Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Making Network Neutrality Sustainable

Making Network Neutrality Sustainable: SMART Letter #100: Executive Summary: Network Neutrality as currently conceived requires changes in carrier behavior that are contrary to their corporate culture and business model, so we can expect their active opposition even after Network Neutrality becomes law. If carrier resistance prevails, the Internet stands to lose its key success factor. The Network Neutrality movement can learn from history; the demise of Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) and the ensuing collapse of telephone and Internet competition provides an parallel. The solution is strategy that is more ambitious and more patient, that addresses industry structure rather than carrier behavior.

Read it all. Unless you have lived inside old telecom like David (and I, to a lesser extent) you might think that his views are alarmist, but they are not. The AT&T monopoly is now almost reconstructed, but without the regulatory constraints of the old Bell System.

Incidentally, Apple's exclusive deal with AT&T/Cingular for iPhone service is a bad mistake. Would they have made an exclusive deal with an ISP for Mac Internet service?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


This is critical stuff that needs much more attention and serious debate than it has been receiving. IMS is just so wrong that it scares the daylights out of me. It will add enormously to complexity and cost while cutting innovation and, of course, choice.

The only answer has to involve separating content form transport.