Barbara van Schewick, faculty director of the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School (SLS) and a professor of law and electrical engineering at Stanford University, published a white paper on Monday the 11th of June entitled “Network Neutrality and Quality of Service: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like”.
This white paper discusses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ‘Open Internet’ rules and the relationship between network neutrality and Quality of Service (QoS), as it:
- Provides the first detailed analysis of the FCC’s non-discrimination rule and of its implications for network providers’ ability to manage their networks and offer Quality of Service;
- Offers the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between network neutrality and Quality of Service; and,
- Proposes a non-discrimination rule that policy makers should adopt around the world – a rule that the FCC adopted at least in part.
Professor van Schewick considers that:
“The network neutrality debate is often framed as a debate for or against Quality of Service. The reality is much more nuanced. Many network neutrality proposals allow some, but not all forms of Quality of Service. Many forms of Quality of Service allow Internet service providers to distort competition among applications and interfere with user choice. These forms of Quality of Service should be banned. However, some forms of user-controlled Quality of Service do not similarly threaten application innovation, competition or user choice. They provide the social benefits of different types of service without the social costs. These forms of Quality of Service are the ones a network neutrality regime should allow. Thus, it is possible to protect users and innovators while allowing the network to evolve. Regulators can have their cake and eat it, too.”
This paper comes just at a time when the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) launches its public consultation on its Draft Guidelines for Quality of Service in the scope of Net Neutrality (BoR(12)32).
van Schewick published a blog post summarising her most important findings, and alternatively a condensed summary (2 pages), and an executive summary (15 pages) are also available. Next to this, she is also the author of the seminal work Internet Architecture and Innovation (MIT Press, 2010).
Net Neutrality in the Netherlands
Recently Remko Bos, Director of the Consumers, Numbering and Chairs’ Office of the Dutch National Regulator (NRA) OPTA, gave a presentation on the net neutrality approach in the Netherlands at a conference stimulating the public debate on the issue of Net Neutrality, organised by the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications of Romania (ANCOM) and the Association for Internet and Technology (ApTI). All the presentations at this conference can be found here.