Net Neutrality

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Google Now a Target for Regulation

The time was - way back around the turn of the century - when all Internet companies believed that the Internet should be free from government regulation. I lobbied along with Google and Amazon to that end (there were no Twitter and Facebook then); we were successful over the objection of traditional telcos who wanted the protection of regulation. The FCC under both Democrats and Republicans agreed to forbear from regulating the Internet the way they regulate the telephone network; the Internet flourished, to put it mildly. more

Net Neutrality 101: Why 'Title II' Doesn't Apply to Internet Transmissions

No baby boomers had been born when Congress enacted Title II of the Communications Act in 1934 as a means of regulating the Bell telephone monopoly, and the first Millennials were in elementary school when that monopoly was broken up in 1983. Title II was set to die along with plain old telephone service until the Obama administration decided Title II should be used to implement net neutrality -- the principle that consumers should have reasonable access to internet functionality. more

Network Design: If You Haven't Found the Tradeoff…

This week, I ran into an interesting article over at Free Code Camp about design tradeoffs... If you think you've found a design with no tradeoffs, well... Guess what? You've not looked hard enough. This is something I say often enough, of course, so what's the point? The point is this: We still don't really think about this in network design. This shows up in many different places; it's worth taking a look at just a few. more

The One Reason Net Neutrality Can't Be Implemented

Suppose for a moment that you are the victim of a wicked ISP that engages in disallowed "throttling" under a "neutral" regime for Internet access. You like to access streaming media from a particular "over the top" service provider. By coincidence, the performance of your favoured application drops at the same time your ISP launches a rival content service of its own. You then complain to the regulator, who investigates... It seems like an open-and-shut case of "throttling" resulting in a disallowed "neutrality violation". Or is it? more

"Net Neutrality" Protects New Monopolies from Old

Over the next decade which companies do you think will be better able to exercise monopoly power? Amazon, T&T, Comcast, Facebook, Google, Regional phone companies, or Verizon? If you'd asked me this question in 2000, I would've picked AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and regional phone companies. They are part of local duopolies for wired infrastructure. more

Blaming Technology and the Rule of Law

Imagine that Ford was held responsible every time one of its Mustangs broke the speed limit. Imagine that the company responded by limiting the speed of its vehicles to 65 MPH, or that the company was required by the government to report every speeding car to highway patrol. It sounds far-fetched, but is actually a good metaphor for the way that many want technology companies to respond to infractions. more

Is the Passion Over Net Neutrality Misguided? A New Paper Offers a Fresh Technical Approach

"Net neutrality" is implicitly framed as a debate over how to deliver an equitable ration of quality to each broadband user and application. This is the wrong debate to have, since it is both technically impossible and economically unfair. We should instead be discussing how to create a transparent market for quality that is both achievable and fair. In this paper I propose an alternative approach that (potentially) meets the needs of both consumer advocates and free market proponents. more

Telecoms Competition on a Downhill Slide in America

That is what happens when you base your telecommunications policies on the wrong foundations. The problems with the telecommunications industry in America go back to 1996 when the FCC decided that broadband in America should be classified as internet (being content) and that therefore it would not fall under the normal telecommunication regulations. Suddenly what are known as telecommunications common carriers in other parts of the world became ISPs in the USA. How odd is that? more

Internet Fast Lanes - You May Be Surprised at Who Has Them

The Internet Association -- lobbying organization for Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Netflix -- is adamant that it is necessary to apply of 1935 phone regulation (Title 2) to the Internet to assure that there are no premium "fast lanes", that all bits are treated equally, that Internet access providers (ISPs) do not prioritize their own content over content from competitors. more

New Chapter Working Groups Open Closed Doors

One thing was clear from a recent presentation by the new leaders of the SF-Bay Internet Society (ISOC) Chapter Working Groups: inclusion and collaboration will be the key to these groups' success. As Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, the Internet Governance Working Group (WG) Chair said, "We haven't yet cracked the code on what 'multistakeholder' means." But that won't stop her and Dr. Jaclyn Kerr, the Data Protection, Privacy, and Security WG Chair, from trying. more

Don't Make the Internet Safe for Monopolies

This week I'm going to Washington to argue against regulating Internet access as if it were phone service. Twenty years ago I was there for the same reason. My concern now as it was then is that such regulation will damage the economy and reduce opportunity by stifling innovation and protecting the current dominant players from the startups which would otherwise threaten them. more

Notes from NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here are my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape, and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new term, "kinetic warfare," though I'm not sure if I will ever have an opportunity to use it again! more

Luddites of the 21st Century Unite, Revisited

Some years ago I wrote a post on the fact that I saw the world automate fast and did not see a lot of people worrying about the consequences for their lives. Nobody was smashing automated production lines. Smashing smartphones and laptops. In fact, embrace of new technology by the masses probably never before in history went this fast. Several and very different causes, including globalization, have led to a level of wealth that made these expensive tools and toys within reach of a vast number of people. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2016

The new year is upon us and it's time for our annual look at CircleID's most popular posts of the past year and highlighting those that received the most attention. Congratulations to all the 2016 participants and best wishes to all in the new year. more

Likely and Behind the Scenes Changes at the FCC

It should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission will substantially change its regulatory approach, wingspan and philosophy under a Trump appointed Chairman. One can readily predict that the new FCC will largely undo what has transpired in previous years. However, that conclusion warrants greater calibration. more

News Briefs

Berners-Lee Talks Net Neutrality in Washington, "ISPs Should be Treated More Like Utilities"

Net Neutrality Advocates Planning Two Days of Protest in Washington DC

U.S. House Republicans Ask CEO's of Major Tech, Telecom Companies to Testify on Net Neutrality

Over 190 Internet Engineers, Pioneers, Technologists File Comments with FCC on Net Neutrality

EFF: Internet Went All Out in Support of Net Neutrality

Google, Facebook Latest to Join Net Neutrality Protest on Wednesday

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Votes 2-1 for Net Neutrality Rollback

Net Neutrality Is a Smashing Success by FCC's Preferred Metric, Reports Free Press Researcher

FCC Reports Site Attacked Over Net Neutrality Comments, Senators Seek Evidence

Internet Heavy Weights Staying Out of Net Neutrality Battle

Over 800 Startups Send Letter to Pai: Focus Instead on Policies for Stronger Internet for Everyone

Fierce Political Battle Expected as FCC Chair Elaborated on Plan to Reverse 'Net Neutrality' Rules

Canada's Telecom Regulator to Uphold and Strengthen Commitment to Net Neutrality

Internet Association Meets With the FCC In Efforts to Preserve Net-Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai: Net Neutrality "A Mistake", Planning on Much Lighter Style Regulation

FCC Rolls Back Net Neutrality Transparency Rules for Smaller ISPs

FCC Ends Inquires Into "Zero Rating" Programs

US Senator Al Franken Urges FCC Chairman Pai to Protect Freedom of Speech, Enforce Net Neutrality

Trump Expected to Name FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai as Chairman

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