizon all seem to have singled out #wireless internet access as a EVIL MEDIUM lately.

First the BPI ‘sponsored’ Digital Economy Bill (now Act) threatened the end of public wifi and hot spots, as they added confusion to the process of tracking copy right infringer’s down. There was a big outcry at first as it was thought wifi hot spots in hotels and libraries etc were going to be clamped down on, or the owners bullied and subjected to the penalties and possible punishment intended for the untraceable users crimes against humanity. Then after some good pressure form groups like the ORG this was watered down and clarified to the point where wireless hotspot owners WILL be considered ISP’s, but they will not be targeted (YET) as they have less than 400,000 subscribers.

Now across the pond in the USA wireless is being targeted in the net neutrality debate. It doesnt seem to be the lack of accountability that wireless can sometimes provide that is the problem this time, it looks like the physical layer differences of wireless to wired are being used as a illogical justification for the exception of network neutrality.

Any advocate of net neutrality who has a understanding of network administration realises there is a need for network infrastructure management in order to ensure a networks neutrality along with its functionality, security and integrity. But, the physical layer characteristics should not be used as a reason to ignore neutrality principles and apply more than the necessary network management techniques. Network Neutrality includes Physical Layer Neutrality as far as i am concerned, with the reasonable exceptions of possible variation in network administration in order to preserve neutrality for all.

Chris Riley from EFF has written a good summary of whats going on with wireless and net neutrality in the US : http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/10/08/18/wireless-networks-are-different-because-special-interest-lobbyists-say-so .