Net Neutrality – TelstraClear starting the rot?

TelstaClear are making access to the TradeMe and Clearnet/Video sites free (ie. no traffic charges) to their subscribers from the 21st of September to the 21st of December. 

While this sounds nice in theory, it’s very much against the principles of Net Neutrality. For one, Tradme competitors (and, believe it or not, there are some), won’t be happy about TelstaClear customers being actively encouraged by one of the country’s largest ISPs to visit a site that already has a near monopoly on the local online auction market. 

And, as Miramar Mike points out

“Once we get used to these sorts of deals then it’s only a few more steps to stopping someone going to a particular site because that’s outside the “package you’ve bought” … Imagine if your Web viewing (or email sending – anything via the Internet and not just the Web) worked in the same way as SkyTV does. Pay $x for the basic package but if you want to see other stuff then pay more. For instance, pay $x for NZ Web traffic with a few high profile international sites thrown in but pay $x+ for sites off an approved list. Oh, you want to send email, that’s another $y dollars for that sort of traffic and $y+ for international.”

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