White Paper Net Neutralitt

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Fast or Slow, Be In The Know
Managing and Leveraging Net Neutrality

An overview of network neutrality, the players involved, the anticipated impact of new FCC regulations and how we at ABC Consultants can help Internet businesses thrive in this environment.

An overview of network neutrality, the players involved, the anticipated impact of new FCC regulations and how we at ABC Consultants can help Internet businesses thrive in this environment.

Executive Summary

Network Neutrality or the ideal of an “open” Internet has become a hot button policy issue around the world. On one side we find consumer advocates and Internet business such as Netflix, Twitter, YouTube, Pandora, Facebook, Skype and Vonage who benefit from an open internet and advocate for government regulation.

On the other side we find network operators made up of cable and telephone companies who seek to increase their profits by charging back consumers and Internet businesses that use their network. They advocate for less government regulation.

Enter the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) who approved the Open Internet Order to provide Network Neutrality regulation in December 2010. This series of regulations, which is expected to take effect in November, seeks to protect the four principals of network neutrality, provide extensive protection for open wired networks and little if any protection for open wireless networks.

All this translates into a changed environment for Internet businesses, consumers and network operators alike. This white paper seeks to provide an overview of Network Neutrality, the impact of the new FCC regulations and recommendations for how we at ABC Consultants can better position ourselves to serve Internet business clients.

1. What is Network Neutrality?

Network Neutrality is the idea that Internet traffic should be allowed to traverse telephone and cable company networks unhindered. This openness of the Internet is not a new concept. Openness and the free exchange of information are two cores values the Internet was founded upon. Advocates of Network Neutrality seek to maintain an open network where customers have free access to content, applications and devices without restriction from government or cable and telephone network operators.

2. Advocates for Network Neutrality

Advocates have varying definitions of Network Neutrality and what they seek to achieve through public policy. For the sake of this white paper we will use the definition that is often referenced in regulatory discussions and captures the fundamental rights of Internet users. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in policy statement 050-151 defined the fundamental principals of an open network in 2005. In short network neutrality entitles customers to:

* Access the lawful Internet content of their choice.

* Run applications and use services of their choice that do not violate the law.

* Connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.

* Choice among network providers, applications and service providers, and content providers.

These four rights are at the center of most arguments in favor of Network Neutrality. First, they protect consumer access to everything the Internet has to offer legally. Second, they ensure network providers are only allowed to block unlawful activities or threats to their networks. Finally, they prohibit network providers from using their networks to block websites, slow down services or provision multiple tiers of service to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors

3. Opposition Against Network Neutrality
Network operators such as Verizon and Comcast are presently paid for access to their networks by content providers such as Netflix and consumers who use these networks to access the Internet. These operators make a considerable profit by charging for these services. What network operators are proposing is a...
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