Another Side of the Net Neutrality Debate

My friend and colleague Tom Howarth published an article titled Net Neutrality Threatened as FCC Plans Internet Fast Lanes. In his post, Tom did a very good job articulating the pro–net neutrality arguments. I thought this would be a good opportunity to present the other side of the net neutrality argument, but in the midst of my research I found that my positions and views on this matter are moving in a different direction.


FCC to Attempt “Reasonable” Net Neutrality

After twice being told by the courts that it does not have the authority to regulate the Internet, the FCC is trying to implement net neutrality again, with a new set of “reasonable open access” rules. It remains to be seen whether these new rules survive legal challenge, and whether they will do more harm than good.


Net Neutrality and the Cloud

Cloud Computing will rely upon adequate Internet bandwidth being available to ensure that users of cloud computing services have an acceptable end user experience, and that providers of these services can promise that acceptable experience to their customers. The Internet needs a funding model that ensures that the right capacity is available to the applications (cloud services) that need it. We face a choice as to whether or not FCC regulation will help or hurt the progress towards the correct funding (and ultimately payment for Internet services model). Choosing incorrectly may severely inhibit the growth of Cloud Computing services due to confusion over bandwidth and pricing decisions.