Network Neutrality and Consumer Demand for 'Better than Best Efforts' Traffic Management

31 Pages Posted: 29 May 2015

See all articles by Rob Frieden

Rob Frieden

Pennsylvania State University, Bellisario College of Communications and Penn State Law

Date Written: May 28, 2015

Abstract

This paper assesses whether and how ISPs can offer quality of service enhancements, at premium prices for full motion video, while still complying with the new rules and regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) in March, 2015. The paper explains that having made the controversial decision to reclassify all forms of Internet access as a telecommunications service, the FCC increases regulatory uncertainty. In particular, the FCC has failed to identify instances where “retail ISPs,” serving residential broadband subscribers, can offer quality of service enhancements that serve real consumer wants without harming competition and the ability of most content to arrive on a timely basis using conventional “best efforts” routing.

The paper notes that the FCC does allow carriers operating upstream from retail ISPs to offer “paid prioritization” of traffic. Additionally it appears that content providers and distributors, such as Netflix, also can secure “better than best efforts” routing of their traffic to achieve the same quality of service enhancement. Despite allowing these large exceptions to its prohibition on paid prioritization, the FCC prohibits retail ISPs based on the premise that these carriers provider access to all points within the Internet cloud and ventures such as Content Distribution Networks and even major backbone providers do not.

The paper suggests that the FCC issue a clarification stating that retail ISPs, like their upstream counterparts, can provide video delivery enhancements that do not degrade conventional best efforts routing, or prioritize traffic in ways designed to disadvantage competitors and harm consumers.

Keywords: network neutrality, open Internet, FCC, best efforts routing, better than best efforts routing, Internet Protocol Television, Over the Top, broadband, next generation networks

JEL Classification: k23, l51, l82, l86, l96, l98, o33

Suggested Citation

Frieden, Rob, Network Neutrality and Consumer Demand for 'Better than Best Efforts' Traffic Management (May 28, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611689 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2611689

Rob Frieden (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Bellisario College of Communications and Penn State Law ( email )

102 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States
814-863-7996 (Phone)
814-863-8161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/r/m/rmf5/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
65
rank
336,501
Abstract Views
388
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information