Header graphic for print
TMT Perspectives Insight & Commentary on Business, Legal and Policy Developments Affecting the Telecom, Media, and Technology Sectors

Category Archives: Net Neutrality

Subscribe to Net Neutrality RSS Feed

The Johnny Appleseed of the Internet Anticipated Net Neutrality Issues

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Net Neutrality

We think of the Internet as a computer science or engineering project. And it certainly was. But did you know that according to Robert Taylor, the founder of Xerox PARC’s computer science laboratory, the fundamental vision for the modern Internet came from a psychologist? Well, neither did I, until I came across what seems to… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality—Analyzing Georgetown’s Position

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Lawsuits, Net Neutrality

Georgetown University’s business school (specifically the Center for Business and Public Policy) submitted an Amicus Brief in the currently pending net neutrality lawsuit at the D.C. Circuit. It is highly critical of the FCC and dependent upon ideas that are deeply suspect. The Brief is based on the “Economic Policy Vignette.” Economic Flaws. The policy paper… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes to Fine AT&T Significantly

Posted in FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

Today the FCC proposes to fine AT&T US$100 million for its practice of selling its customers “unlimited” data plans which it subsequently limited by throttling back data speeds as much as 90% (sometimes, to dial-up levels) without being clear about the extent of the throttling. This proposed fine is based upon the FCC’s “Open Internet Transparency… Continue Reading

FCC Commissioner Pai Asks Congress to Partly Defund Agency

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

Yesterday FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai testified before the House Appropriations Committee, and in his lengthy statement, asked that Congress defund the FCC–or at least that part of the FCC that would implement the FCC’s recent net neutrality decision. There is a certain irony here. Commissioner Pai’s objection to the net neutrality decision stemmed from his… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality–FCC’s Pai Disdainful of Netflix

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

Last Friday FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a statement that is worth studying. Its context is net neutrality, though that term is not referenced. In the short statement, Commissioner Pai describes “allegations” against Netflix (which frankly, we don’t fully understand) and notes that he met with Netflix about these allegations. Pai’s statement complains that Netflix would… Continue Reading

Zero-Rated Data Plans and Net Neutrality

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

We’ve written repeatedly about net neutrality. The debate is very theoretical. So let’s tackle a concrete issue. “Zero rating” is when your mobile data provider doesn’t count the data used in accessing a certain type of application against your monthly data plan. Let’s imagine a simple example. Imagine that Netflix is zero rated by AT&T… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality: Back to Basics – Blocking Access to the Internet Can Be Entirely Rational

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

The debate over net neutrality has been marked by extreme rhetoric. Those that support regulation designed to keep the Internet “free” and “open” assert that Internet access providers left to their own devices will interfere in the marketplace, thereby stifling innovation and competition. This is a legitimate concern. A free and open marketplace will generally… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality: Can Antitrust Save the Internet?

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, FTC, Net Neutrality

At a hearing last Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told the FCC that it should abandon its effort to enforce net neutrality and allow the antitrust agencies—the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice—to police it alone. Chairman Goodlatte suggested that the antitrust laws were sufficient to prevent discrimination, and that any… Continue Reading

Silicon Valley Misses the Mark on Network Neutrality – Again

Posted in FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

We’ve said before that “network neutrality” is a red herring. The real bottleneck is the cable television set-top box (STB). Silicon Valley continues to argue with the FCC, and with Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, about network neutrality, while saying nothing about the STB. The Courts have twice struck down FCC action on network neutrality, saying… Continue Reading

What Technology Companies Can Expect from FCC Review of the Comcast – Time Warner Cable Merger

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Net Neutrality, Transactions

For a decade, technology companies have been prepared to unleash a wave of innovation related to how people consume cable television. The cable TV industry has generally blocked such efforts, and the FCC to date has largely sidestepped the issue. The competition authorities at the FCC and the DOJ will shortly begin reviewing the proposed… Continue Reading

AT&T Sponsored Data and Net Neutrality, a Video Interview with Dana Frix

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Net Neutrality

AT&T recently announced a new mobile service offering called “Sponsored Data.” Sponsored Data is a program where a mobile phone user will not be charged for data used if the company that supplies the data pays AT&T for that data. Some questioned whether the sponsored data program would be challenged under the FCC’s so-called “Net… Continue Reading

The Legal Argument for Opposing Open Internet Regulations

Posted in FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

Over the past few years opposition to net neutrality has been based upon concerns that net neutrality regulations would unreasonably limit facilities-based network providers from charging their customers market-based rates for different broadband speeds or qualities of service. For example, going back to 2007, prominent economist Hal Singer wrote a well-received article arguing this point…. Continue Reading

Net Neutrality – Verizon Says the FCC’s “Open Internet” Regulations Are Unfair. Are They?

Posted in FCC, Legal Developments, Net Neutrality

Firms like Verizon and AT&T have spent billions over the last ten years improving their wireline and mobile networks for the purpose of being able to provide cable and broadband services. How much control should that give them over how individuals make use of the Internet? More provocatively, the question is sometimes voiced in clear (and… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality – Comcast’s Position on Data Caps

Posted in FCC, Net Neutrality

Consumers generally believe that they have an unfettered right to access the Internet as they please. Increasingly that assumption is being challenged, in ways both obvious and not. The obvious challenge is with regard to caps on data usage. For example, since 2008 Comcast has capped Internet data usage at 250 GB per month. At the time they… Continue Reading