Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, Cloud Security, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Network Neutrality, Victory or Disappointment? | Part 2

This decision looks likely to set the pattern for ISP regulation in the U.S. for some time to come

In my last blog, I discussed the debate surrounding the true definition of open and unfettered Internet, and the different interpretations various groups and individuals have on the matter. In this posting, we continue the discussion.

The U.S. government has not enacted legislation to actually define and require Internet openness or to specify what level of non-openness is acceptable, if any. So openness is a concept without legal definition or backing, which means that individual opinions vary on what constitutes fettering and what doesn't. And attempts by the FCC to fill this gap with the Open Internet Order triggered this court action.

The debate, as constructed just now, offers two alternatives: Do ISPs have the right to manage Internet traffic preferentially, thus by most definitions fettering that traffic? Or do governments have the right to prevent ISPs from managing Internet traffic preferentially, thus clearly fettering the Internet by engaging in regulation of its players?

The FCC in the past has held the view that regulating the ISPs to prevent fettering is a lesser evil than allowing the ISPs to manage their traffic.

The recent U.S. federal court decision agreed with the ISPs that the FCC should not regulate ISP activity. Note that this decision is not based on the pros and cons of openness, but on the limits to the authority of the FCC. The court stated, "Our task as a reviewing court is not to assess the wisdom of the Open Internet Order regulations, but rather to determine whether the Commission has demonstrated that the regulations fall within the scope of its statutory grant of authority."

Whatever the reason, it seems that ISPs are now free to offer preferential quality of service to edge providers and edge providers are free to pay them money for the privilege.

What can happen next? Taking this to the U.S. Supreme Court is something that pro-neutrality advocates must be considering, but since the issue is not about neutrality, but rather FCC jurisdiction, the chances of success are likely to be slim.

What about a move to change the scope of FCC jurisdiction? This could be achieved by legislation that specifically defines Internet openness, makes it a legal requirement and empowers the FCC to oversee it. Not much chance of that happening anytime soon.

Alternatively, the FCC could make the case that Internet access should be defined as a common carrier service, which would make it subject to the same kind of oversight as traditional phone services. Judge Silberman in his (partially) dissenting opinion fears this possible consequence, while the New York Times encourages the FCC to go for it. Why the difference? Apparently Silberman dislikes government regulation more than he dislikes corporate manipulation of Internet traffic, while the New York Times just happens to take the contrary view. The divisions continue, and it seems that extending the jurisdiction of this FCC ruling in this way is not much more likely than new legislation.

Altogether, this decision looks likely to set the pattern for ISP regulation in the U.S. for some time to come, and we should start thinking about the implications it will have on the future. If we look closely, we may find that for the winners in this case, it may turn out not to be such a big deal after all, and those who view this as an unmitigated disaster may be relieved that it's not as bad as they feared.

If this decision stands, as seems likely, there are a number of possible repercussions to consider. In what ways will the ISP competitive landscape be transformed? How will edge providers respond? How does the role of applications change in a world in which fettering is normal, and how will that impact the software companies? Will there be a knock-on effect on the venerable institution of inter-ISP peering charges? And what will be the impact on the billing needs of all these players in a world made much more complex?

Leave a comment to let us know where you think these new developments will lead us.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We analyze the video streaming experience. We are gathering the user behavior in real time from the user devices and we analyze how users experience the video streaming," explained Eric Kim, Founder and CEO at Streamlyzer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.