Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Recently Commented

Beyond Neutrality - Enabling a World of Connected Things

The growing interest in the "Internet of Things" is forcing us to think beyond the web to a much larger world of connected devices. We can tolerate the many barriers to connectivity because we expect that someone can provide the necessary credentials to log in to the providers' services and to adjust Wi-Fi access keys whenever the access point changes or simply to click "agree" at a hotspot. This doesn't work for "things" which can't recognize a sign-on or "agree screen". more»

Internet Regulation: Section 706 vs Title II

At the NANOG meeting in Baltimore this week I listened to a presentation by Patrick Gilmore on "The Open Internet Debate: Section 706 vs Title II." It's true that this is a title that would normally induce a comatose reaction from any audience, but don't let the title put you off. Behind this is an impassioned debate about the nature of the retail Internet for the United States, and, I suspect, a debate about the Internet itself and the nature of the industry that provides it. more»

Net Neutrality Undermining Spreads to Developing Countries

After the USA set the bad example of allowing telcos to start charging different rates for content delivery services, other incumbent telcos elsewhere are only too happy to jump on the bandwagon and use the American example as a reason and an excuse to end net neutrality (NN) in their countries also. As did their American counterparts they too see this as another way to grab some extra monopolistic income. more»

FCC's "Commercial Reasonableness" Standard Already a Dismal Failure

T-Mobile filed a petition today making it clear that the FCC's commercial reasonableness standard is a failure. Anyone following net neutrality knows that the FCC is proposing to authorize discrimination and pay-for-priority deals known as fast lanes. The FCC is claiming we need not worry, however, because the FCC can make sure that entrepreneurs and users face only "commercially reasonable" discrimination. 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's Legal Binary: An Either/Or With No "Third Way"

People working on net neutrality wish for a "third way" — a clever compromise giving us both network neutrality and no blowback from AT&T;, Verizon, Comcast and others. That dream is delusional because the carriers will oppose network neutrality in any real form; they want paid fast lanes. They have expressed particular opposition to "Title II" of the Communications Act — something telecom lawyers mention the same way normal people might reference the First or Second Amendments. Title II is the one essential law to ban paid fast lanes. more»

The Two Sides of Net Neutrality

Over the last decade or so the telecoms industry has been at loggerheads with the content providers and distributors (OTT companies) regarding the use of the infrastructure by the OTT players. On one side we have the people arguing for net neutrality (leave the OTT players alone), and on the other we have the telcos wanting to charge certain players for using their network. The whole issue came to a head, when in mid April the FCC decided to allow telecom operators (or ISPs as they are called in the USA) to charge content providers for higher quality services. more»

RIP Network Neutrality

It's been an interesting couple of months in the ongoing tensions between Internet carriage and content service providers, particularly in the United States. The previous confident assertion was that the network neutrality regulatory measures in that country had capably addressed these tensions. While the demands of the content industry continue to escalate as the Internet rapidly expands into video content streaming models, we are seeing a certain level of reluctance from the carriage providers to continually accommodate these expanding demands... more»

What Does "Network Neutrality" Mean?

A lot of ink and pixels have been spilled about the FCC's new rules for network neutrality. It's impossible to comment sensibly yet about the actual proposal, since as far as I know it's not been published anywhere, but the various news reports have left me confused about just what is being addressed. There are a number of different sorts of behavior that can result in performance differences to the end user... The purpose of this post is to give a simplified (with luck, not too horribly oversimplified) explanation of the different issues here. more»

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»

Better Than Best Efforts Routing of Mission Critical Traffic and the FCC

It appears that the FCC will permit exceptions to the standard, plain vanilla best efforts routing standard for Internet traffic, such as the paid peering arrangement recently negotiated between Comcast and Netflix. In both academic and applied papers I have supported this option, with several major conditions... With no opposition that I have seen, companies like Akamai offer better than best efforts routing of "mission critical" traffic from content source to last mile, "retail" Internet Service Providers. more»

Interconnection Disputes Are Network Neutrality Issues (of Netflix, Comcast, and the FCC)

A lot of people have been talking about the "interconnection" deal between Comcast and Netflix and whether that deal is related to network neutrality. (It is.) This question comes partly because the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order (also known as the network neutrality order) was recently struck down. So network neutrality lands back at the FCC, with a new Open Internet proceeding, at the same time Netflix starts working so poorly on Comcast that Netflix had to cut a special deal with Comcast. more»

Netflix Has Buyer's Remorse Over Its Paid Peering Deal With Comcast

Soon after capitulating to Comcast's surcharge demand for improved treatment of its traffic, Netflix got better downstream delivery speeds. Apparently Comcast did not have to undertake a major bandwidth expansion program. Much to the immediate relief of Netflix, Comcast merely needed to allocate more ports for Netflix traffic. So with a reallocation of available bandwidth, Comcast solved Netflix's quality of service dilemma apparently without degrading service to anyone else, upstream or downstream. more»

Comcast-TWC: Why Compete and Innovate When You Can Buy Market Share?

Expect a charm offensive as Comcast and scores of sponsored researchers explain how acquiring Time Warner Cable will promote competition and enhance consumer welfare. You might not hear too much about two traditional concerns remedied by actual facilities-based competition: incentives to innovate and reduce prices. Comcast will frame its acquisition as necessary to achieve even greater scale to compete with other sources of video content and maybe to compete with the limited other sources of broadband access. more»

Plumbing Neutrality

I've been having arguments about Network Neutrality with a lawyer. My position is that you can't adequately regulate ISPs to be neutral, because there's no agreement what "neutral" means in practice. He points out that the courts aren't interested in technical details like what packets are dropped, it's that all traffic has to be treated the same, and ISPs should just figure out how to do that. So I contemplated a city with Plumbing Neutrality with the simple rule that all people must be treated the same... more»