The shaping of Internet traffic is not a net neutrality issue so long as all services with similar characteristics are treated the same.
This is according to Vint Cerf, one of the people behind TCP/IP who is considered a father of the Internet; he was speaking during an event held at Jozihub in Milpark on Friday, 6 September 2013. Cerf was answering questions regarding the shaping of torrent traffic in South Africa.
Cerf explained that Net Neutrality is an issue that arose in the US only due to anti-competitive business practices.
He said that the issue is with broadband providers using the control they have of their network to interfere with the applications and services of others.
If an Internet service provider (ISP) wants to treat certain kinds of traffic in a particular way they should be allowed to do so, so long as the same rules are applied to all services.
Cerf used the example of applications that require low latency such as streaming video.
He said that an ISP might want to prioritise traffic in such a way that a streaming video service gets low latency, possibly to the detriment of other applications.
However, this same low latency prioritisation should be afforded to all streaming video applications and not just those that pay the ISP for a lower latency service.