Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Recently Commented

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»

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»

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

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it will strengthened its commitment to net neutrality. 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»

AT&T CEO Confident Trump-Appointed FCC Will Scrap Net Neutrality Regulations

AT&T's regulatory problems are melting away as the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump draws near. 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»

"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»

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»

The Real Reason Why Network 'Neutrality' Is Impossible

In "Net Neutrality: Discrimination, Competition, and Innovation in the UK and US", Alissa Cooper and Ian Brown explore the relationship between two broadband regulatory regimes and their practical outcomes. The paper is of (paradoxical) interest as it (unintentionally) demonstrates how policy is being made without sufficient understanding of packet network performance. This paper contains many common fallacies about performance. These fallacies are fuelling misdirected conflicts over broadband regulatory policy. The underlying (false) assumption is that 'neutral' (aka 'non-discriminatory') networks exist. more»

Time to Look Past 'Net Neutrality'. Let's Start a Fresh Post-Neutrality Debate…

Yesterday, as many of you heard, the European Parliament voted to reject the 'net neutrality' fundamentalist amendments to the already flawed proposals they had helped to create. That's the good news. The bad news is that the law that we now have is merely ludicrous, rather than insane. Furthermore, it doesn't properly protect end users, hold ISP feet to the service delivery fire, or truly encourage broadband ecosystem innovation. 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»

Could Net Neutrality be to Investments in the Internet What AT&T's Regulation was to Bell Labs?

As the FCC moves forward with its plans to regulate the internet in the U.S., it's worth taking a look at what's happened when the government has regulated other innovative industries. As a facilitator of innovation, I've always been fascinated with the history of Bell Labs. Bell Labs was once thought of as the source of most modern innovations... The work done at Bell Labs built the foundation for modern invention leading to phones, space exploration, the internet, music distribution, cell phones, radio and television and more. more»

Packet Loss: How the Internet Enforces Speed Limits

There's been a lot of controversy over the FCC's new Network Neutrality rules. Apart from the really big issues -- should there be such rules at all? Is reclassification the right way to accomplish it? -- one particular point has caught the eye of network engineers everywhere: the statement that packet loss should be published as a performance metric, with the consequent implication that ISPs should strive to achieve as low a value as possible. more»

What's Certain About the Regulatory Uncertainty Debate

Incumbent carriers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have made countless "curtains for the Free World" assertions in the Network Neutrality debate. They claim that if the FCC reclassifies as common carriage aspects of Internet access, it will create "regulatory uncertainty" and "disincentive investment." Not one of the countless sponsored researchers funded by incumbents has provided a shred of empirical evidence to support these assertions. more»

Decision Time for the Open Internet

On February 26 of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States will vote on a proposed new ruling on the issue of "Network Neutrality" in the United States, bringing into force a new round of measures that are intended to prevent certain access providers from deliberately differentiating service responses on the carriage services that they provide. more»