Business models on the Internet
Don’t outlaw successful business models on the Internet
This is the second article in the series on Net Neutrality: H.R. 3458 – A dangerous experiment in Internet regulation.
Representative Ed Markey has proposed some heavy handed Net Neutrality rules in H.R. 3458 that would outlaw several existing business models. The FCC may also be where the FCC would determine which managed services should be permitted on broadband and wireless networks, but it is unclear what the final rules will look like until they’re published.
Before we dive in to these newly proposed rules, some background information is useful to put everything in context. Google and other Net Neutrality proponents have long championed these heavy handed regulations on managed services on the Internet. Now that Congress and the FCC is considering whether to adopting them, it is imperative that we study the merits (or the lack thereof) of these proposals. Google has given us a great starting point by publishing their on what should and should not be permissible. Table 1 takes Google’s definition and highlights the contradictory positions.
Table 1: Google’s contradictions on Net Neutrality
|Providing managed IP services and proprietary content (like IPTV); and||Prioritizing data packet delivery based on the ownership or affiliation (the who) of the content, or the source or destination (the what) of the content; or|
|Employing certain upgrades, such as the use of local caching or private network backbone links;||Building a new “fast lane” online that consigns Internet content and applications to a relatively slow, bandwidth-starved portion of the broadband connection.|
|Charging consumers extra to receive higher speed or performance capacity broadband service.||Levying surcharges on content providers that are not their retail customers;|
Crippling managed services and private networks
H.R. 3458 attempts to regulate private networks and managed services. Here are three specific sections of the bill that attempt to accomplish this.
- to guard against discriminatory favoritism for, or degradation of, lawful content, applications, or services by network operators based upon their source, ownership, or destination on the Internet;
- ensure that private transmission capacity services do not undermine the purposes of this Act and do not diminish or degrade the level of Internet access service offered to the public by the same provider; and
- ensure that private transmission capacity services are not offered in an anticompetitive, unreasonable, discriminatory, or deceptive manner.