Pandemics and net neutrality

There is a little story in Network World suggesting that a flu pandemic could choke the ‘net, leading to requests for voluntary curbs in high bandwidth applications.

Is that the only acceptable solution? Should network operators be prohibited from doing their own traffic management? Do government applications, such as health care management or national security, merit priority treatment? What about corporate PVNs? Should QOS be permitted for work-at-home applications?

Alternatively, do you believe that all content should be treated the same – voice, video, web browsing, multi-million dollar stock trades, checking the balance on my savings account, two-way remote surgery – “don’t allow a two-tiered internet.” A bit is a bit is a bit.

Are there net neutrality advocates who are willing to say that an internet application providing interactive residential remote health care should have no greater priority than my neighbour’s kid downloading movies?

If preferred handling of health and corporate network traffic is permitted, what are the criteria for acceptable tiers of service? When is it acceptable to discriminate?

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