Net Neutrality

The federal appeals court just ruled that ISP’s are free to make deals with content providers allowing them to pay for bandwidth in the internet express lane for faster streaming. The FCC said this was unfair to consumers and opposed it.  At the core is the basic question of whether the internet is a utility of such vital importance like telephone lines or electricity that needs close regulation. (Never mind that VoIP telephone service is very popular with businesses and consumers today). What the court seemed to say was that the golden rule serves the greater good when it comes to the internet.

I am not sure which side of the argument really supports an open, vibrant and neutral net. Does net neutrality mean that the internet should be fully open to free enterprise? Or is net neutrality best served by some form of regulated democratization - as a “free and open platform for innovation and expression and to operate in the interest of all Americans.”

Lots of opinions are floating around. I don’t think anyone really understands what new delivery methods and content offerings will result from this ruling. It does lay the commercial foundation for a new round of technology innovation and content creativity. We will see lots of experimentation, and the scramble for first mover advantage, product differentiation, sustainable advantage will be exciting to watch and create lots of opportunity for providers and consumers.

Posted by , Senior Vice President on 17 January 2014
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