Net Neutrality               Web Science Discussion Group4th May 2011
Overview• What is Net Neutrality?• Net Neutrality Issues• The For Argument• The Against Argument• Summary• Discussion     ...
What is Net Neutrality (NN)?• Network design principle• All content, sites, platforms treated equally    – All information...
What NN is fighting Against• Blocking of Content   – Unblocked by payment or fully blocked• Termination Monopoly Pricing  ...
ISPs: New ‘stewards’ of media content?                                         5
What Does NN Affect?•   The Global Internet and Web•   Mobile Web•   Individuals and Organizations / Businesses (large and...
NN: The For Argument• Ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including small  companies, religious and non-profit ag...
Quotes for the Pro NN Argument• “The web has grown so fast precisely because we have  had two independent markets, one for...
NN: The Against Argument• By filtering bandwidth, speed of popular sites can be  increased   – i.e. YouTube can be given p...
Quotes for the Against NN Argument “If governance were to become the exclusive province of  nation states or captured by a...
Why has NN come to prominence of late?• The ISPs now have the technology to manage their  networks „intelligently‟.   – Th...
Why has NN come to prominence of late?• Self-Regulation by ISPs and network providers isn‟t  working.   – Not transparent ...
International Network RegulationBroadband Connections by Type (2007) – Review of Network Economics                        ...
Paying the ISP / Network Charges                                   14
Current Research of NN issues• Economists have been most active in NN research:   – Some simple economics models have sugg...
Unintended Consequences of Regulation• The notion of “We are from the government, and we are  here to help you” may seem e...
Summary•   A large part of the NN debate is all about money     – ISPs would like to get internet and web businesses to pa...
Discussion1. ISPs are trying to manage and upgrade their networks to handle   current and future internet use. Should they...
References•   Net Neutrality FAQ, Tim Wu, http://timwu.org/network_neutrality.html•   A Rational debate on Net Neutrality:...
References•   Net Neutrality FAQ, Tim Wu, http://timwu.org/network_neutrality.html•   A Rational debate on Net Neutrality:...
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Net Neutrality discussion

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Net Neutrality discussion

  1. 1. Net Neutrality Web Science Discussion Group4th May 2011
  2. 2. Overview• What is Net Neutrality?• Net Neutrality Issues• The For Argument• The Against Argument• Summary• Discussion 2
  3. 3. What is Net Neutrality (NN)?• Network design principle• All content, sites, platforms treated equally – All information can be carried by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – All users are given the same rights/permissions/bandwidth “A neutral network should be expected to deliver the most to a nation and the world economically, by serving as an innovation platform, and socially, by facilitating the widest variety of interactions between people” (Wu, T, 2007) 3
  4. 4. What NN is fighting Against• Blocking of Content – Unblocked by payment or fully blocked• Termination Monopoly Pricing – Charging those who wish to access ISP users• Most Favored Network (MFN) Violations – Preferential treatment to certain providers or applications• Transparency Failures – Metrics are hidden from the customer – i.e. bandwidth, latency 4
  5. 5. ISPs: New ‘stewards’ of media content? 5
  6. 6. What Does NN Affect?• The Global Internet and Web• Mobile Web• Individuals and Organizations / Businesses (large and small) – Especially content providers and heavy bandwidth users• It primarily affects access and network service to those at the ends of the connections.• An enforced principle of net neutrality would affect ISPs by directly limiting their ability to discriminate traffic in their network. In a NN internet a „dumb‟ pipe or “common carrier” wouldn‟t discriminate between packets. 6
  7. 7. NN: The For Argument• Ensure equal access to the Internet for all, including small companies, religious and non-profit agencies. – Makes ISP‟s shakedowns for cash on producers impossible• Multi-tiered networks could lead fragmentation of internet services, such as the Web. – At very least, a class system of content providers could emerge• ISP‟s with extra services won‟t be allowed to treat competitors unfairly – ISPs often run telephone, or cable video services which compete with other companies products such as VOIP• Consumers run applications & use services of their choice 7
  8. 8. Quotes for the Pro NN Argument• “The web has grown so fast precisely because we have had two independent markets, one for connectivity, and the other for content and applications."(Tim Berners-Lee, 2011)• “Network operators and ISPs could engage in anti- competitive behaviour and suppress the quality of content from provider services”(Office of Communications (OFCOM)., 2010) 8
  9. 9. NN: The Against Argument• By filtering bandwidth, speed of popular sites can be increased – i.e. YouTube can be given preference over TVCatchUp• Limit bandwidth to different users – i.e. A gamer is given less bandwidth than a doctor on emergency call• The cost of enforcing NN will be passed to customers. – ISPs will levy this indirectly through higher subscriptions• A deterrent for current unspoken rules and regulations – There is already prioritisation of data (QoS), NN will just worsen 9 this
  10. 10. Quotes for the Against NN Argument “If governance were to become the exclusive province of nation states or captured by any other interests, we would lose the foundation of the Internets long-term potential and transformative value. “Decisions on its future should reflect the widest possible range of views and the wisdom of the entire world community – not just governmental organizations.” Rod Beckstrom, ICANN CEO, Sept. 2010. 10
  11. 11. Why has NN come to prominence of late?• The ISPs now have the technology to manage their networks „intelligently‟. – This includes packet inspection and traffic shaping• Legal online streamed and hi-def video content is now available and ISPs networks are struggling to cope – Mechanisms such bandwidth throttling aren‟t suitable• The ISPs do not want to act as „dumb pipes‟ and want content providers to pay for network use and upgrades – In return they will offer preferential access to their subscribers, or else relegate services to a slow lane. 11
  12. 12. Why has NN come to prominence of late?• Self-Regulation by ISPs and network providers isn‟t working. – Not transparent about traffic shaping policies – Have in the past limited / cut off competitors products such as VOIP.• These issues have contributed to arriving at a decision point: whether government regulation would promote consumer rights, encourage innovation and competition 12
  13. 13. International Network RegulationBroadband Connections by Type (2007) – Review of Network Economics 13 (Vol.8, Issue 1 – March 2009)
  14. 14. Paying the ISP / Network Charges 14
  15. 15. Current Research of NN issues• Economists have been most active in NN research: – Some simple economics models have suggested that 2 sided priced markets can lead to better social outcomes, in certain conditions. – Another model that demonstrated risk that network neutrality rules that promote “commoditization” of broadband Internet access services could deter entry and result in an even more concentrated market – Changing value propositions and consumer perceived value of NN internet. A simple model that compares cost and utility of „smart‟ network and „dumb‟ network, in which consumer places some value in NN („dumb‟ network). 15
  16. 16. Unintended Consequences of Regulation• The notion of “We are from the government, and we are here to help you” may seem endearing, but it‟s a little naive.• Even with best of intentions regulators often become bedfellows of the companies being regulated, (e.g. The Interstate Commerce Commission, created in 1887 to regulate the railroads). – Regulation was later used as a tool to stifle competition, and raise prices, all in favour of incumbents. – While it should protect consumers this gets twisted to protect companies from competition 16
  17. 17. Summary• A large part of the NN debate is all about money – ISPs would like to get internet and web businesses to pay for network use and upgrades, as well as subscribers. They want to charge content providers for use of their network, and access to their customers.• The arguments for and against regulated NN are diverse, and arguably strong, and both have the ideal of a competitive Open Internet / Web. – More research is required on possible effects of „intelligent‟ vs „dumb‟ networks, in order to add weight to arguments around NN.• NN is a topical issue because ISPs are not transparent about how they manage their network, and discriminating traffic can stifle competition.• Unintended consequences of government regulation, such promoting of incumbents‟ interests would be bad. 17
  18. 18. Discussion1. ISPs are trying to manage and upgrade their networks to handle current and future internet use. Should they start charging content providers such as Internet and Web companies for use of their network, or for preferential treatment?2. What perceived value do you have for a dumb network (pro NN) versus a smart (non NN) network? Are you prepared to pay £5, £10, or more, or not, monthly for a dumb pipe ISP?2. If self-regulation fails, should government regulate? – UK Broadband companies are now drafting transparency guidelines, but it is only first step though. (Attempt to stave off government regulation)3. Would a two tier (or multi-tier) internet work, or would it cause utilities such as the Web to fragment? 18
  19. 19. References• Net Neutrality FAQ, Tim Wu, http://timwu.org/network_neutrality.html• A Rational debate on Net Neutrality: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ou/a-rational-debate-on- net-neutrality/512• Father of Internet, Robert Kahn Warns Against Net Neutrality: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/18/kahn_net_neutrality_warning/• ICANN CEO remarks on existing multi-stakeholder model, and against network regulation http://www.icann.org/en/presentations/beckstrom-opening-igf-vilnius-14sep10-en.htm• Ofcom‟s discussion document on Traffic Management and net neutrality‟, June 2010 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/net-neutrality/• Rise of the Stupid Network, David Isenberg, http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/stupidnet.html• Entangling the Web, Timothy B. Lee, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/opinion/03lee.html 19
  20. 20. References• Net Neutrality FAQ, Tim Wu, http://timwu.org/network_neutrality.html• A Rational debate on Net Neutrality: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/ou/a-rational-debate-on- net-neutrality/512• Father of Internet, Robert Kahn Warns Against Net Neutrality: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/18/kahn_net_neutrality_warning/• ICANN CEO remarks on existing multi-stakeholder model, and against network regulation http://www.icann.org/en/presentations/beckstrom-opening-igf-vilnius-14sep10-en.htm• Ofcom‟s discussion document on Traffic Management and net neutrality‟, June 2010 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/net-neutrality/• Rise of the Stupid Network, David Isenberg, http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/stupidnet.html• Entangling the Web, Timothy B. Lee, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/opinion/03lee.html 20
  21. 21. Also available @ www.slideshare.net/4th May 2011

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