The FCC’s first instinct when it encounters a legitimate issue with Internet management should be to involve the multi-stakeholder community through such means as reaching out to the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Society, and professional organizations such as ACM and IEEE.
When usage, delay tolerance, and loss tolerance are all unknowns, we fall to an unknown level of quality. While this simplifies billing, it doesn’t do justice to the needs of applications, innovation, or investment.
A side effect of switching from the current billing model to a quality-based model is that the unproductive net neutrality debate summarily ends. When users have control over the end-to-end quality of each application transaction, the means used by the provider to deliver the desired quality are unimportant.
What the FCC can do is help to keep large swathes of the American population from falling behind. And it can do this by saying yes to network deployment and innovation. A good first step in that process is to let go of the vacuous virtuous cycle of networks + apps innovation. That argument is illogical.