A couple of weeks have passed since the FCC’s Net Neutrality ruling, so what is the Net Neutrality impact so far? Utter confusion seems to be the best description. I caught Chairman Wheeler’s keynote last week at Mobile World congress. He seemed downright peeved at the Service Providers, baffles by their response. He claimed that many industry folks are misrepresenting what the impact of the ruling, using scare tactics and threats.
Mr Wheeler was rather aggressive in his comments on stage in particular in his replies to GSMA boss Bouvert’s rebuttal… “Those opposed to open internet rules like to say we use depression era regulations… we built our model on a regulatory model that has been wildly successful in the US for mobile.”
Speaking to folks down in the exhibition halls, most people seemed to be baffled about what was now acceptable and what is not. Apart from the obvious sections of the ruling, regarding blocking of services, there seems to be little consensus on what is actually is allowed or disallowed under the new laws.
There was a lot of talk around MWC around zero-rating. In particular both Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Wikipedia’s Wales were adamant proponents of pushing operators to zero-rate traffic. Their traffic in particular. They both tend to talk up the next billion internet users coming online and how they should be allowed to join the conversation.
While the regulatory environment in the US is making life hard for the operators, they are fairly chummy with the content folks. The regulatory environment in Europe, in general, seems to be taking the opposite approach. They are none too fond of Google at the moment, that’s for sure.
I’m not sure how the FCC can justify their “open internet” stance after their latest frequency auction just raked in $45 billion. The winners have yet to be announced, will be interesting to see if the likes of Google, Facebook, Netflix… on are the list.
Below is an interesting article from former Clinton policy adviser Larry Irving