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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Fallacy of Net Neutrality

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ISBN13: 9781594035937
Published: November 2011
Publisher: Encounter Books
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: £5.99 + £1.20 VAT
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There is little dispute that the Internet should continue as an open platform, notes the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Yet, in a curious twist of logic, the agency has moved to discontinue the legal regime successfully yielding that magnificent platform. In late 2010, it imposed network neutrality regulations on broadband access providers, both wired and wireless. Networks cannot (a) block subscribers use of certain devices, applications, or services; (b) unreasonably discriminate, offering superior access for some services over others. The Commission argues that such rules are necessary, as the Internet was designed to bar gatekeepers. The view is faulty, both in it engineering claims and its economic conclusions. Networks routinely manage traffic and often bundle content with data transport precisely because such coordination produces superior service. When walled gardens emerge, including AOL in 1995, Japans DoCoMo iMode in 1999, or Apples iPhone in 2007, they often disrupt old business models, thrilling consumers, providing golden opportunities for application developers, advancing Internet growth. In some cases these gardens have dropped their walls; others remain vibrant. The open Internet allows consumers, investors, and innovators to choose, discovering efficiencies. The FCC has mistaken that spontaneous market process for a planned market structure, imposing new rules to protect what evolved without them.

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