Netflix recently agreed to pay Comcast for faster access to Comcast’s customers, intensifying the debate over ‘net neutrality’ – the principle that internet service providers should treat all data equally. This column argues that without net neutrality regulation, ISPs can capture the benefits of higher-quality content, thereby discouraging innovation from content providers. To be effective, net-neutrality regulation must prevent content-based price discrimination on both sides of the market.
Joshua Gans, 11 June 2014
Gernot Pehnelt, 06 April 2009
Most of the Internet’s infrastructure is neutral with regard to data packets’ contents, but some groups are pushing for legislation to protect “network neutrality.” This column says that strictly neutral data transmission would cause inefficiencies and reduce the availability and quality of Internet services. It defends prioritising quality-sensitive data packets and argues that network neutrality legislation would be a heyday for lawyers and lobbyists.