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.
Instead of being required to guess what applications need, 5G networks will be told. And instead of applications having to guess what the networks can supply, they also will be told. This is all explained in our podcast with Peter Rysavy on 5G application support.
Rather than trafficking in ancient speculations about the future of networking, would-be visionaries would be better served by developing an understanding of networking technology. That’s the real driver of innovation.
What are we losing by pretending that mobile broadband is a noncompetitive market that needs to be tightly managed by a Washington-based regulator? We can’t know that in the US because we only have the market we have. But data from other countries suggests that we’re not seeing the explosion in mobile apps development that we should expect.
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.
The FCC was designed as an independent agency because the public is always biased in favor of the status quo. As Henry Ford may have said about his Model T, the public just wanted faster horses because they were scared of cars.
Net neutrality is doomed by history and technology regardless of who sits atop the FCC. Neutrality is forced modularity, a losing proposition in every long run. Our reverence for for forced modularity comes from a fluke of history.