Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Most Commented

Net Neutrality? Give Me a Break

As my learned friend John Levine has noted, rightly, any policy that anyone has come up with thus far regarding net neutrality is based upon a Telco model. Now, think about that for a second. A telephone call costs pretty much the same if you whisper or shout. It costs the same if you make a quick phone-call or you yack for hours. These days, even long distance is trivially inexpensive, because the capacity to carry the world's phone-calls is well beyond any foreseeable demand. There is huge headroom. more

Net Neutrality an 'American Problem', Australians Suggest Alternatives

Head of leading ISP's in Australia believe Net Neutrality is a U.S. problem and the country should take a look at the Australian market for better ideas on how to address bandwidth issues. Brett Winterford and Julian Hill of ZDNet Australia reporting from London: The debate was sparked after several American and British service providers offered to charge a premium to prioritize traffic connecting with some sites over others. "The U.S. have got a problem," weighed in Justin Milne, group managing director for Telstra Media and former chief of Australia's largest ISP, BigPond. "Their problem is that unlike Australia, they (offer) truly unlimited plans." more

The Fragile Network

One of the more persistent founding myths around the internet is that it was designed to be able to withstand a nuclear war, built by the US military to ensure that even after the bombs had fallen there would still be communications between surviving military bases. It isn't true, of course. The early days of the ARPANET, the research network that predated today's internet, were dominated by the desire of computer scientists to find ways to share time on expensive mainframe computers rather than visions of Armageddon. Yet the story survives... more

Net Neutrality Is As Silly As So-Called Internet Governance

From the perspective of Internet security operations, here is what Net Neutrality means to me. I am not saying these issues aren't important, I am saying they are basically arguing over the colour of bits and self-marginalizing themselves. For a while now I tried not to comment on the Net Neutrality non-issue, much like I didn't comment much on the whole "owning the Internet by owning the Domain Name System" thingie. Here it goes anyway. Two years ago I strongly advocated that consumer ISP's should block some ports, either as incident response measures or as permanent security measures... more

Is Today the Beginning of the End of Net Neutrality?

Today, May 15, 2014 a vote will be taken at the FCC. Today the Internet we know can change forever. Today at 10:30 am EST the FCC meets to vote on the issue on whether or not allow the collection of special rates to provide certain services through the Internet for those who can afford it. A "faster lane" has been called... Who will pay for the use of this improved infrastructure? more

Net Neutrality and the Obama Stimulus Package

As long as US telecom is duopoly dominated, a neutral Internet is endangered if not impossible; regulation of this kind of concentrated power is necessary but is unlikely to be sufficient. The solution, IMHO, is to dilute the power of the duopoly so that consumers can buy whatever kind of Internet access they want. Countries like the UK with a competitive ISP market do not seem to have net neutrality problems nor require net neutrality regulation and have better Internet access than we do at lower prices. more

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

Did Google's Infrastructure Coup Work?

There is no doubt that the Google fibre rollout in Kansas City has been a success. Take-up rates are as high as 75%. However, when it was first announced in 2010, we stated that the real reason behind Google's entry into this market was to prove that FttH can be cost-effective and can generate a profitable return -- in the hope that the sluggish telcos would become more active in the rollout of FttH networks. Yet, Google is proving that this indeed can be done, the telcos remain sluggish in deploying FttH. more

Broadband Initiatives: Impact Will Depend on Wireless and Fixed Strategies

Broadband; we want it, and we all depend on it; but where you live can impact access and adoption of the best that service providers have to offer. The FCC is looking to change both geographic and demographic limitations now plaguing the U.S. in the global race for broadband economic supremacy. Can a combination of a fixed and wireless-mobile strategy improve broadband economic viability by increasing access, adoption, and affordability across the broadband spectrum? more

Regulating and Not Regulating the Internet

There is increasingly heated rhetoric in DC over whether or not the government should begin to "regulate the internet." Such language is neither accurate nor new. This language implies that the government does not currently involve itself in governing the internet -- an implication which is clearly untrue given a myriad of laws like CFAA, ECPA, DMCA, and CALEA (not to mention existing regulation of consumer phone lines used for dialup and "special access" lines used for high speed interconnection). more

Beyond Net Neutrality: A Manifesto for Internet Freedom

The Internet's existence within the regulatory system has been a disastrous failure. Network Neutrality is fine as far as it goes. The problem is that it leaves the current abysmal system in place. On my Economics and Architecture of IP Networks Mail list, Erik Cecil has been deconstructing the regulatory system. Bottom line -- the most significant thing that can be done for the citizens of the internet in the US would be for the FCC to declare the internet protocol to be telecommunications and no longer exempt from regulation. more

Wrong on the "Exaflood," Wrong on Network Neutrality

In 2007, Johna Till Johnson, president of Nemertes Research, published a paper that hyped a so-called "Exaflood" - a kooky Discovery Institute idea about how the Internet would drown in its own data. The Nemertes press release on the paper was widely reported in newspapers. It described itself as a "... landmark study ... groundbreaking analysis ... evidence the exaflood is coming... It said: "The findings indicate that by 2010 ... users could increasingly encounter Internet "brownouts" or interruptions to the applications they've become accustomed to using on the internet." more

One Good Outcome from the Wall Street Journal: Google Flap

On Monday the Wall Street Journal published an article alleging that Google was trying to arrange a "fast lane for its own content" with telecom carriers and contending that Google and Professor Lessig were in the midst of changing their position on network neutrality policy. The WSJ reporters received a lot of flak for the piece -justifiably so. There was no real "news" in this news article. more

Susan Crawford, Kevin Werbach Named Obama's FCC Review Team Leads

We'd like to congratulate our long time CircleID participants, Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach for being named today as Obama-Biden FCC Transition Team Leads. Susan Crawford, is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who recently ended her term as a member of the Board of Directors of ICANN and is the founder of OneWebDay. Kevin Werbach, is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also the founder of the Supernova Group and the organizer of Supernova, a leading executive technology conference. more

On Comcast and Net Neutrality: Shouting Fire in a Theater

The Comcast traffic shaping case has stirred up passionate debate. Net neutrality proponents are calling for Comcast's head on a platter. The common argument is that Comcast's policy may stifle innovation and competition. If a service provider is allowed to exercise unregulated discretion in how it treats subscriber traffic, it is a slippery slope toward anti-competitive practices. Net neutrality says keep your hands off. Some are preaching net neutrality as if it were an inalienable human right like freedom of speech... more