Net Neutrality Research Database, 0.1

About this page

This site is a growing archive of discursive artifacts relating to the term "net neutrality." Although it includes links and information about internet technology, policy, and industry, these are incidental to the central goal of the project: to trace the circulation of the term "net neutrality", capture the many meanings attached to it, identify the actors who deploy it, and summarize the arguments they hope to make with it.

As evidenced by the documents in this archive, "net neutrality" (alternately, "network neutrality" or "internet neutrality") is an exceptionally tricky term to define. Although it first appeared in an article by legal scholar Tim Wu, it was soon taken up by a variety of constituencies and used to build coalitions, guide policy-making processes, describe consumer protections, and illustrate multiple - sometimes contradictory - imaginaries regarding the techno-social architecture of the internet. Stakeholders in these various discourses produced locally-meaningful definitions of the term by foregrounding the specific priorities of their projects. For some, "net neutrality" describes a particular configuration of inter-networking equipment (routers, switches, cables, and radio transceivers), for others, it is an example of state intervention into an otherwise free market, and for still others it is a matter of individual liberty and free speech.

How is "net neutrality" able to represent so many positions at once? Can we identify features of this symbol that enable such flexibility? "Net" and "network" suggest the discrete character of computing without actually specifying which nets or networks are in play. Does it refer to a material network like the coaxial cable coming into my apartment or a logical network like the one that exists among Netflix subscribers? "Neutrality" similarly implies conflict without clearly staking any boundaries or positions. What discursive advantages might accompany this ambiguity? Does a lack of specificity enable coalition-building across incompatible positions? Is there a limit to the utility of ambiguous terms? What similar terms exist?

To begin to address these questions - and generate new ones, this project focuses on the use of "net neutrality" and related terms by English-language bloggers during the past decade. For the moment, my attention is focused primarily on North American readers and writers although the bloggers themselves make frequent reference to events in other parts of the world. Marketing materials, press releases, court documents, speeches, videos, and news coverage are also included in the archive as they provide evidence with which participants in the blog-based discourse make and support claims. Although the list of blogs included in this study is quite long, many are only sporadically active and most only deal occasionally with topics related to "net neutrality."

The title at the top of this page is marked "0.1" to indicate that the material here is the result of my first pass through the archive. The two challenges at this preliminary stage were to map out where "net neutrality" discourse was taking place and to identify a set of related keywords, recurring metaphors, and types of arguments.

To start assembling this discursive map, I began with the highly-visible blog of the Save the Internet campaign. I was initially drawn to this site both for its provocative title (the internet is in danger!) and its surprisingly diverse membership. I used a custom scraper to gather all of the posts from the site and processed the resulting corpus using the Natural Language Toolkit for Python. Although these first steps provided a useful starting point, it also revealed a problem that continues to dog this project: entropy. Because of a bug in their server software, none of the reader comments before May 2009 are included in the Save the Internet archive.

After running into this roadbloack in the Save the Internet archives, I took my growing set of keywords to Google and began seeking blogs responding to the same issues, events, and articles as Save the Internet. It was at this point that the truly expansive uses and meanings of "net neutrality" became apparent. Not only does the term vary among stakeholders and contexts, it has also changed significantly over time. This observation opened up a new set of questions and research priorities. Do the same groups and individuals use "net neutrality" in 2011 as might have adopted it immediately after Wu introduced the term in 2003? Have any groups backed away from the term over time? Are new terms emerging to supplant "net neutrality"? How closely do these changes match related events in government and industry?

Quotations from bloggers and commenters make up the fundamental elements of this database. They represent discursive points of contact from which we can trace relationships among people, institutions, artifacts, events, and arguments. At this point, there is no interface for browsing or manipulating the quotations directly in your web browser. Instead, they are accessible through a few simple schema: a timeline, a collection of generic arguments, a set of comparisons, and a glossary of domain-specific terms.

The most immediately valuable feature of the database is likely the timeline of events. A handful of journalists and advocacy organizations have developed similar timelines (see Other Timelines) but they each suffer from a combination of ambiguity and bias. In contrast, I include a specific day and month wherever possible so as to construct a stricter temporal sequence. Of course, information is not distributed equally among participants in a discourse so we cannot assume that an earlier event is necessarily known to participants at a later point in time. Nonetheless, the timeline's somewhat artificial flattening of context might also reveal connections among seemingly disparate areas of the archive. Furthermore, I attempted to err on the side of over-inclusion in selecting events for the timeline to correct for my own biased position. The effectiveness of this effort will be tested when the timeline is made public and starts to turn up in the Google Alerts of passionate stakeholders.

One early observation worthy of further investigation is a recurring tension between technical specificity and imaginative language. This is most apparent in the tendency of some bloggers to set off net neutrality in quotation marks or modify it with a phrase such as "so-called." These habits usually accompany a claim that net neutrality does not reflect the implementation of any particular networking technology and is therefore fantastical, unrealistic, and/or dangerous as a guiding principle for policymakers.

On one hand, this tension reflects a difference in disciplinary tradition. Engineering relies on a shared vocabulary of narrowly-defined terms while lawyers prize the construction of illustrative analogies. On the other hand, the relationship between a material network and its abstraction is present in every attempt to speak about "the internet." Although it is literally a network of networks, internet engineering has tended from the beginning to obscure the differences among these networks from the user such that the "internet" might feel like a coherent whole. Far from a philosophical detour, this problem is present in even the most quotidian uses of the term to describe a location where discourse occurs. How else can a topic be simultaneously "all over the internet" for one user and yet completely invisible to another?

As this database develops further, it may be the case that "net neutrality" is one of a family of terms that vex the balance between materiality and abstraction in discussions of the internet. "Cloud computing," "bandwidth hogs," "internet freedom," "social media," and "traffic shaping" are all terms that seem to work in a similar fashion to "net neutrality." They evoke the technological without being grounded in any particular technology. Though this seems to offer a useful bridge among otherwise disparate domains, the costs of this translation are still unclear. The persistent frustration of engineers on all sides of the "net neutrality" debate indicates that there is a limit to the utility of these terms. Perhaps a comparison across terms is necessary to identify circumstances in which these terms either enable or foreclose communication among multiple constituencies.


19920NSF privatizes the NSF backbone (Werbach, 1999),Commercial services allowed on the network,Tom Jennings called this a "giveaway"
19940FCC report indicates that telephone companies (Bell Atlantic, Nynex, Pacific Bell, Ameritech, GTE) wanted to build out "video dial-tone" networks (Cringely, 2007),They withdrew these applications in 1995,Some spectrum set aside for MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service) but it never went down because of tech issues (Cringely, 2007)
19960Telecomm Act of 1996 included provision for National Information Infrastructure,"As a federal law, the Act specified certain data services that were to be made available to schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety agencies and paid for through special surcharges and some tax credits" (Cringely, 2007),"$200b" "given" to telecom to develop high speed fiber network (500 channels, 45 Mbps symmetrical) (Cringely, 2007) -- unclear where these numbers come from?,Instead of fiber, Act said it was okay if the network could handle 20 Mbps HDTV and that ADSL was "acceptable alternative" for data (1.5 Mbps / 128 kbps),Mergers and sketchy deals at the state level lead to very profitable but "so-so" services,"they simply redefined "broadband" as any Internet service with a download speed of 200 kilobits per second or better. That's less than one percent the target speed set in 1994 that we were supposed to have achieved by 2000 under regulations that still remain in place." (Cringely, 2007),Internet access is classified as a cable service over cable networks and an information/telecommunications service over telephone wires (Werbach, 1999)
1999January1AOL struck a deal with Bell Atlantic to allow customers to purchase DSL service with AOL as the ISP for $40 /month. (TODO?)
1999February19Kevin Werbach publishes "The Architecture of Internet 2.0" in Release 1.0 and describes a change in stakeholders and norms,It is as much a cultural and market argument as a technical one,Impact of "always-on" broadband rather than the intermittent dial-up experience,"They didn't much care about a bunch of academics, researchers and engineers setting up a commercial inter-network based on the Internet protocol. Many of those companies now get it... which may be cause for concern.","The answer is not intrusive regulation but a set of business agreements, although government prodding may be the only way to get the parties to the table","Today's Net is open, decentralized and competitive" (Werbach, 1999),"The people building the next generation of high-speed access pipelines are trying to change this model.",Discussion of @Home cable service describes production of original content (this is not an innovation of the recent mergers) and lack of incentive to provide equal speed to "outside content" (aka the rest of the Net),Werbach anticipates the scandals to come: "Cable operators aren’t filtering URLs to prevent customers from reaching unaffiliated content sites. The problem is that they could... and users would have no alternative.","The question is whether an open high-speed Internet, modeled on the wildly successful Internet of today, makes economic and technical sense. We believe it does, and that efforts to supersede it with closed systems won’t generate the same level of investment and inno- vation. In other words, a closed Internet won’t grow the way the open one has. Even Microsoft was unsuccessful in building a proprietary online service with MSN." -- Werbach, 1999,"We suspect none of this will happen, and most cable and telephone compa- nies will continue to exclude independent ISPs from their systems. We also suspect that two to three years from now high-speed access penetra- tion will still be lower than analysts are predicting. At that point the FCC probably will start some sort of proceeding, but it will be more dif- ficult to open up networks that have already been deployed." (Werbach, 1999)
2002August1Network Working Group (NWG) releases RFC 3360 "Inappropriate TCP Resents Considered Harmful" to the "Best Current Practice" category (Floyd, 2002)
2003January1Tim Wu presents paper titled "Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination" at the Silicon Flatirons conference in Boulder, CO,First appearance of the term
2004January1"In January, then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell gives a speech in Colorado called “Preserving Internet Freedom: Guiding Principles for the Industry,” outlining the idea of four Internet Freedoms in response to calls for some type of network neutrality." (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2004March26Trading Opportunities and Options on the Spectrum Frontier (in London), Columbia Univ. CITI
2004April2Media Concentration in America, Columbia Univ. CITI
2004April15Internet Concentration and Its Impact, Columbia Univ. CITI
2004May14Investing in Infrastructure: Increasing Internet Access in the Developing World, Columbia Univ. CITI
2004October27After the Closing of the Spectrum Frontier: What spectrum allocation models work best, when and where?, Columbia Univ. CITI
2004September29Remedies for Telecom Recovery II: One Year Later, Columbia Univ. CITI
2004November19WiMax and the Last Mile, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005February1"In February, Madison River, a telephone company, blocks Vonage VoIP services, creating one of the first cases of an ISP discriminating against IP traffic." (Higgenbotham, 2010b),"AT&T (the SBC) CEO Ed Whitacre: 'What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that...Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?' (Business Week, November 7, 2005)" (De Cock, 2010),FCC stopped them:
2005January1Supreme Court in Brand X gave FCC some authority via Title I "ancillary authority" (get more details) launches.,Availability is limited to broadband customers who ALSO have TV subscription AND whose provider contracts with ESPN,
2005March18Alternative Broadband Platforms:Can They Compete With Fiber Optics? Where?, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005May23IPTV.2: The Second Generation of TV Over The Broadband Internet ? co-sponsored by the Marconi Foundation and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York 's Telecom Law Committee, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005May25Reforming Telecom Markets: A Commons Approach to Organizing Private Transactions, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005June7Broadband And Large Users (with The Conference Board, by invitation only), Columbia Univ. CITI
2005June10Corporate Governance for Telecom, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005June23Are Multiple Broadband Infrastructures Sustainable?, Columbia Univ. CITI
2005July7WSJ publishes op-ed from then-chairman of FCC Kevin Martin suggesting that the U.S. is "on our way to accomplishing the president's goal of universal, affordable access to broadband by 2007" (Martin, 2005)
2005July24Telus blocked access to Voices for Change, a website advocating support for striking workers of the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU),Telus said "the site suggested striking workers jam Telus phone lines, and posted pictures of employees crossing the union picket lines",
2005August5FCC adopts new policy statement regarding network management, NN,,"in August the commission proposed a set of four Open Internet Principles" (Higgenbotham, 2010b),Policy statement but not a binding regulation,,Do they use the term "net neutrality"? (TODO)
2005October23FCC issues Policy Statement outlining four principles "to ensure that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable, and accessible to all consumers",
2005September20Future of Telecom – CITI Advisory Board Members and CITI Staff only, Columbia Univ.
2005September21The State of the Network Sector, Columbia Univ.
2005November11Comcast's David Cohen: "network neutrality is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem" (Congressional Quarterly, November 11, 2005) (De Cock, 2010)
2005November11Transatlantic Telecom Forum: Beyond Convergence (with IDATE and WIK, in France), Columbia Univ. CITI
2005December9Wireless Communications and Universal Service, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006January1Congress attempted to pass first NN bill, did not pass (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2006January1eBay’s then-CEO Meg Whitman even sending out an email to eBay’s users asking them to contact their Congressmen in favor of network neutrality" (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2006January1Kushnick self-publishes "$200 Billion Broadband Scandal" about failed promises of 1996 Telecom Act and telecom bad behavior,Summary:
2006February6The Telecommunications Act of 1996: Ten Years Later, Washington, DC
2006February6Public Knowledge releases white paper titled "Good Fences Make Bad Broadband: Preserving an Open Internet through Net Neutrality" (Windhausen, 2006),
2006February7U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Hearing on “Network Neutrality”
2006March7Shaw Communications (an ISP which offers digital telephony) offers that users of competing VoIP services sign up for a "quality of service enhancement" for additional $10 per month. Vonage complains that it is anti-competitive, calling the fee a "VoIP tax".,The QoS upgrade was available since May 2005,
2006March8Shaw Communications responds to Vonage indicating that pay the QoS fee will have their Vonage packets prioritized and will experience fewer dropped packets during peak traffic,Shaw states that its own Digital Phone service is not part of the internet but runs over a separate data network,Shaw's President suggests that the complaint is timed to generate press in anticipation of a Vonage IPO,,Shaw users, however, complain that third-party VoIP service is poor with or without the QoS:,Lingering question: is there a base-level "unfettered" internet access from which Shaw is either restricting VoIP or offering enhancement?
2006April21From the Home Network to the Personal Ultrabroadband Cloud, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006June2Council of Telecommunications Executives/Conference Board (by invitation only), Columbia University
2006June16Real Options Methodology for Telecommunications, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006June16The Withering of the Net: How D.C. pathologies are undermining the growth and wealth of the Net, Lessig/Malamud, DC,
2006July17The Great Debate: What is Net Neutrality?, Cerf/ Farber/ Malamud, Washington DC,
2006September20The State of Telecom- a Trans-Atlantic Dialog, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006September27Business Models for Rural Broadband, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006November3Economics of the Commons II: The status, functions and utility of Infrastructure, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006November17The State of American Telecom R&D: An Evaluation of the National Research Council Report, Columbia Univ. CITI
2006December1Ultrabroadband Networks: From Couch Potato to Home Networks Integration, Columbia Univ. CITI
2007January1TODO When did FCC began an inquiry in 2007 to investigate the contours of broadband discrimination?
2007January1Users accuse Comcast of blocking P2P, FCC investigates (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2007January9Sen. Dorgon introduces S.215 "Internet Freedom Preservation Act" ,"To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure net neutrality.",Second NN bill introduced into Congress,Cosponsors: Snow, Kerry, Boxer, Harkin, Leahy, Clinton, Obama, Wyden ,Referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,Does not pass (Higgenbotham, 2010b),,
2007January13Rep. Dennis Kucinich spoke at the Free Press National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis. He announced that a new House subcommittee would be reviewing the role of the FCC in media consolidation, regulation (Clark, 2007)
2007February1Senate Commerce Committee hearing "Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC" (Anderson, 2007)
2007May1Robb Topolski uses packet sniffer and detects Comcast "spoofing" BitTorrent traffic (Eckersley, et. al., 2007, 2),Dramatized in (Roth, 2009)
2007June22UltraBroadband III: the Personal Media Cloud, Columbia Univ CITI
2007October6DoJ ex parte filing with FCC responding to "so-called 'net neutrality' rules",
2007October13Comcast rep tells EFF that while it does perform "network management", it does not target any specific protocol (Eckersley, et al, 2007, 3)
2007October27Verizon rejected request from abortion rights group NARAL to use its network for text-message outreach citing a right to block "controversial or unsavory" materials,Later rescinded,(Liptak, 2007)
2007October29New AT&T terms of service stipulate that connection may be cut for conduct that "tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.",Later rescinded,
2007September1"Speaking at the Fiber-to-the-Home Conference in Orlando last week, Verizon's vice president of FiOS TV content strategy Terry Denson stated that very few customers are actually asking for 100Mbps service." (Bode, 2007),Danson describes a trade-off between high-quality video services (TV) and high-bandwidth interactive services (internet)
2007September19Associated Press publishes article indicating that their tests did find Comcast "forging" packets (Eckersley, et al, 2007, 3)
2007September19The State of the Telecom Industry, CITI, Columbia Univ
2007November1Public Knowledge and Free Press filed a complaint with the FCC regarding the "secret degrading" of P2P traffic by Comcast ("Formal complaint", 2007),Ask FCC to bar Comcast from this type of interference and fine them "$195,000 ($97,500 for discrimination and $97,500 for deception) for each consumer affected by the problem" (Bangeman, 2007)
2007November143rd Transatlantic Telecom Forum: "Net neutrality vs. Separation" (with IDATE), CITI, Columbia University
2007November28EFF releases "Packet Forgery by ISPs: A Report On The Comcast Affair" white paper (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
2008January1"The United States ranked 19th in broadband speed, trailing Japan, Korea and France, according to a 2008 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development." (Poirier, 2010)
2008January1Third NN bill introduced in Congress. (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2008January1FCC under Chairman Kevin Martin censured Comcast for blocking BT traffic (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2008January1FCC orders them to implement and file a "new and non-disciminatory network management plan" (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2008January14FCC opens pair of rule-making proceedings over network management following Comcast scandal,"The FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau is looking for comment on a petition seeking a declaratory ruling that "the practice by broadband service providers of degrading peer-to-peer traffic violates the FCC's Internet Policy Statement" and that such practices fall outside of what the FCC calls "reasonable network management."","The second proceeding is intended to determine what, exactly, constitutes reasonable network management by ISPs.",,Resulting collection of comments = WC Docket no. 07-52
2008January28Manager of U2 tells delegates at Midem, a music industry conference in France, that ISPs should be responsible for detecting piracy.,
2008January13Deadline for submitting comments to FCC for WC Docket no. 07-52
2008January25Federal Communications Commission public en banc hearing on broadband network management practices, Harvard, Cambridge, MA (Stirland, 2008),Comcast packed the room with employees to lock out interested members of the public (Gustin, 2008)
2008March1Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) issues "Resolution on Net Neutrality",
2008March4Op-ed appears in the Harvard Crimson credited to Mel King but it may have been written by LawMedia Group under contract to Comcast Corp (McCullagh, 2008),"When pressed for details such as whether he was paid [by LawMedia Group] for the use of his name, King hung up the phone."
2008April3Ultrabroadband: Innovation & Regulation, Telecom ParisTech University,
2008September9Ultrabroadband V, Seoul,
2008September30CITI's 25th Anniversary International Summit on Media & Communication,
2008December9Majority Staff of House Energy and Commerce Committee releases a report (after a "yearlong, bipartisan investigation") titled "Deception and Distrust: The Federal Communications Commission Under Chairman Kevin J. Martin" accusing outgoing FCC chairman Martin of "manipulating data" and "suppressing information" regarding telecom policy debates,,
2008December10Public/Private Interplay in Next-Generation Communications (Organized with Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia), Seville, Spain (Columbia Univ. CITI)
2009January1FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski attempts to create NN rules (including wireless), adds 5th principle "transparency" (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2009February19IMPLEMENTING THE BROADBAND STIMULUS: Maximizing Benefits and Monitoring Performance, Georgetown / Columbia,
2009March26NETWORK SEPARATION: Models, Economics and Regulatory Implications, Columbia Univ.,
2009June1Kushnick publishes updated version of his book, now titled "$300 Billion Broadband Scandal"
2009July14"[FCC] announced that the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University would conduct an independent expert review of existing literature and studies about broadband deployment and usage throughout the world" ,
2009August1Comcast sues FCC,
2009September20AT&T urges employees to oppose NN,Letter leaks on blogs and messageboards,,""AT&T is practiced in spending money on so-called astroturf groups to give the appearance there is widespread support for their agenda," said Timothy Karr, campaign director for the advocacy group Free Press." (Reardon, 2010)
2009September23State of Telecom: National Next-Generation Broadband Plans, Columbia University,
2009September21Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg "spoke out against net neutrality" at the Supercomm trade show in Chicago (Higginbotham, 2009),"If we can’t differentiate between packets, we can’t prioritize emergency communications for first-responders [...] The truth is, we have never provided ‘dumb pipes’." (Higginbotham, 2009)
2009December3Waxman issues "Statement on Comcast-NBC Universal Joint Venture",No mention of internet or NN,"This proposal raises questions regarding diversity, competition, and the future of the production and distribution of video content across broadcasting, cable, online, and mobile platforms." (Waxman, 2009)
2009December10FCC hosted a public workshop on two independent studies that were requested:,Berkman Center,Columbia Institue for Tele-Information (CITI),
2010January1FCC proposes a "Third Way" (TODO?) (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2010January1Comcast v. Level 3 (TODO?),"senior [FCC] officials both said that the cat fight between Comcast and Level 3 is a peering issue as opposed to a net neutrality issue and thus, isn’t addressed in this order" (Higginbotham, 2010a)
2010January1Google, Verizon team up with another policy framework (TODO?) (Higgenbotham, 2010b),
2010February10Google announces experimental fiber network with 1 Gbps to the home (Ingersoll & Kelly, 2010),no video or voice, "stricly an IP data pipe" (Higginbotham, 2010d)
2010February16Berkman Center Final Report submitted to the FCC,
2010February16FCC unveils plan requiring ISPs to offer home connections speeds of 100 Mbps (symmetrical?) by 2020 (Poirier, 2010) ,""(One gigabit per second) as discussed in current news reports is a lot of signal; typically enough for many massive business operations," Verizon said in a statement that referred to Google's plan to test a network with those speeds. "But we could make it happen over the FiOS network without much trouble, should a market for it develop.""
2010March11Media Concentration Around the World: Empirical Studies, Columbia Univ.,
2010March16FCC releases details of National Broadband Plan
2010March25Case Western "Beta Block" community broadband project opens its "Alpha House" to the public for tours,
2010April6United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit rejects "ancillary authority" argument; says FCC doesn't have authority to censure Comcast, this is problem for Genachowski's NN rule-making efforts (Higgenbotham, 2010b; Albanesius, 2010), relaunched as
2010April19The National Broadband Plan: A Roundtable Discussion, NYLS,
2010April26Comcast voted Worst Company In America by readers of,"throttled internet" cited as one of the reasons (Morran, 2010),Tom Servo in comments: "Comcast deserved their "win" because of their politicking against net neutrality",Darksly responds: "Another American against the Free Market"
2010May11Think Progress / Boing Boing and others get upset over a campaign titled No Net Brutality before realizing that it was not real. Just an exercise of MBA students at a retreat sponsored by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.,,,
2010July16Frank Eliason, Director of Digital Care at Comcast, quits to become an artist ,Now he is the SVP of Social Media for Citibank,
2010October29Rep. Waxman releases statement on Net Neutrality Proposal (Waxman, 2010),Congress fourth attempt at NN bill (Higgenbotham, 2010b),"protect and promote an open Internet","bipartisan", working with Boucher,"four key consumer protections",Restore the FCC’s authority to prevent blocking of Internet content, applications, and services, which was struck down by the court in the Comcast decision;,Prevent phone and cable companies from unjustly or unreasonably discriminating against any lawful Internet traffic;,Prohibit wireless broadband providers from blocking websites, as well as applications that compete with voice or video conferencing, while preserving the FCC’s authority to adopt additional safeguards under its existing authorities; and,Direct the FCC to issue transparency regulations so consumers know the price, performance, and network management practices of their broadband providers.,Also delays "threat of reclassification" for 2 years (? TODO),Fails to pass because Ranking Member Barton did not support the legislation,"Goal is the best outcome for consumers","If Congress can't act, the FCC must",Thanks to "Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Public Knowledge, and the Center for Democracy and Technology for their steadfast advocacy on behalf of consumers and AT&T, Verizon, and the National Cable Television Association for their constructive engagement."
2010September15The State of Telecom – 2010: Matching Supply and Demand for the Next Generation of Broadband,
2010November11Level 3 announces a multi-year deal to support Netflix's streaming services (Dignan, 2010)
2010November19Level 3 alleges that this is the day on which Comcast demanded a recurring fee to “transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content.” (Stelter, 2010)
2010November22Level 3 agreed to pay the fees "to ensure customers did not experience any [service] disruptions" (Stelter, 2010)
2010November29Level 3 publicly accuses Comcast of charging a new fee that puts Netflix at a disadvantage. (Stelter, 2010),Comcast denied it was an issue of open internet/ net neutrality- claimed it was a commercial dispute
2010December1Genachowski delivers "Remarks on Preserving Internet Freedom and Openness" speech (Genachowski, 2010),Transparency, "how networks are being managed",Bar on "unreasonable discrimination": "[right] to go where they want and say what they want online, and to use the devices of their choice","Reasonable network management": vague about what this means in practice,Differentiating "mobile broadband" and "fixed broadband"
2010December21FCC commissioners vote 3:2 to approve "open internet" (aka "net neutrality") order (Higgenbotham, 2010b),Transparency,"prohibition against blocking lawful content on wireline networks and certain types of content on wireless networks","rules preventing unreasonable discrimination"
2011January18Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approve merger of Comcast with NBC Universal,Commissioner Copps was the only dissenting voice, saying it "confers too much power in one company's hands" (Stelter & Arango, 2011),And that it could lead to the "cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production"
2011January21Media Concentration: Around the World: First 2011 Report by the global research project on international media concentration and ownership,
2011January1Subcommittee on Communications and Technoloy held a hearing titled "Network Neutrality and Internet Regulation: Warranted or More Economic Harm than Good?",All 5 FCC commissioners provided written testimony,PDF + video here:,FCC provides links to related content:
2011June23Appropriations Committee approves FY 2012 Financial Services Appropriations that limit use of funds for net neutrality regulation,"The Committee remains concerned with the Commission’s decision to begin regulating the Internet, specifically the precedent that this decision sets and its impact on future innovation. Therefore, the Committee has included section 621 to prohibit funds for implementation of the Commission’s net neutrality order." (pp. 43),"Section 621. The Committee includes language prohibiting funding to implement the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality order (FCC 10–201, adopted by the Commission on December 21, 2010)." (pp 70),From the full text of the bill: "SEC. 621. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement the Report and Order of the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (FCC 10-201, adopted by the Commission on December 21, 2010).",
2011June29Kerry of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet and Rockefeller of the Commerce Committee "opposed efforts to cut funding to securate and open Internet" ,Letter to Inouye and Cochran of the Senate Committee on Appropriations,Cosigners: Franken, Cantwell, Udall, Blumenthal, Udall, Wyden, Sanders, Begich,
2011July18New America Foundation releases a report on the "growing digital divide" ,Engages with newer ISP technologies and pricing plans to identify areas of stress where new gaps and "digital divides" might emerge,Arguing that all broadband is not the same,Concern over "packet blocking, different access technologies, broadband caps and cost" (Higginbotham, 2011)
2011July19AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson calls DSL "obsolete" (Higginbotham, 2011b)
2011July25AT&T submits details of merger with T-Mobile to FCC and DOJ (Peterson, 2011)
2011July27Gig.U announces plans to develop high-speed networks in the communities surrounding 29 American universities (Markoff, 2011)

^Back to the top


Internet access should be a public utility and regulated like one.

DENOBIN -- "I understand that they don't want to be just a bit pipe, but they are and that's how the internet has grown and developed. ISP should be like the water company and deliver water at the rate I desire, for the price they choose to sell it at, of course. However what they should not do is offer flavored waters or tell consumers what type of water they should consume." (Reardon, 2010)

America is falling behind other countries because of aging infrastructure.

"Promoting an open and accessible Internet is critical for consumers. It is also critical to our nation's competitiveness -- in places like Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, higher-bandwidth and neutral broadband platforms are unleashing waves of innovation that threaten to leave the U.S. further and further behind." (Lloyd, 2006)

Net neutrality is only held up by politicians who are bought out by telecom lobby

MrktMind -- "If the duopolies don’t want to be in the dumb pipe business and be happy with billions in profit they can just buy NBC and create content. Or build a better search engine and COMPETE for profit. '''Profit by lining politicians pockets has got to stop.''' Otherwise the rest of the world will kick our asses in very short order." (Higginbotham, 2009)

The value in the internet is content created and circulated by users; not the wires.

"The access providers whine about not being able to “monetize” the Internet like they “monetize” their Cable TV offers, not mentioning that they *pay* for Cable TV shows, but pay nothing for the Internet that its users create for each other, share with each other, and sell to each other. The Internet has created a huge new economy, so I think if the Broadband guys merely connect us into it and keep growing their capacity and speeds, they will do a fine busioness, too, from what we are willing to pay them to do so." (Reed, 2010)
Jeff Anthony -- "the internet became the way it is not because of the large corporate websites out there, it's from the content and websites that regular guys like me and you have put up there." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

Vertically-integrated companies unfairly compete.

Steve Midgley - "If I understand the threat of a non-neutral internet, at least as Public Knowledge has outlined it, Comcast buys NBC and then builds a streaming service for NBC content that works better (less jitter, etc) than the one that you can get via Comcast cable internet to (say) Netflix. Consumers prefer Comcast’s service to Netflix’s and Netflix loses subscribers simply b/c of network layer priorities that Comcast has implemented. Net neutrality is supposed to eliminate this unfair technique for cmipeting companies." (Higginbotham, 2010a)
Streaming video is the "killer app" for high bandwidth but it competes with pay TV. Because large ISPs also own cable TV companies, they don't want their customers getting video from Hulu (or pirate bay) (Higginbotham, 2010c)
Stalemate: "The companies best able financially to make the necessary investments [in broadband infrastructure] are incumbent cable and local telephone companies, because running new wires into homes costs so much. Even these providers must make significant investments to support high-speed Internet access, and they have no incentive to take on the cost and risk until they perceive a competitive threat. The Telecommunication Act of 1996, rather than opening up the market to com- petition, largely fixed in place the standoff between telcos and cable operators in most of the country. Both have avoided major forays into the other’s territory, allowing them to preserve their lucrative existing markets" (Werbach, 1999)
"@Home controls the cable modem in the user’s home and functions as the service provider.3 Users cannot pay a reduced fee for the high-speed pipe alone; they must purchase the @Home ISP and content offerings. Even if a user pays for another ISP’s services on top of the @Home subscription fee, the primary customer relationship is still with @Home. Independent ISPs such as MindSpring and EarthLink have no control over the user’s connec- tion setup and thus cannot compete on customer service or reliability.4 ServiceCo also refuses to allow customers to use independent ISPs. @Home has been the focus of the most attention because of the AT&T/TCI merger, its extensive use of local caching and its larger user base." (Werbach, 1999)
"Cable operators believe they will have an easier time attacking these markets if they can build tightly coupled, application-centered networks tied to digital set-top boxes in customer homes. They are also concerned that a truly open high-speed Internet sys- tem will threaten their core video-programming revenues; @Home is required under its contracts with cable operators to limit streaming video clips over its system to 10 minutes in length." (Werbach, 1999)

The "openness" of the internet shouldn't depend on its infrastructure.

Infrastructure comes and goes but the internet persists.

"We didn’t need to make the Internet change when we moved it onto Fixed Broadband platforms. Why should we have to change anything about it as we move to run Internet connections over mobile broadband? The Internet was designed to work over any kind of network, and it works over mobile broadband platforms today!" (Reed, 2010)

Broadband ISPs are effectively monopolies from the consumer perspective.

timothyogden -- "As long as there is limited access to ISP choice, the ISPs should have no power to discriminate what comes through the pipes they control. If ISPs are willing to forego their monopoly power (for instance by banning multi-year contracts or accepting a requirement for forced leasing of the pipes) then they have a reasonable argument for charging for access. That way consumers can easily shop for the service that best meets their needs. If they are not willing to operate in a truly competitive marketplace they have no reasonable claim to power over internet traffic." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

ISPs shouldn't be able to see access to "The Internet" unless it meets certain criteria.

This is related to: '''advertising is misleading''' and that the ISPs '''cannot deliver the speeds they promise'''.

"a provider makes something that they call the Internet, but in fact is highly non-standard and is not at all a standard Internet connection." (Reed, 2010) This is considered a problem of '''transparency'''. Other services might be offered over broadband (e.g. cable TV) but they should not be confused for the Internet
"ISPs frequently advertise their services as “unlimited,” unmetered Internet connections. Subscribers who purchase “unlimited Internet access” have no reason to expect that particular applications or protocols will fail based on protocol-specific interference by their ISPs. In fact, increased transparency in the market for Internet access may encourage marketplace solutions that encourage customers to sort themselves into high- and low-bandwidth groups" (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
Mac Guy -- "Likewise couldn't this be considered a violation of the service I'm paying for? If I sign up for the 4Mbps service but only receive 512Kbps because of this (yes I know it's limited to certain services) doesn't that mean I'm not receiving what I'm paying for?" (Bangeman, 2007)
xeromist -- "Suddenly you'd see packages that GUARANTEED 100Kbps and offered burst speeds up to 10Mbps. For the average person the price and performance would remain the same. During peak hours the ISP just throttles the hogs however much is necessary regardless of packet type." (Bangeman, 2007)

There is a consensus understanding of what "The Internet" is.

"if there are specific guidelines keeping the Internet open, by making sure it is the same Internet all over the US and the world, then we have a basis for sensibly understanding what will destroy its value." (Reed, 2010)
"the Internet connection sold to the user must provide the standard, commonly understood, consensus definition of the Internet service – the ability to address IP datagrams to any destination on the collective Internet, and have it delivered without the access provider interfering with that delivery for its own purposes, or doing something other than deliver the datagram as requested according to the standard understanding of how the Internet works." (Reed, 2010)

The internet has always been open/neutral/free.

soenke -- "innovation exists without abolishment of net neutrality (also misleadingly termed “net regulation”) already and cannot require it as a prerequisite [...] the real-time application segment [...] is an engineering problem and not a business one." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
Scott Webb -- "We aren't talking about creating a new environment here, we are talking about keeping the environment as it has been since the beginning of the internet. How could maintaining the current market dynamics which have led to amazing innovations and trillions of dollars of investment over the past decade, suddenly be bad for business?" (Litan & Singer, 2010)
"From its inception, the Internet has been open to any kind of application or content provider, and those providers could be accessed by any Internet user over a neutral network. “People didn’t have to get permission” to try new ideas, said Cerf, which “helped to stimulate and sustain innovation.”",
"Why has the Internet proved to be such a powerful engine for innovation, creativity and economic growth? A big part of the answer traces back to '''one key decision by the Internet’s original architects: to make the Internet an open platform'''." (Genachowski, 2010)
"Net neutrality has been the operating norm of the Internet '''since its inception'''; it's only recently that ISPs have discovered there's money to be made in ransoming certain content." (Chasick, 2009)
"Today's Net is open, decentralized and competitive [...] The people building the next generation of high-speed access pipelines are trying to change this model." (Werbach, 1999)

ISPs made bad business arrangements and they are trying to lobby their way out.

CrowsSong -- "If you sell widgets for $5 each and they cost you $10 to make, maybe you should get out of the widget business. The ISP's screwed up by selling something that they are unable to provide. This is not the consumer's problem." (Bangeman, 2007)

ISPs are colluding with each other to the detriment of the public interest.

koitsu -- "In the past 3 days or so, I've seen 3 different news posts here at BBR covering 3 different companies all saying the same thing [...] The timing is a bit suspect. Three different companies all saying the same thing?" (Bode, 2007)
pug_ster -- "The problem with the ISP's out there is that you are lucky if you have a choice between 2 high speed providers. They have little incentive between charging you $50 for a 100mb speed when they can give a 'speedy' 10mb speed for the same price. Both cable and FIOS can easily give you 100mb speed, but they do not want to implemented it." (Bode, 2007)

Large infrastructure projects are best supported by government regulation.

[According to Lessig, after the breakup of Ma Bell in the 80s], the government made the physical infrastructure that enabled phone service “neutral.” Service providers could compete and innovate without suffering the competitive disadvantage of building a massive network. “Such infrastructure,” Lessig said, “should be regulated to be neutral and competitive.”,

FCC should regulate in the public interest even if it reduces competition in the marketplace.

FineFellow -- "The American end-consumer is the stakeholder that pays for this sloth and greed, while all the telcos want is to lobby and spin their way to upending a well thought out and effective policy for a few extra nickles. The FCC should do its job and look after the end-consumer against monopolist parties, reject the agreement and slap both Google's and Verizon's grubby little hands." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

Net neutrality will open a market to new players that is currently dominated by entrenched interests.

Alatair McDermott -- "Without Net Neutrality, larger businesses can run railroad over smaller competitors. The headline should read "Why Major Corporations Should Oppose Net Neutrality... And Everyone Else Should Support It"." (Litan & Singer, 2010
Zack Mazinger -- "allowing corporations to rule the internet will mean poor performance and accessibility to a) the general populace b) small business that will never be able to compete."

FCC does not have the jurisdiction or authority to regulate broadband.

As long as cable is classified as an "information service", it is not subject to the regulatory authority that FCC might have over a "common carrier",

High bandwidth coaxial cable is already coming into many homes. It needs to be opened up to greater use by data services.

Richard Bennett -- "95% of America is already wired with a system that provides 4 Gbps to each home: it’s called cable TV. Americans prefer to use most of this bandwidth for TV programming, but it’s shifting to general-purpose Internet access as consumers demand it." (Higginbotham, 2010c)

It's a geek thing.

Richard Bennett in Higginbotham, 2010c -- "The average American consumer opts for lower speed, lower cost Internet access over faster and more expensive options every time."
* "The transition isn’t happening as fast as most of us geeks want it to happen, but we’re a minority."
Richard Bennett in Higginbotham 2010c -- "BTW, nobody wants a symmetrical service, so it’s a waste of money to design networks to provide it."
kdavis -- "As the RIAA case in Minnesota showed, the public hates file sharing, and people think of P2P as file sharing. If they fine some lady $220,000 for file sharing, good luck getting Comcast in trouble for interfering with it." (Bangeman, 2007)
DHRacer responding to Danson from VZN talking about consumer demand -- "one thing we're all forgetting is how much consumer hardware doesn't even support more than 10Mbps on the WAN port [...] anything above 10Mbps is definately enthusiast level [...] Our kids, who have grown up in the Internet age and are fully into being bandwidth consumers will drive the rollout..." (Bode, 2007)

Don't fix it if it ain't broke.

"[Net neutrality advocates] are prone to use slogans and other headline catching statements like “Save the Internet”, “Protect the First Amendment”, and even go as far as labeling this issue as a disaster and equating it to the Gulf spill and the Wall Street meltdown." (Bauermeister, 2010)
RonPer -- "First- The Internet is open- please provide examples of when ISPs have censored speech on the Internet." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
DoJ 2007 ex parte filing to FCC: "'''Even assuming that a potential danger exists''', the ambiguity of what conduct needs to be prohibited raises a real possibility that regulation would prohibit some conduct that is beneficial, while failing to stop other conduct that may be harmful."
DoJ, 2007 in ex parte filing to FCC on NN: "Internet usage is soaring. Consumers are reaping substantial benefits from new services and technologies."
Cicconi -- "America's wireless consumers enjoy the broadest range of innovative services and devices, lowest prices, highest usage levels, and most choices in the world. Why disrupt a market that's working so well?" (Chaswick, 2009)
Cicconi -- "There's been more innovation in this market than in any since the World Wide Web was introduced. The market is working for consumers." (Chaswick, 2009)
Kevin Walsh argues in the comments to Higginbotham 2010c that broadband adoption happened rapidly in the 2000s without regulation. " might also be argued that capacity and demand inch up in tandem with each other, much like computer memory and applications software. Demand drives capacity increases, but capacity increases also enable whole new sources of demand."
We already have fast internet and people asking for faster internet can't justify the cost to the marketplace that FCC regulation would introduce, e.g. Brett Glass in Higginbotham 2010c -- "what do you want to do that really requires that much capacity — and isn’t simply wasteful?"
"The argument that Net Neutrality is a solution in search of a problem was put forth by Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. He writes, "There is no evidence that broadband operators are unfairly blocking access to websites or online services today, and there is no reason to expect them to do so in the future. No firm or industry has any sort of 'bottleneck control' over or market power in the broadband marketplace."" (Lloyd, 2006)

Infrastructure costs should be spread unevenly among broadband customers depending on use.

"I strongly believe that the burden of the significant investment that needs to be made to the network must be born by '''the cost-causers, in this case, heavy users and broadband hogging content providers'''." (Bauermeister, 2010)

Regulation will increase costs to consumers and lower network efficiency and development of new infrastructure and offerings.

Flip: first n years of unregulated internet were innovative and competitive.

Sen. Hutchison (R-TX) -- "The Internet has grown and flourished without federal regulations because it has been able to evolve to meet rapid changes without government roadblocks holding up progress."" (Albanesius, 2010)
Jorge Bauermeister -- "The argument relating to how price regulation decreases investment is not only powerful, but should resonate strongly with the African American and Latino communities. A reduction in investment will leave us sitting at the rear of the bus. We need the FCC to focus on how to expand broadband access at affordable rates." (Litan & Singer, 2010), Further elaborated on his site:
DoJ ex parte filing to FCC 2007 -- "In contrast to the paucity of evidence of present harm to correct, there is reason to believe that the type of regulatory restraints proposed by some commenters under the mantle of "neutrality" could actually deter and delay investment and innovation, and result in less choice and higher prices to consumers of Internet services."
DoJ ex parte filing to FCC 2007 -- "Precluding broadband providers from charging fees for priority service could shift the entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers."
DoJ ex parte filing to FCC 2007 -- "Mandating a single, uniform level of service for all content could limit the quality and variety of services that are available to consumers and discourage investment in new facilities."
Costs to upgrade nationwide network to fiber-to-the-home or DOCSIS 3.0 are staggering (billions) so business will not invest without certainty of return. Copper and wireless are said to never be able to compete with these technologies. "Verizon has tested a tech [...] to deliver a 10 Gbps connection that’s shared among 32 homes. [...] the next generation from AT&T are going to require swapping out gear at the node and inside your home so the companies still using copper can squeak up to speeds that most analysts doubt will even reach 100 Mbps. That means a hundred-fold disparity in connection speeds." (Higginbotham, 2010c)
BigLan -- "What I don't like is the size of the fines - I'm a comcast customer and the only way they'll recoup the money for a fine that big is through either reduced capital spending (ie fewer speed increases in the future) or by raising prices, neither of which is very appealing to me. If the fcc could somehow garnish the pay of executives for the fine I'd be all for it, but we all know that payments like this come out of the customer's pockets, one way or the other, especially if there isn't any choice for the customer." (Bengeman, 2007)
"@Home, cable operators and AT&T claim that they need the vertically inte- grated access model to recoup their infrastructure investment. They say the subscription fees don’t cover the full cost of the system, and they must receive advertising and transaction revenue to make the service prof- itable. They fiercely oppose any government order to unbundle the high- speed cable pipe from the @Home ISP and content service, arguing that gov- ernment intervention would distort the free market and would chill innovation and investment." (Werbach, 1999)

Emergency communication will be inhibited under net neutrality rules.

Seidenberg "“If we can’t differentiate between packets, we can’t prioritize emergency communications for first-responders…telesurgery or heart-monitor readings for digital medicine…videoconferencing over spam for telecommuters." (Higginbotham 2009)
Cicconi -- "FCC rules should not stop the promise of life-changing, cost-saving services such as telemedicine that depend on a managed network." (Chiswick, 2009)
DoJ ex parte filing 2007 -- "Other "net neutrality" proposals could prohibit broadband providers from offering differentiated quality of service. Such a rule, however, would eliminate choice and could deter the use and development of new, latency-sensitive applications that require more reliable delivery."

"Third-party" service providers such as Google and Netflix are riding for free on the sunk costs of companies who own infrastructure (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast).

"The goal of the FCC should be to maintain a level playing field by treating all competitors the same. Any new rules should apply equally to network providers, search engines and other information services providers." (Chiswick, 2009)
tonywestover -- "It cracks me up how entitled people in America feel nowadays. The internet isn't "free". It doesn't run on magic, it runs on a network infrastructure that is paid for, owned, and maintained by AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon in the United States. They offer you a product. If you don't like the product, go buy it somewhere else." (Reardon, 2010)
"the CEO of SBC (now AT&T) [ told a BusinessWeek interviewer], "Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!"" (Lloyd, 2006)

Blanket net neutrality regulation is a change from convention, FCC should regulate on case-by-case basis.

"independent content providers need assurance that they will not be discriminated against when it comes to accessing broadband subscribers or buying enhanced quality of service from ISPs. The best way to do this is to use a case-by-case analysis. In fact, the FCC already uses a case-by-case process to adjudicate discrimination complaints brought by independent cable networks against vertically integrated cable operators. It seems odd that the FCC would use one process to adjudicate discrimination claims in the Internet space and a different process to adjudicate discrimination claims in the cable programming space. " (Litan & Singer, 2010)

Internet protocols and network management require constant innovation to keep up with new services, customer demand.

"Priority delivery would enable certain real-time applications to operate free of jitter and generally perform at higher levels. Absent net neutrality restrictions, entrepreneurs in their garages would devote significant energies trying to topple Google with the next killer application. But if real-time applications are not permitted to run as they were intended, these creative energies will flow elsewhere." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
DoJ 2007 ex parte filing to FCC: "The types of conduct that some proponents of regulation seek to prohibit--e.g., the prioritization of certain content and content providers [...], offering of premium services and different levels of quality of service, preferential treatment of certain content, and vertical integration--in many instances actually may be procompetitive."
New infrastructures, services, users require more than the original internet designers imagined. Wireless, streaming video, hundreds of devices in a small area. Richard Bennett "Whatt do you mean by “work?” Do you mean “stumble along, losing every other packet and sucking down an enormous electrical load but more or less connecting everyone to everyone as long as nobody’s in a hurry” or do you mean “functions efficiently across the broadest conceivable range of applications and networks, promotes innovation and investment, and costs next to nothing to operate?”"

FCC is an unstable, non-democratic, appointed regulatory body and even if the current commissioners are doing a good job, they will soon be replaced.

Eric Nelson -- "With a FCC regulated internet, what happens when a new FCC chairman comes to power that changes the regulations to something you don't like? What's your recourse, and how is it better than the current situation? I'd much rather take my chances with AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, etc, than with an unelected group of bureaucrats." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

One's opponent suffers a lack of technical expertise/ detail.

More often used by net neutrality opponents but available to any participant in the discussion.

jumpfightgo -- "I don't understand how providing "special handling of the packets for its online gaming portal" is different from advantaging one content provider (Sony) over another (say, Nintendo). Most of us don't understand how these "additional services" are different from "the internet"." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
RonPer -- "Ask any network engineer (I can provide a few if you want to reach out directly), and they will tell you that "Net Neutrality" doesn't work in the reality of how the Internet works." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
Brett Glass "She also mistakenly calls the Internet “the Web,” as if the two were synonymous (showing her '''lack of technical expertise''', without which she’s not qualified to comment)" (Higginbotham, 2010a)
Richard Bennett "Paid prioritization doesn’t have anything to do with making some web sites faster than others, it’s a method for making things like video conferencing less prone to jitter and packet loss; '''I wish reporters could get this right.'''" (Higginbotham, 2010a)
Richard Bennett -- "Public Knowledge has consistently misrepresented this topic, but '''as they’re an organization of lawyers, it’s not surprising that some of the technical details are over their heads.'''" (Higginbotham, 2010a)
Richard Bennett -- "Incidentally, Reed is acknowledged to have played a part in the decision to separate TCP from IP in 1978, and has played no discernible role in the development of networking technology since then, so '''you’ve overstated his credentials just a bit.'''" (Higginbotham, 2010)
David P. Reed -- "A large part of this confusion arises because most people in the policy space confuse Broadband with Internet – as if they were equivalent terms. Apples are not appleseeds." (Reed, 2010)
David P. Reed -- "I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been a systems architect for nearly 40 years, and '''slang and ambiguity will crash a system''' just as it will crash a law. (all you digerati who conflate bandwidth with information delivery rate, thinking it’s cool to be wrong, can tune out here)." (Reed, 2010)
Jeff Anthony -- "Using the word "internet" in this manner is quite vague and non-productive for actual conversation. Yes, ISPs are companies and many companies have websites. ISP's deciding what data can or cannot be transmitted through their lines and at what speeds is a completely different monster altogether." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

Net neutrality advocates are duped and/or bought out by Silicon Valley.

Brett Glass "throughout the piece, she effectively lobbies for the regulatory agenda of her site’s sponsor, Google" (Higginbotham, 2010a)
Ivan Seidenberg "if we can’t earn a return on the investments we make in broadband capacity, our progress toward a connected world will be delayed, if not halted altogether. This is ironic, in that the same digital elites and Silicon Valley investors who advocate net neutrality regulations are also pushing for faster mobile connections, more broadband deployment, and faster progress toward a 100-megabit society." (Higginbotham, 2009)
Chris commenting on Higginbotham, 2011 -- "Would that be the same New America Foundation that is chaired by the Executive Chairman of Google, who made a $1M donation to the “non partisan” think tank at the time of his appointment?"
Richard Bennett -- "Network Neutrality, the public policy unicorn that's been the rallying cry for so many many on the American left for the last three years, took a body blow on Sunday with the Wall Street Journal's disclosure that '''the movement's sugar-daddy''' has been playing both sides of the fence." (Bennett, 2008)

The internet was never neutral.

RonPer -- "Ask any network engineer (I can provide a few if you want to reach out directly), and they will tell you that "Net Neutrality" doesn't work in the reality of how the Internet works. Consumer experience will suffer, small businesses will suffer, jobs will be lost. I certainly don't want network congestion to slow down my experience (unless I am using Google or another content giant that has already purchased its own server farm and network). I also certainly don't want uninvited SPAM, viruses, etc. to slow down the experience of those on my network- harming me as well as my neighbors. ADDITIONALLY, these rules would flip the business model of all large and small Internet providers across America. There is not unlimited bandwidth and network management is absolutely essential to a functioning Internet." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
"@Home offers connectivity all the way from the customer premises to the public Internet with an architecture optimized for speed." (Werbach, 1999). But open access could allow competition on the shaping, filtering algorithms
Evident in use of modifiers such as "so-called" and quotation marks around "net neutrality". See: 2007 DoJ ex parte filing with FCC:

^Back to the top




The most common comparison to plumbing is the use of the term "dumb pipe".

"AT&T (the SBC) CEO Ed Whitacre: 'What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that...Why should they be allowed to use my '''pipes'''?' (Business Week, November 7, 2005)" (De Cock, 2010)
Refers to the notion that infrastructure of the kind provided by AT&T should simply carry datagrams along, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg suggests that the infrastructure has never been "dumb"


"The internet is like a giant motorway system, with large 'data trucks' vying for space with smaller vehicles such as emails.", Vodafone policy:
"Level 3 in essence operates a highway that connects to those ramps and handles traffic to and from individual Web sites. Comcast customers rely on the company’s on- and off-ramps from that highway" (Stelter, 2011)
SteveW928 -- "Can you imagine of our internet highway system had toll-ramps in different areas owned by the Car companies. If you live in a Ford area and come along with a Chevy, they charge you a much higher toll. That is basically the idea AT&T, Comcast, etc. want to have happen, and why they want to defeat Net Neutrality." (Reardon, 2010)
And that it could lead to the "cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production" (Stelter & Arango, 2011)


CrowsSong -- "Allowing the ISP to decide what protocols and applications you can use is asinine. You might as well allow the telephone companies to dictate that you can't order pizza, but you can order in Chinese food (provided you place the order in French)." (Bangeman, 2007)

walled garden

"And that it could lead to the cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production" (Stelter & Arango, 2011)
"a product of Comcast, Verizon, or ATT that is some kind of narrow, walled "Internet clone"" (Reed, 2010)
"the kind of thing AOL claimed was "better than the Internet" because it was selective – selecting cheap or profitable content, and leaving the creativity outside Fortress AOL" (Reed, 2010)

^Back to the top


Cleland Scott President of Precursor® LLC, a Fortune 500 research consultancy focused on the future of Internet competition, privacy, security, property rights, innovation and algorithmic markets. Author of 'Search and Destroy: Why You Can't Trust Google Inc.'
Ammori Marvin General Counsel, Free Press
Barton Ranking Member in Congress,Did not support the 2010 legislation proposed by Waxman,Republican
Bauermeister Jorge ", Former Commissioner for the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board, Attorney with broadband providers as clients, Chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)"
Benkler Yochai Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Faculty Co-Director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School
Bennett Richard Network Architect
Bissonnette Peter President,Shaw Communications Inc.,2006
Bohlin Erik Professor, Chalmers University of Technology & Chair, ITS
Bosley Daniel E. The Honorable,State Representative, Massachusetts
Boucher Subcommittee Chairman,Worked with Waxman on NN legislation
Brodsky Art Public Knowledge
Calabrese Michael
Cerf Vinton G. VP and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
Cicconi Jim Senior Executive Vice President - External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T,Signed the letter to AT&T employees urging them to oppose NN regulation by FCC
Clark Drew Law student at GMU,Blogger,,Founder Broadband Census,,Founder Broadband Breakfast,
Clark David Senior Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Cohen David L. Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation
Crawford Susan Professor, Cardozo Law School, former Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
Cringely Robert X. Author of the I, Cringley column on,Designer of set-top boxes in the 90s,Considered a "whackjob" by some commenters on DSL Reports,Sensational / conspiratorial tone to some of his reporting - what's missing?
Danson Terry Verizon VP of FiOS TV content strategy (in 2007)
Darby Larry The American Consumer Institute
Dingell John Representative (D-MI),Chaired the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House (2007),"Dingell-grams" announce investigations of federal agencies (Anderson, 2007)
Don David Senior Director, Public Policy at Comcast Corp.
Dufour Stephane Executive Member in charge of Strategy and Innovation, Swisscom
Eliason Frank,Director of Digital Care 2007-2010,@ComcastCares on twitter
Farber Dave Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy, CMU
Fazlullah Amina Staff atty at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (Anderson, 2007)
Feasey Richard Public Policy Director,Vodafone Group
Feld Harold Legal Director of Public Knowledge
Flannery Simon Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
Gassot Yves CEO, IDATE
Gauthey Gabrielle EVP Public Affairs, Alcatel-Lucent, former member of ARCEP (France)
Genachowski Julius FCC Chairman, TODO-TODO
Glass Brett Runs a WISP,Argues against NN coverage in Gigaom as "tripe",See comments on:
Gomi Kazuhiro President & CEO, NTT America
Grimmelmann James the Institute for Information Law and Policy at the New York Law School
Guite Michel Owner, Vermont Telephone
Hanser Russel P. Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP,Worked at FCC, held senior positions in the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of General Counsel, and served as wireline Legal Advisor in the Office of Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy.
Higginbotham Stacey Covers FCC, Broadband for Gigaom,
Hodulik John Telecom and Cable Analyst, UBS
Hoewing Link Vice President - Internet and Technology Policy, Verizon
Hultquist Hank Vice President, Federal Regulatory, AT&T since 2004,Represents AT&T at FCC on broadband, internet, video, media, intercarrier compensation, universal service
Ingersoll Minnie Product manager for alternative access at Google,Working on white spaces broadband, spectrum auctions, Google filings with the FCC re: National broadband plan (Higginbotham, 2010d)
Kaplan Rick Chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Karr Timothy Free Press,Save The Internet
Karter Nicholas Senior Director, Qualcomm
Katz Raul Professor at the Columbia Business School
Katz James E. Professor and chair of the Dept of Communication at Rutgers,Director of Center for Mobile Communication Studies
Klinker Eric Chief Technology Officer, BitTorrent
Kovacs Anna-Maria President of Regulatory Source Associates, LLC
Kucinich Dennis Chair of the Committee on Government Reform,Announced plans to oversee FCC in 2007
Kurth Matthias President, Network Regulatory Agency (Germany)
Kushnick Bruce Author of "$200/$300 Billion Broadband Scandal",New Networks Institute,Teletruth
Le Phong Vice President, Strategic Finance, NII Holdings
Lessig Lawrence
Levin Blair Executive Director of the National Broadband Plan at the FCC
Libertelli Chris Senior Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Skype
Litan Robert E. Vice President for Research and Policy, Kauffman Foundation, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings Institute, Previously: Associate Director o the Office of Management and Budget (95-96) and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department's Antitrust Division (1993-95)
Malamud Carl Senior Fellow, CTO, Center for American Progress
Margolis Dan Attorney with Garvey Schubert Barer
Martin Kevin FCC Chairman, TODO-TODO,Republican
Moffett Craig VP & Senior Analyst, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co,"with the imposition of net neutrality rules, Verizon FiOS "would be stopped in its tracks," and AT&T's U-Verse "deployments would slow."" (Litan & Singer, 2010)
Neumann Karl-Heinz Managing Director,WIK, Germany
Obama Barack POTUS,"[made a] commitment to “keep the Internet as it should be – open and free.”" (Genachowski, 2010)
Parent Joe VP of business development,Vonage Canada,2006
Pepper Robert Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco
Picot Arnold Prof. Institut für Information, Organisation und Management, Munich School of Management
Powell Michael FCC Chairman, appointed by Pres. Bush,Republican son of then Sec of State Colin Powell
Pupillo Lorenzo Executive Director - Public & Economic Affairs , Telecom Italia
Reardon Marguerite CNET writer coering NN,;txt
Reed David P.,Network engineer who was there in the beginning,Supports "open" and "neutral" network,Critical of policy that is not informed by tech specificity,Believes that the Internet works in a specific way and that certain kinds of changes represent "changing the way the internet works",One such change: being able to prioritize certain packets based on origin or destination,Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
Reingold Dan Project Director for Telecom Finance, CITI
Roberts Brian L. Comcast CEO 2011,Member of the Board at National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA),
Rucker Joe Color of Change
Scott Ben Policy Director, Free Press
Seidemann Joshua Director of Policy, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)
Seidenberg Ivan Verizon CEO
Shaw Jim CEO,Shaw Communications Inc.,2006
Singer Hal J. Managing Director,Navigant Economics,Adjunct Professor,McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Smyers Scott Senior Vice President, Network & Systems Architecture Division, Sony Electronics Inc.
Sohn Gigi Public Knowledge
Spead Michael Senior Technical Specialist, Broadband, ICF International
Stortz Thomas C. Chief Legal Officer,Level 3
Stringer Howard Former president of CBS,CEO of Sony (in 1997),Part of Tele-TV in the 1990s,Tele-TV took bids on set-top boxes for interactive video-on-demand but never made anything before going out of business (Cringely, 2007)
Tauke Tom The Honorable,Executive Vice President – Public Affairs, Policy and Communications, Verizon Communications
Teplitz Steve Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Time Warner Cable
Torres Joe Free Press
Vecchi Mario AOL VP of broadband development, 1999
Waxman Henry A. Representative,30th District of California,Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,Jurisdiction over telecomm policy and the FCC,
Weitzner Daniel Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Decentralized Information Group
Werbach Kevin Asst Prof of Legal Studies at the Wharton School, U Penn,,
Whitt Richard S. Senior Policy Director, Google
Wieck Reinhard Managing Director, Deutsche Telekom, Washington D.C.
Wu Timothy Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Yang Phoebe Senior Advisor to the FCC Chairman on Broadband
Yoo Christopher Professor of Law, Communication, Computer & Information Science and Founding Director, Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition University of Pennsylvania
Yoo Tae-Yol Vice President, Korea Telecom

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Bell South
Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School Conducted an independent study of the literature on global broadband internet and policy for FCC in 2009-2010
CableLabs R&D consortium for the cable industry,Developed the DOCSIS interface specification
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Public Integrity,"nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations",
Color of Change
Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) Produced an independent study of broadband in the U.S. in 2009-2010,
Communciations Works of America
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers for Cable Choice
Consumers Union
Fiber-to-the-Home Council
Free Press
Gig.U "University Community Next Generation Innovation Project",Mission: "accelerate the deployment of world-leading, next generation networks in the United States in a way that provides an opportunity to lead in the next generation of ultra high speed network services and applications.",
Hands Off The Internet
House Committee on Energy and Commerce Traditionally oversees the FCC
Information Economy Project George Mason University,,"Where law and economics meets telecommunications policy"
Institute for Policy Innovation "non-profit, non-partisan public policy "think tank" based in Lewisville, Texas and founded in 1987 by Congressman Dick Armey to research, develop and promote innovative and non-partisan solutions to today's public policy problems.",Wikipedia: "Armey and his staff, especially spokesman Jim Wilkinson, took the lead in spreading the idea that Al Gore claimed to have "invented the internet."[9][10][11]",
International Internet Industry Alliance
LawMedia Group Inc.,Provide strategy, social media campaigns,"When you go into a public policy battle, you need friends and allies – lots of them.","LMG doesn’t believe in and will not perform Astroturf – phony front groups whose corporate backers are hidden.",
Level 3
Level 3
Limelight Networks
Media Institute
Metricom Richochet,Wireless
Mobile Commons Provides text message campaign technology + strategy for marketing, outreach,Many customers are political including Obama 2012, labor unions, faith-based orgs,
National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
National Cable Television Association Cable TV industry lobbying group,Sponsors of The Cable Show, annual conference + trade show
National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
Net Literacy
New America Foundation Released paper about "digital divides" opened by ISP practices,Member of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition
Open Internet Coalition Formerly ItsOurNet, formerly Open Net Coalition.
Open Net Coalition Described in Werbach, 1999, 7,Organization representing local franchizing authorities that must approve the AT&T/TCI merger. This may be defunct. Confusing. Might be renamed ItsOurNet. There's another org called Open Internet Coalition. Related?
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition An organization made up of: Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Free Press, Media Access Project, New America Foundation and Public Knowledge. No website or blog.
Public Knowledge "Public Knowledge is a Washington DC based public interest group working to defend your rights in the emerging digital culture."
Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board
Sandvine Providers of network management hardware/software,Produce reports on the state of internet traffic worldwide,Run a blog on broadband innovation
Save The Internet Coalition,Free Press on the logo
Shaw Communications
Shaw Communications Inc.
Southern Bell Corp
The Center for Mobile Communication Studies Rutgers School of Communication and Information,
The Committee on Commerce Science, and Transportation,Senate
the Consumer Affairs Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
The Progress and Freedom Foundation
the United States Internet Industry Association
Time Warner Cable
Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialog (TACD) "a forum of US and EU consumer organisations which develops and agrees on joint consumer policy recommendations to the US government and the European Union to promote the consumer interest in EU and US policy making.",,On NN:

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Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, Developed to allow interoperability among cable modems from different manufacturers, but not designed with multiple ISPs in mind (Werbach, 1999), Developed by CableLabs to serve interests of entrenched players


Often used to describe the practice of providing Quality of Service enhancements or prioritization. Can be offered on exclusive basis or competitively.

Julia Kirby -- "if Sony were to affiliate with Comcast, and if Comcast refused to extend the same terms for enhanced services to Sony's online rivals for reasons relating to that affiliation, then I would have a real problem. But if Comcast merely offers Sony an enhanced service and then makes that offer available to all comers on the same terms, then where is the discrimination? To summarize, (ex post) enforcement is warranted in the first instance, but it is not in the second." (Litan & Singer, 2010)

open access

Not to be confused with Open Access publishing, this term is used (especially in earlier documents) to refer to networks on which multiple service providers can compete


This term is used to describe the vertical integration of services with network infrastructure, e.g. Comcast provides programming, voip, and internet access on its cable network. See (Werbach, 1999, 7).

In an unbundled paradigm, multiple ISPs can compete on the same wires.

Bundled vertically-integrated services include AT&T, Cable operators and @Home, Excite (owned by @Home), Vendors to cable Internet services (Intel, Microsoft, Cisco), Kleiner Perkins (investor in @Home and Excite) (Werbach, 1999)
AOL saw the writing on the wall in the mid-1990s and tried to get access to the cable system. They suggested that independent ISPs could enter into private peering agreements just beyond the CMTS (similar to the peering relationships that exist among backbones). Cable operators responded that the interdependence would be too difficult to manage. One mis-configured router or one badly behaved user would affect customers of the other ISPs on the same NAN/CMTS (Werbach, 1999, 7)
Supporters of unbundling according to Werbach, 1999: Independent ISPs (AOL, MindSpring, Prodigy, EarthLink, Verio), Consumer groups (Media Access Project, Consumer Federation of America, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility), Long-distance carriers (MCI Worldcom, Qwest), Local phone companies (US West), Independent content providers (Disney, Bertelsmann)


Cable modems are currently rented or sold to cable customers but there is little to no competition. Werbach anticipates FCC will break this up but it hasn't happened (TODO ?) (1999). "FCC rules will eventually require devices such as cable modems to be available through retail channels, but currently they are bundled with cable Internet service offerings."

plain old access services,POAS

Term used by Werbach in 1999 to describe the "dumb pipe" concept in which the network operators are not ISPs providing a bundle of integrated data services

neighborhood-area networks

Term coined by Werbach, 1999 to describe arrangement of proximate users on a cable data network. Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) connects the NAN to a regional/national backbone which is tied into the rest of the internet at certain nodes. There appears to be confusion over which transport medium requires users to "share" bandwidth with their neighbors. It seems that the dominant belief is that DSL is dedicated and cable is shared but this is disputed...


load balancing



Classifying "broadband" as a "regulated telecommunications service". Desired by some net neutrality advocates.

"whatever the merits of the reclassification path, it’s not going to happen. There may have been a window of opportunity earlier this year, but it closed. A majority of the members of the House of Representatives signed on to a letter opposing the idea, and one could scarcely create a better issue to draw the united fire of grassroots Tea Party activists, the most powerful bipartisan corporate lobbying interests, and Republicans eager to take down the Obama Administration. I could imagine an FCC Chairman risking everything to push reclassification at any cost, but I can’t say I’d recommend that to Chairman Genachowski now." (Werbach, 2010)

bandwidth cap,cap

prioritization,content prioritization

And that it could lead to the "cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production" (Stelter & Arango, 2011)


common carrier,common carrier regulation

Roots in the regulation of telegraph in 1860s. Bell's "voice telegraph" also deemed "common carrier". Similar concept found in federal postal service.


"Yves Blondeel Tuesday, July 19 2011. U-Verse = DSL. Fibre-to-the-Node = DSL. Pair-bonding = DSL. Vectoring = DSL. "Phantom Mode" = DSL."(Higginbotham, 2011b)
"DSL (and ADSL) runs on copper wires and has an capacity ceiling much lower than DOCSIS 3.0 or fiber. AT&T U-Verse is built on VDSL2. In 1999, AOL struck a deal with Bell Atlantic to allow customers to purchase DSL service with AOL as the ISP for $40 /month." (Higginbotham, 2011b)


Multiple conferences around the world listed on the CITI website using this term in their titles. What does it mean?

fiber to the home,fiber-to-the-home,FTTH

National Broadband Plan,Broadband Plan

Video dial tone

Mid-1990s term used to describe an on-demand digital video service comparable to telephone. Supposed to be symmetrical 45 Mbps (Cringely, 2007).


Ratio of up/down speeds.

Jeff Dickey re: the Google ISP experiment -- "if the connection isn’t terribly asymmetric, this could get us back to the original Internet idea of egalitarian origination and collaboration – i.e., without the currently incumbent corporate filters." (Higginbotham, 2010d)

plain old telephone service,POTS

Dial tone. Developed with government granted monopoly.


Bandwidth describes the size of the pipe but latency describes the delay at moving data across the network. Often measured by ping.

"I would much rather that they improve the latency than give me more speed" -- mdembski (Bode, 2007)

public interest

""This transaction is not in the public interest," Sen. Franken said in his filing. "T-Mobile offers consistently lower prices than AT&T and is a strong competitive force that keeps AT&T’s consumer retail prices from creeping ever higher. By eliminating T-Mobile from the market, AT&T removes a crucial ‘maverick.’ T-Mobile pressures the larger providers both to offer better products and to do so at a lower price."" (Peterson, 2011)

universal service,Universal Service Fund,USR,Connect America Fund

This term originates in the Universal Service Fund - a tariff on phone service that provides for the roll out of telephone infrastructure to rural US. Genachowski has discussed a "Connect America Fund" to serve a similar purpose for broadband.

end-to-end,end-to-end principle

"The end-to-end principle holds that the Internet should allow users’ computers—the end points—to talk to each other without interference. That way, the functionality of the network is not determined by any of the parties that operate the network’s core, but by the users at the ends of each link and the software they choose to run." (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed & D.D. Clark, "End-to-End Arguments in System Design", 2 ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 277-288 (1984) .
RFC 1958, Architectural Principles of the Internet, 1996, , argued that the end-to-end principle was an essential and threatened dimension of the Internet’s designi (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
More recent developments are discussed in RFC 3724, The Rise of the Middle and the Future of End-to-End: Reflections on the Evolution of the Internet Architecture, 2004 (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
The argument has propagated from technical to legal and policy circles. See Lawrence Lessig & Mark A. Lemley, "The End of End-to-End: Preserving the Architecture of the Internet in the Broadband Era," 48 UCLA Law Review 925 (2001) (Eckersley, et al, 2007)

packet forgery,spoofing

Considered a technique used primarily by "malicious hackers" (Eckersley, et al, 2007).

EFF and AP accuse Comcast of interfering with subscriber traffic by "forging" packets: "There has been some confusion about the impact of Comcast’s interference, with Comcast characterizing the impact on its customers as "delaying" some network communications. As both a technical and metaphorical description, this characterization is incomplete and misleading." (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
"Comcast subscribers will experience problems more severe than a mere "delay" to their traffic. For instance, a user who tries to publish a file by seeding it on BitTorrent (as the Associated Press did with the Bible, and as we did with other copyright-free texts in our tests) will find that others are unable to download the file from them." (Eckersley, et al, 2007)

free speech

Re: Verizon decision to deny NARAL access to txt network: "Messages urging political action are generally thought to be at the heart of what the First Amendment protects. But the First Amendment limits government power, not that of private companies like Verizon." (Liptak, 2007)
Corey340 -- "THE NET MUST REMAIN UNREGULATED (think of it as free speech on steroids)." (Reardon, 2010)

managed services

"In general, managed services are ill-defined, but most carriers will tell you they include features that customers pay extra for and as such, require guaranteed levels of service — things like IPTV or virtual private networks back to a corporate office." (Higginbotham, 2009)


"In key respects, the interests of edge innovators – the entrepreneurs creating Internet content, applications and services — broadband providers, and American consumers are aligned. Innovation at the edge catalyzes consumer demand for broadband. Consumer demand spurs private investment in faster broadband networks. And faster networks spark ever-cooler innovation at the edge. A central goal of the proposed open Internet framework is to foster this self-reinforcing cycle of massive investment in both the edge and the core of broadband networks, to the benefit of consumers and our economy." (Genachowski, 2010)

net neutrality,network neutrality,internet neutrality,net-neutrality

"Net Neutrality compels network providers to serve all "guests" (i.e., content, apps, services, devices, etc.) with only limited exceptions, creating an "easement" of sorts for those guests to enter and use property which is not theirs, and in doing so effectively having their access and voice privately subsidized by the provider. Network providers must serve these guests, even though common pricing tools (like 2-sided pricing) – which can maximize network resources, provide a return on investment, and promote further innovation – may generally not be used. As the regulations enlarge (which is their intent), network providers will more closely look like pure utilities / public servants than businesses free to make decisions based on sound economic data and business rationales." (Wendy, 2011)
RonPer -- ""Network Regulation" (please stop calling it Net Neutrality- this was simply wonderfully branded to play into misconceptions of what we are really talking about)." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
"Most business executives likely have never come across the concept. Yet despite its limited reach to a small audience of policy wonks, President Obama made it a campaign issue in 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is determined to make it the law, and industry analysts are concerned that its passage would undermine investment by Internet service providers (ISPs)." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
" neutrality seeks to ensure that ISPs (like Verizon) do not advantage one content provider (like Google) over another (like Yahoo!). But instead of looking to the widely accepted and proven non-discrimination provisions in other areas of communications (such as cable programming), the FCC has crafted a brand new concept of non-discrimination. Non-discrimination under the FCC's net neutrality proposal means that ISPs cannot offer enhanced services beyond the plain-vanilla access service to content providers at any price." (Litan & Singer, 2010)
"Network neutrality is just one aspect of a vibrant environment of open, interconnected networks. One would hope that the 2008 financial crisis put to rest the spurious notion that business functions best when regulation functions least. An open Internet is one in which investment is rewarded and the best innovations win. What could be more pro-business than that?" (Werbach, 2010)
"In a neutral Internet, consumers: have the right to attach devices of their choice; have the right to access or provide content, services, and applications of their choice; have the right for their access to be free from discrimination according to source, destination, content, or type of application. Simultaneously, in a neutral Internet, ISPs and communications networks: do not unfairly block content, applications or devices; do not deliberately degrade access for content, applications, or devices; do not prioritize data according to its source or destination; do not discriminate against particular providers of content, applications, services, or devices.", TACD,
"Vonage believes the Internet could not exist without network neutrality," said Parent. "Canadians shouldn't be asked to pay twice to use their Internet connection for whatever they want, including VoIP service," said Parent. "Imagine if the power company could dictate the brand of appliance you can plug into your wall? It's the same principle with Internet service.",
DoJ ex parte filing 2007 -- "The mere fact that a definition of "net neutrality" remains elusive should give the Commission great pause before imposing regulation."
"a principle requiring Internet providers to act as common carriers, i.e. not discriminate among content or users in regards to the delivery of information",
Rectilinear Propagation re: Comcast Worst Company Award and NN: "There used to be a site that made this argument but it's been taken down. It goes some thing like this: Network Neutrality = Government Regulation = Anti-Free Market" (Morran, 2010)
Kerry et al, 2011: "[Net neutrality] rules, which are in the public interest, establish guidelines for how telephone and cable companies can treat information that travels over their wires and connects Americans to the Internet and each other."
Kerry & Rockefeller, 2011: "The final network neutrality rules are built on principles everyone should support—promoting transparency of broadband service operations; preventing blocking of legal content and websites; and prohibiting discrimination of individuals, applications, and other websites,",
""net neutrality" — whether carriers or Internet service providers should have a voice in the content they provide to customers." (Liptak, 2007)
"the idea that ISPs can’t hinder or discriminate against lawful content flowing through their pipes" (Higgenbotham, 2010b)
wiz420 -- "So what is "net neutrality" then? I always thought it meant not discriminating against what type of data was being sent over the connection... so it would only mean "unlimited torrents" if you had some type of weird contract that allowed you "unlimited bandwidth"" (Bangeman, 2007)
Justaguy99 -- "Also, NO ONE is talking about the real issue at hand: this so called "Net neutrality" issue. It sure SOUNDS good doesnt it? But do ANY of you know what is really behind it? Or are you being sold a bill of goods.... AGAIN. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!" (Reardon, 2010)
"Bill Moyers [at NCMR 2007] called network neutrality be "equal access provision of the Internet" and said that the grassroots campaign in favor of it had "once again reminded the powers that be that people want the media to foster democracy, not to quench it." With media increasingly delivered over a single broadband connection, Moyers said that people—not major media companies—"now have it in our means to tell a different story than Big Media. This is the great gift of the digital revolution, and you must never let them take it away from you."" (Anderson, 2007)
Sammer quantifies it: "Competitive IPTV services will depend on how much net neutrality there is." (Bode, 2007)
"[The FCC determined that] advanced telecommunications services ("broadband") were not really telecommunications services, but were instead "information" services. As explained in a previous column, these semantics relieve broadband providers from the obligation to provide equal service to everyone who uses the system. This was called Common Carrier Regulation. Today the debate has been given the catchy term Net Neutrality." (Lloyd, 2006)
"a shorthand term that implies FCC’s power (and responsibility) to establish rules that prevent Internet service providers from favoring certain kinds of traffic over others." (Alterman & Zornick, 2009)

open internet,free and open internet,open network

Genachowski -- "I believe [IPTV and other guaranteed data services] can supplement — but must not supplant — free and open Internet access, and that we must ensure that ample bandwidth exists for all Internet users and innovators." (Higginbotham, 2009)
"Open internet" is a "topic" on the FCC web site but "net[work] neutrality" is not:
"The key distinction here is that letting the users, through their applications, choose what their packets do, and where their packets go, and specify whatever priorities they need is quite different from having one link in the chain, the last mile provider, be able to control what applications the user can effectively run, or constrain how well they run. It’s this edge based freedom to choose to whom you speak, with what services you connect, how you speak and what you can collaborate on that constitutes the freedom of the Internet, due to its openness. The last mile access provider (Verizon, ATT, Cogent on the consumer side, or various large interconnects, such as Level 3, that support business users like eBay or small businesses) should have no say in deciding what Internet applications do inside their packets." (Reed, 2010)
"The Internet can be used over Broadband facilities, but it is the same Internet that is used over many other facilities. When a Broadband service provider provides "Internet access" to its users, it is important that this access service preserve the *essential* characteristic of the Internet – its openness and generality." (Reed, 2010)
"If we want the Internet to be free and open around the world — and, for global peace and prosperity, we do – we must ensure its freedom and openness here at home." (Genachowski, 2010)
"Internet companies have started as small start-ups, some of them famously in dorm rooms and garages with little more than a computer and access to the open Internet" (Genachowski, 2010)
"It is the Internet’s openness and freedom — the ability to speak, innovate, and engage in commerce without having to ask anyone’s permission — that has enabled the Internet’s unparalleled success." (Genachowski, 2010)

access,transport,access service,transport service

As opposed to "information service".

Broadband is how to access the web -- not the web itself (Higgenbotham, 2010a)
"I’m not sure how well that access/information processing distinction is going to hold up; we don’t access the Internet by DSL and cable, we join it. The web server you run in your home isn’t "accessing," it’s "being accessed."" - Richard Bennett, (Higginbotham, 2010a)

network management,reasonable network management,reasonable management,legitimate network management

The TACD document takes on the thorny question of "legitimate network management," defining the practice as guarding against viruses, denial of service attacks, and spam. Significantly, the statement concedes that network management may require the prioritizing of certain kinds of applications, especially those that distribute video or voice services.",
"Reasonable network management is an important part of the proposal, recognizing that what is reasonable will take account of the network technology and architecture involved." (Genachowski, 2010)
"Comcast reiterated its carefully-worded stance that it does not block access "to any Web sites or online applications," including BitTorrent. "As the FCC noted in its policy statement in 2005, all of the principles to encourage broadband deployment and preserve the nature of the Internet are 'subject to reasonable network management,'" Comcast executive VP David Cohen told Ars. "The Commission clearly recognized that network management is necessary by ISPs for the good of all customers."" (Bangeman, 2007)
Examples of network management techniques outside of deep packet inspection: "ISPs can implement dynamic per-user traffic shaping. They can set a limit on the amount of data per second that any user can transmit on the network. They can also set these limits on a dynamic basis, so that (1) the limits are gradually relaxed as the network becomes less congested and vice-versa and (2) so that the limits primarily slow the traffic of users who are downloading large to very large files that take minutes to transfer." (Eckersley, et al, 2007)
flamacue -- "Obviously if they throttle so much that you regularly get 1Mb/s over your 6Mb max/s connection, I'd agree that would be wrong. However, it makes sense to throttle apps that are less latency-sensitive in favor of those that are. e.g. Throttle P2P traffic when the line is saturated in order to let web traffic have priority. Choking it to a trickle is something else entirely." (Bangeman, 2007)

quality of service,QoS

usage-based billing,metering,metered service

See also: bandwidth caps.


"We use the term high-speed rather than broadband to describe one to ten megabit services such as current cable modems and digital subscriber line connections. The true broadband Internet will be version 3.0, when we start seeing fiber and gigabits to the home... which is farther off but closer than most people think." (Werbach, 1999)
"(2) BROADBAND SERVICE- The term `broadband service' means a 2-way transmission that-- (A) connects to the Internet regardless of the physical transmission facilities used; and (B) transmits information at an average rate of at least 200 kilobits per second in at least 1 direction.", S.215, 2007,
Early providers (Werbach, 1999): @Home, RoadRunner
"Broadband is a category of general-purpose “wide area network” data networking systems that provids many services to each customer over a single, digital, switched high-bitrate medium like fiber, coaxial cable, twisted copper pairs, or wideband digital radio links. There are two kinds of broadband systems – fixed and mobile – available today, where mobile services are characterized by the ability of the user to move from place to place. Examples of broadband wide area networks are: Fixed: Verizon FiOS, Comcast’s hybrid-fiber-coax systems, fiber PON systems, and fixed digital wireless, Mobile: wireless LTE, wireless HSPA, and WiMax." (Reed, 2010) TODO Check source? Are these Reed's words or Genachowski?

traffic shaping

tiered pricing,tiered service

"there are lots of worries about so-called "loopholes" in Genachowski’s rules that would allow Broadband service providers to sell different speed Internet access products to different customers where the faster speeds cost more money. I don’t understand this worry at all. It used to cost more to have a DSL phone line than to have an ISDN phone line, and more for ISDN than an ordinary POTS line. Each of these could be used as to place a call to an Internet Service Provider, but the faster ones cost more." (Reed, 2010)
"the idea that implementing an ability for users to pay to have some of their packets be prioritized over others would be a huge problem – but to the extent that this facility exists in the Internet already as a standard, such a rule would be attempting to redesign how the Internet works," (Reed, 2010)
DoJ ex parte filing to FCC -- "much of the conduct that some proponents of "net neutrality" regulation are concerned about can be procompetitive. Differentiating service levels and pricing, for example, is a common and often efficient way of allocating scarce resources and meeting consumer preferences. The United States Postal Service, for example, allows consumers to send packages with a variety of different delivery guarantees and speeds, from bulk mail to overnight delivery. These differentiated products respond to market demand and expand consumer choice."


"The Internet is an evolving family of protocols and interconnected networks that span the planet’s surface, its sea floor, and some number of miles into space, that are based on the transport of IP Datagrams over many diverse underlying networks based on many diverse networking technologies." (Reed, 2010) Source? Quote? TODO

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