Net neutrality: A simple goal with some difficult implementation ahead
Joshua Gans 11 June 2014
Netflix recently agreed to pay Comcast for faster access to Comcast’s customers, intensifying the debate over ‘net neutrality’ – the principle that internet service providers should treat all data equally. This column argues that without net neutrality regulation, ISPs can capture the benefits of higher-quality content, thereby discouraging innovation from content providers. To be effective, net-neutrality regulation must prevent content-based price discrimination on both sides of the market.
Net neutrality has a simple goal – to ensure that consumers face an undistorted choice in choosing where to devote their attention on the Internet. The rationale for that goal is to ensure a ‘level playing field’ for those who provide content, applications, or anything else via the Internet.
Competition policy Industrial organisation Microeconomic regulation
US, technology, market power, regulation, internet, price discrimination, net neutrality, Federal Communications Commission
Crowding out in a neutral Internet
Gernot Pehnelt 06 April 2009
Most of the Internet’s infrastructure is neutral with regard to data packets’ contents, but some groups are pushing for legislation to protect “network neutrality.” This column says that strictly neutral data transmission would cause inefficiencies and reduce the availability and quality of Internet services. It defends prioritising quality-sensitive data packets and argues that network neutrality legislation would be a heyday for lawyers and lobbyists.
After months of controversial debate on the new telecom package, the Commission, the Council, and the Parliament of the EU now seem to be close to a compromise. "About 95% of the package has been agreed", said Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, after the latest negotiating round between the three bodies of the EU.
Productivity and Innovation
internet, net neutrality, telecoms