Network Neutrality - hardly neutral!

Reg Coutts's picture

Network Neutrality - hardly neutral!

For an issue called 'network neutrality' it is amazing how the debate in both Europe and the US is so polarised! In Australia we seem to feel so immune from such global issues we are not even listing on any agenda for debate!

For the YES campaign in summary, the fight for network neutrality is the nobel fight for maintaining a 'democratic' Internet that is open to all and continues to stimulate innovation. The Internet is too important to be captured by corporate interests at the expense of citizens. Network Neutrally regulation intervention will prevent possible abuse of market power. What is interesting is that Google, Facebook, Microsoft all line up to solute this noble quest!

For the NO campaign in summary, the fight against network neutrality is that current regulatory models assuring adequate competition, transparency to prevent discrimination are tried methods of regulation that can and will be used if there is abuse of market power. They argue network neutrality regulation will chill network investment in broadband and stifle innovation! What is interesting is that Verizon, AT&T, Comcast all line up to solute to resist this assault!

Interestingly Netflix is playing both sides of the argument. Are they neutral?

My message is skeptical of 'corporate self interest' being aligned with 'citizen's interests' but that why we have Government isn't it?

Professor Reg Coutts


Interestingly Netflix has

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Interestingly Netflix has done a commercial 'interconnect' deal with Comcast where 'for a fee' Netlix customers on Comcast would receive a managed quality of service delivery. They argue this is NOT contrary to their support for NN! Well the FCC in it's 'deep dive' to revive a workable rule making on NN (i.e. won't be successfully contested) has sought details of such interconnect deals from both CTV and Telcocs! It just keeps getting more interesting.

The FCC needs more time!

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The FCC had said it would be in a position to publish its proposed NN rules by Christmas 2014 that include a 'fast lane internet' concept much to the anger of the many open internet proponents but they need more time to make the rules legaly robust. Maybe 2015 is the year? Meanwhile in Europe it has gone quieet. 

President Obama tells the FCCC!

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President Obama has officially come out in support of net neutrality, releasing a statement in which he calls for the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify Internet service as a utility.

"President Obama says that the Internet is something that Americans have a basic right to. Therefore, ISPs are much like the utility companies that "connect you to the world" and thus "have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business."

This means no blocking, no throttling, increased transparency and no paid prioritization".

Net Neutrality debate begins in Australia?

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With President Abama coming out supporting Network Neutrality noting in particular the call for "no paid prioritization" has debate started in Australia or 'has the horse bolted' as Josh Taylor has written today?

Surely "paid prioritization" is basic network traffic management as long as it is transparent and non-discrimatory?

What do you think?

Obamacare for the Internet!

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Net Neutrality debate gets colorful!

US politics is always colouful (spelt in English) and Net Neurality debate in the US is a target See 

AT&T haults investment!

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In Comms Day this morning I noted AT&T in the US has announced is is freezing broadband rollout in the light of the President's statement in favour of strong Net Neutrality rules by the FCC. Is this part of the game of influence or is it real?

FCC challenges AT&T claims!

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Following claims by the AT&T they had holted investment in fibre following President Obama's support for Net Neutrality, the FCC has asked AT&T for evidence of their claims!

FCC and Faster Broadband for Schools

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The NN debate we are not having in Australia!

In the US the FCC wants every school including rural schools with over 1000 students to have 100Mbit/s!


The NN debate in the US while appearing to many as strange and irrelevant to us in Australia does actually give insight into issues we do get excited here; namely the NBN model, the USO and even Copyright!  

Popular vote for NN regulation?

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There is no question that strong NN regulation is 'popular' See but as we should know it all depends who puts the question, what the question asks and do respondents understand the implications?