Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality / Recently Commented

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

Tim Berners-Lee is in Washington urging lawmakers to reconsider the rollback of net neutrality laws. 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

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

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

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