Since people asked, my own “strong views weakly held” personal stance on Net Neutrality: We need to somehow both retain permissionless Internet innovation and telcos ability to get a return on capital for network investment.
My preferred policy route would center on promoting regulation/deregulation and incentives for more last-mile broadband competition. I see the potential for at least 5-way last-mile broadband competition, at least in non-rural areas:
- A: Cable
- B: Telco
- C: Google Fiber
- D: Mobile carrier networks LTE and beyond
- E: Wifi and future derivatives
There are a whole bunch of things that could accelerate and enhance C, D, and E. We should identify and do those things ASAP. One key topic is wireless spectrum; need to get a lot more in the hands of both mobile carriers and into unlicensed classification. Wifi in particular seems underestimated: If a lot more/different spectrum were available, it could go much faster and longer range.
In addition, there are a variety of new ideas including satellites/drones, Steve Perlman’s DIDO, etc.; we should warmly embrace those. With sufficient local competition, regulatory pressure much reduced: If one provider plays games, consumers can switch to another.