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.
End-to-end is part of Internet history, but so is traffic differentiation. On the one hand, some forms of discrimination at the packet level are constructive. Applications have different needs and it’s good for networks to provide them with the type of service they desire.
Broadband ISPs are in the same game as dial-up ISPs: providing customers the ability to access and share information. This is not a complicated issue. Hence, Lily Tomlin’s telephone operator Ernestine is not really part of the picture any more. She was a great lady, but like Manu Ginóbili of the San Antonio Spurs, she’s retired.
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.
Now that we’ve enjoyed the obligatory not-so-funny HBO conspiracy theorist’s take on Title II, serious discussion can recommence. Fly, my pretty policy wonks with all your fancy knowledge of engineering, economics, and law. Make me proud with your wisdom.
If net neutrality is what its supporters say it is – the best overall way of setting expectations and managing Internet service agreements, it should be expected to become self-executing at some point. I think we passed that point about ten years ago, but we will see what we will see.