Internet Policy Going Forward: Does One Size Still Fit All?
in Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years 51 (Randolph J. May ed., 2012).
16 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 2012
Much of the current debate over Internet policy is framed by the belief that there has always been a single Internet that was open to everyone. Closer inspection reveals a number of important ways in which the architecture has deviated from this commitment. Providers frequently deploy Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) over hybrid networks that reserve bandwidth or employ technologies such as MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) that are not fully accessible to the public Internet. At the same time, the increasing value in variety and decreasing returns to scale is mitigating the value of being connected to a single network, and the growth of multihoming, in which subscribers maintain multiple connections, is contradicting the myth of the one screen that presumes that every connection must be everything to everyone. Finally, large customers who are unable to receive the services that they need use exit as an option by turning to private networking. These developments counsel against maintaining a one-size-fits-all approach to Internet policy that may not reflect current realities.
Keywords: Administrative law, Open Internet Order, Comcast Corp. v. FCC, technological innovation, disconnected and hybrid networks, managed and unmanaged networks, multihoming, network economic effects, economies of scale, standardization, product differentiation, private networking
JEL Classification: K23, O31, O33, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation