Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Featured Blogs

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»

Shadow Regulations and You: One More Way the Internet's Integrity Can Be Won

Even those who care about net neutrality might not have heard of the aptly-called Shadow Regulations. These back-room agreements among companies regulate Internet content for a number of legitimate issues, including curbing hate speech, terrorism, and protecting intellectual property and the safety of children. While in name they may be noble, in actuality there are very serious concerns that Shadow Regulations are implemented without the transparency, accountability, and inclusion of stakeholders necessary to protect free speech on the Internet. more»

The FCC Under Trump - A Long Shot

In May 2013, President Obama picked Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communication Commission. The Internet community generally disapproved because Wheeler had been a lobbyist for both the cellular and cable industries and a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Internet service providers AT&T and Comcast lauded the appointment and a few months later, the President was spotted playing golf with Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast. more»

Open Internet Access on the Line in Brussels

This summer EU regulators are finalizing their guidelines for member states on legal protections for wired, wireless and mobile open Internet access service. European citizens, businesses and NGOs have one last chance to make their voices heard on the so-called "net neutrality" guidelines by writing a comment for Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) by July 18. more»

Net Neutrality - A Good Step Forward But There Is More to Come

The recent decision taken in the USA makes total sense. It has been ridiculous that the incumbent telecoms operators there could present themselves as ISPs and claim that broadband was a content service rather than telecoms infrastructure - by doing this successfully for 20 years, they have not been subject to a range of telecoms regulations. This in turn has stifled competition, innovation, good quality customer services and the development of fibre optic networks in the USA. more»

"Non-Discriminatory" Broadband: Just Carriage, or Miscarriage of Justice?

The foundational idea behind "net neutrality" is one of fairness by constraining ISP power over network mechanisms. The theory is this: if there is "non-discriminatory" local traffic management, then you have "fair" global outcomes to both users and application providers. There are thousands of pages of academic books making this assumption, and it is the basis of recent EU telecoms law. more»

The Strange Structure of ISP Service Semantics

I have been having a number of conversations recently with several clients and colleagues about "semantics". It's clear that there is not a lot of clarity on this philosophical subject! Whilst is may be an obscure issue, it is a very important one. Our ideas lead us to take actions, and if we want those actions to have the consequences we had in mind, then we need to have done our epistemological homework. more»

Why You Should Demand 'Net Morality' Instead of 'Net Neutrality'

I have come to the conclusion that "net neutrality" is an ethical issue at heart, one about the appropriate constraint of unfair ISP power. Some people are (I pray unintentionally) on the wrong side of a now-clear moral divide. They are claiming to prevent harmful abuse of power, when in reality their actions create fresh harm. A central issue is one of technical competence to comment. If your beliefs are disconnected from how the world works, you cannot evaluate whether you are espousing something sensible or silly. more»

Welcome to Notflix! Your Streaming-Free ISP with the Best Quality of Experience!

It has been widely taken as "obvious" that a "no blocking" rule for ISPs is a good regulatory policy. Is this really the case? Does it save consumers from harm... or cause harm? Netflix has reached the point of being well over 30% of Internet traffic at peak time for some ISPs. This places three costs on the ISP and its users... So for someone who isn't a streaming video user, they are paying a share of the direct costs. more»

Beyond 'Neutrality': How to Reconnect Policy to Reality?

I have some bad news: the published literature on 'net neutrality' fails to grasp the stochastic nature of broadband and its implications. This means that the relationship of traffic management to QoE is universally misunderstood and/or misrepresented. As a result the whole policy process is being placed into opposition with nature! Nature isn't changing to accommodate the policy process. So the policy process has to change. more»