Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1658093
 
 

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A Comparison of Network Neutrality Approaches In: The U.S., Japan, and the European Union


Kenneth R. Carter


CloudFlare; Google, Inc.; WIK - Consult GMBH; Federal Communications Commissio; Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

Tomoaki Watanabe


GLOCOM (Center for Global Communications), International University of Japan

Adam Peake


GLOCOM, Japan

J. Scott Marcus


European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation; Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste (WIK)

July 28, 2010


Abstract:     
In this paper, we compare and contrast the regulatory approaches to addressing Network Neutrality in three countries which represent three roughly different approaches. In the United States, which has suffered the most obvious Network Neutrality problems, the national regulator has promulgated a set of four policy principles aimed at preserving the open characteristics of Internet. These principles ensure Internet users the rights to: access lawful content; run lawful applications; attach lawful and non-harmful devices; and to have competitive alternatives. The U.S. FCC is currently considering extending those policy principles with two new ones. However, it has had significant problems attempting to codify and enforce actionable, legally binding rules. In October 2007, the Japanese MIC introduced Network Neutrality principles as an amendment to the “New Competition Policy Program 2010”. The policy requires that IP networks be accessible to content, to terminal equipment, and equally to all users, at reasonable prices. Network Neutrality also includes the concept of utilizing IP networks with the proper allocation of costs, and without discrimination. This is similar in concept to the “reasonable network management” exception embodied in the U.S. approach. In addition, a working group of four telecom business associations was created in September 2007 to develop a “Guideline for Packet Shaping”. The guidelines cover basic conditions for when packet traffic shaping is permitted, including measures to cancel heavy users’ contracts. Packet shaping should only be allowed in exceptional situations. The guidelines include the basic concept that ISPs should increase network capacity in line with increases in network traffic. As opposed to crafting ex-ante rules which describe the contours of permissible network practices, EU policy seeks to constrain market power by creating sector-specific rules designed to stimulate competition. The intention behind the EU approach is that competition will punish anticompetitive deviations from Network Neutrality.

We observe two approaches which seek to ex ante determine the bounds of permissible conduct by IP-based networks and one approach which eschews direct intervention in the problem. We analyse these three approaches, identifying the relative strength and weaknesses of each in the body of this paper.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: Network Neutrality, Internet, US, EU, Japan

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Date posted: August 12, 2010 ; Last revised: August 17, 2010

Suggested Citation

Carter, Kenneth R. and Watanabe, Tomoaki and Peake, Adam and Marcus, J. Scott, A Comparison of Network Neutrality Approaches In: The U.S., Japan, and the European Union (July 28, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1658093 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1658093

Contact Information

Kenneth R. Carter (Contact Author)
CloudFlare ( email )
665 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
United States
Google, Inc. ( email )
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.google.com
WIK - Consult GMBH ( email )
Rhoendorfer Str. 68
Bad Honnef, D53604
Germany
49222492250 (Phone)
49222492252224 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.wik-consult.com/index_e.htm
Federal Communications Commissio
445 12th St. S.W.
Wahsington, DC 20554
United States
202418-2030 (Phone)
2024182807 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.fcc.gov/osp
Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
3022 BROADWAY
Suite 1A
NEW YORK, NY 10027
United States
2128544222 (Phone)
2128541471 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.citi.columbia.edu/krc17/
Tomoaki Watanabe
GLOCOM (Center for Global Communications), International University of Japan ( email )
Tokyo
Japan
HOME PAGE: http://linkedin.com/pub/tomoaki-watanabe/17/10/679/
Adam Peake
GLOCOM, Japan ( email )
Japan
J. Scott Marcus
European University Institute - Florence School of Regulation ( email )
Florence
Italy
Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste (WIK) ( email )
Rhöndorfer Str. 68
53604 Bad Honnef, 53604
Germany
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