[governance] FW: [Netneutrality] Organic Net Neutrality: David Weinberger

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Mon Dec 8 23:22:28 EST 2014

Yes, I'd say David Weinberger is making the same distinction I am.

I'd treat the current situation as an anti-trust problem rather than a
matter for FCC regulation though he's not specific on this point.

FCC / Title II regulation would enshrine the cause of the current
problem -- vertical trusts -- and just try to make it more

That approach could also be a nightmare to police and would beg
frivolous complaints conflating for example technical problems (e.g.,
non-reachability) with regulatory violations.

A break-up of the vertical trusts, separating wire-plant from content
provision, would no doubt be more painful for a brief period but would
help undo the underlying distortion arising from wire-plant / last
mile monopolies and resultant cross-subsidization.

        -Barry Shein

The World              | bzs at TheWorld.com           | http://www.TheWorld.com
Purveyors to the Trade | Voice: 800-THE-WRLD        | Dial-Up: US, PR, Canada
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From: "michael gurstein" <gurstein at gmail.com>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Netneutrality [mailto:netneutrality-bounces at intgovforum.org] On Behal=
>f Of Seth Johnson
>Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 11:14 PM
>To: netneutrality at intgovforum.org; nncoalition at mailman.edri.org; bestbits
>Subject: [Netneutrality] Organic Net Neutrality: David Weinberger
>David Weinberger coins a term and makes a critical point:
>Organic Net Neutrality
>> https://ting.com/blog/organic-net-neutrality/
>There are two types of Net Neutrality. Supporters of it (like me) spend mos=
>t of their time arguing for Artificial Net Neutrality: a government policy =
>that regulates the few dominant providers of access to the Internet. In fac=
>t, we should be spending more of our time reminding people that before Arti=
>ficial Net Neutrality the Internet came by its neutrality naturally, even o=
>To see the difference, you have to keep in mind, (as my friend Doc Searls f=
>requently reminds me) that Net Neutrality refers not only to a policy but t=
>o a fundamental characteristic of the Internet. The Internet is an inter-ne=
>twork: local networks agree to pass data (divided into packets) without dis=
>criminating among them, so that no matter what participating network you=E2=
>=80=99re plugged into, you can always get and send information anywhere els=
>e on the Net. That=E2=80=99s the magic of the Net: It doesn=E2=80=99t care =
>how you=E2=80=99ve plugged in, where you are, or what sort of information y=
>ou=E2=80=99re looking for. It will all get to you, no matter where it=E2=80=
>=99s coming from, what it=E2=80=99s about, or what type of application crea=
>ted it.
>In fact, it=E2=80=99s because the creators of the Internet didn=E2=80=99t t=
>ry to anticipate what people would use it for that it has become the greate=
>st engine of creativity and wealth in recorded history. For example, if the=
> Internet had been designed primarily for connecting static pages, it would=
> have become less suitable for phone calls or video. If the current Interne=
>t access providers decide that videos are their highest priority traffic, t=
>hen online games might suffer, and it would be harder to establish the next=
> new idea =E2=80=94 maybe it=E2=80=99s holograms or some new high-def audio=
> stream or a web of astronomers working on data shared around the world.
>In short, we don=E2=80=99t want the businesses that sell us access to the I=
>nternet to have the power to decide what gets priority on the Internet=E2=
>=80=A6especially since many of them are also in the content business and th=
>us would be tempted to give preference to their own videos and music stream=
>s. Artificial Net Neutrality as a policy is intended to preserve the Intern=
>et=E2=80=99s non-discriminatory nature by regulating the access providers.
>Even the most fervent supporters of Net Neutrality policies usually favor i=
>t only because we now have so few access providers (also known as Internet =
>Service Providers, or ISPs). Before a series of decisions by the U.S. Feder=
>al Communications Commision beginning in 2002, and a ruling by the Supreme =
>Court in 2005, there were more than 9,000 ISPs in that country. Now the one=
>s that remain are either serving small, often remote, areas or are one of t=
>he tiny handful of absolute giants.
>When you talk about Net Neutrality with Seth Johnson, a tireless advocate p=
>resently working at the international level to defend the Internet, he expl=
>ains that before 2005, when there was a vibrant, competitive market for ISP=
>s, the Internet was naturally neutral. Back when the Internet was composed =
>of relatively small local networks, if an ISP wanted to promise its subscri=
>bers that it would provide a =E2=80=9Cfast lane=E2=80=9D for movies, or gam=
>es, or singing telegrams, or whatever, it could only provide that favorable=
> discrimination within its own small network. The many other networks those=
> packets passed through wouldn=E2=80=99t know or care about that one networ=
>k=E2=80=99s preferences. Zipping packets through the last couple of miles t=
>o your house would be like speeding up a jet for the last hundred meters of=
> its flight: it wouldn=E2=80=99t make any noticeable difference.
>That was then. We need a Net Neutrality policy now because the giant ISPs=
>=E2=80=99 own networks are so extensive that a packet of data may spend mos=
>t of its time within a single network. That network can institute discrimin=
>atory practices that are noticeable. A Net Neutrality policy prevents them =
>from giving in to this commercial temptation.
>Many of us Net Neutrality advocates, including Seth and Doc, would far rath=
>er see the Internet=E2=80=99s natural infrastructure restored =E2=80=94 a b=
>ig network composed of many smaller networks =E2=80=94 which would in turn =
>restore natural Net Neutrality. We lost that infrastructure through a polit=
>ical process. We could get it back the same way, by once again treating the=
> wires and cables through which Internet packets flow as a public resource,=
> open to thousands of competing ISPs, none of which would be able to effect=
>ively discriminate among packets.
>It=E2=80=99s a shame that we=E2=80=99ve let the market for ISPs become so n=
>on-competitive that we have to resort to government policies to preserve th=
>e Net=E2=80=99s natural neutrality. As with peaches and whole grains, an or=
>ganically neutral Internet would be even better for the entire system.
>Netneutrality mailing list
>Netneutrality at intgovforum.org

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