Award Winning Blog

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Sun Will Rise on Monday Even With the Sunset of Network Neutrality

By all accounts, the prior Network Neutrality regime will evaporate on Monday June 11, 2018.  The earth will spin on its axis and  it will not be curtins for the free world.  On the other hand, the absence of a referee does mean that at some future date, certain unscrupulous Internet Service Providers may test  the reach and scope of their freedom to discriminate and operate biased networks.

In the short run, ISPs are too smart to reduce the value proposition of their services, even though they probably could get away with it like the airlines.  In the longer term, I expect ISPs to create more service tiers, to offer "better than best efforts" routing opportunities and to come up with more zero rating/sponsored data upselling propositions.  This outcome will have a mixed impact on consumers.

On one hand, comsumers might want  prioritization of "mission critical," "must see" video.  On the other hand, the potential exists for ISPs to extort surcharges from small ventures, with content volumes nowhere near Netflix.  In kinder, gentler times, these ventures could expect ISPs to route their traffic without objection and demand for surcharge payments.  ISPs used to be content with the subscription payment of their downstream subscribers.  Now these ventures, operating in a two-sided market want payment from both upstream content providers and downstream broadband subscribers.

This reminds me of the adage that bulls make money in the stockmarket as do bears, but pigs get slaughtered.