The estimable Brough Turner has written at length on the topic of Net Neutrality.
The first thing to read on this topic is his blog entry “Why there’s no Internet QoS and likely never will be”. In this article he makes the point that the only place where QoS measures make a difference is in the access link, and that the best way to ensure access link QoS is by putting a traffic shaping device behind your broadband modem. So no need for anything from your ISP beyond what you already expect, namely bandwidth and uptime.
In this article, Brough advocates a long view, focusing on increasing last-mile bandwidth, pointing out the danger of unintended consequences of regulation. He makes the point that fiber is not a natural monopoly, in the sense that there is adequate revenue per square mile in moderately densely populated cities to sustain multiple runs of fiber to each home. He identifies rights of way restrictions as the real barrier to last mile competition. In a similar spirit, he advocates opening up spectrum for license-exempt operation for last mile access. This article has similar arguments.
In this later article, Brough backs off a little to what seems to me to be a better position, namely regulating dark fiber, and fostering competition above it.
By 2007, Brough had nailed his colors to the mast. In this review of Susan Crawford’s paper, “The Internet and the Project of Communications Law,” he says:
I’d really like to see a national strategy to get as much of the population on dark fiber as possible.
And just a couple of months ago, he proposed a way to do it:
…unfettered municipal experimentation by any of the 22,000 municipalities in the US and/or interested community groups.
So there you have it. A relatively simple, seemingly doable solution to Net Neutrality, implementable by the grass roots, thought through by a smart guy who knows the subject inside and out.
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