The FCC is planning new net neutrality rules. And they could enshrine pay-for-play. - The Washington Post

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at
Mon Apr 28 19:07:13 UTC 2014

Jack Bates wrote:
> On 4/28/2014 12:05 PM, Lamar Owen wrote:
>> Now, I can either think of it as double dipping, or I can think of it 
>> as getting a piece of the action. (One of my favorite ST:TOS 
>> episodes, by the way).  The network op in me thinks double-dipping; 
>> the businessman in me (hey, gotta make a living, no?) thinks I need 
>> to get a piece of that profit, since that profit cannot be made 
>> without my last-mile network, and I'm willing to 'leverage' that if 
>> need be.  How many mail-order outfits won't charge for a customer 
>> list?  Well, in this case it's actual connectivity to customers, not 
>> just a customer list.   The argument about traffic congestion is just 
>> a strawman, disguising the real, profit-sharing, motive.
> However, as a cable company, comcast must pay content providers for 
> video. In addition, they may be losing more video subscribers due to 
> netflix. In reality, Netflix is direct competition to Comcast's video 
> branch.

Which is why many policy oriented folks urge "separation of content from 
carriage" - i.e., you can't be in both businesses, or at least there 
needs to be a "Chinese wall" between the two  businesses - otherwise the 
edge providers have both an inherent conflict of interest and a position 
that allows for monopoly abuse.

The original FCC Computer Inquiry II proscribed just such a separation 
for the Internet business - but defined the line as being between local 
loop (e.g., copper) and "information services" - and defined IP 
transport as an "information service."  Great if you're trying to 
protect the nascent Internet carriers from abuse by Ma Bell (though just 
try to buy an unbundled local loop these days); not so great for 
protecting Internet content providers from broadband carriers.

Miles Fidelman

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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