As a Technologist working in the realm of Broadband wireless infrastructure development I was disappointed by the FCC ruling that came out last week. Even though the important details about the new Federal Communications Commission network neutrality rules were yet to be laid out the brief summary released by the FCC (News – Alert) suggests the process remains largely at the level of principles, rather than clear and specific rules.
Internet access service will have to remain a “best effort” service for now. Obviously, the rules would apply only to access providers, not transport providers, unless the FCC spells details on content delivery networks.
A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.
Pros: This rule if well-defined could provide customer to make informed choices.
Cons: That is not a ‘new’ change from the ‘Internet Freedoms’ principles the FCC already had promulgated years ago, and which the industry has accepted yet much remains to be done.
Rule 2: No Blocking
A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management.
A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network
Pros: ‘Reasonable’ network management could say downgrade a peer-to-peer application and allow other applications based on best effort.
Cons: ‘Reasonable’ is a relative term and open for interpretation depending on the operator, unless more definition is provided. Read more…