Net Neutrality in summary

I’ve written dozens of posts on net neutrality since the debate started in the American media last spring, and yet another dozen on Internet regulation before the public debate started. Most of my recent writing has been reacting to press reports, political events, and other people’s blog posts, and it’s fairly hard to follow, I expect, to those who haven’t been reading all along. So I decided to to collect the relevant considerations into a single post.

Main points:

  • Everything we know about regulating networks we learned from telephony.
  • The Internet is radically different from the telephone network, hence traditional regulatory models don’t fit.
  • The Internet is in its infancy and more experimentation is needed.
  • Any regulation that’s not guided by empirical evidence of specific harm (not simply speculative, “what if?” scenarios) is likely to be wrong.
  • The technical challenges to keeping the Internet running are so great that we don’t have the luxury of adding reams of unnecessary regulations to it.
  • The appropriate regulatory stance is to watch for marketplace harm and be prepared to react to it.

These are some of my better posts on the subject:

Net Neutrality Is Intelligent Design for the Left

Quick note to Sen. Boxer

Symmetry, Control, and Progress

The Trouble With End-to-End

How Much Bandwidth is Enough?

Toward an Accountable Internet.

And the complete archive is here.

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