So, we have Title II. Not much more I can say on that from a factual standpoint until we see details of the forbearance. The question is: “So, what happens now?” To me the answer is real simple.
As far as I can tell, the large ISPs have been acting along Net Neutral lines anyway. So, there will be no change
in there in any case. The one big blowup around Netflix was shown to be a Cogent issue that they
So, what are the upsides and downsides of Nothing? Well, the big complaint is that we want more choice and
more investment. I don’t see how this ruling makes investment improve. I don’t see anyone cutting their
performance so badly that it is noticeable. So essentially status quo.
The one downside that is talked about is new services. The ability to create different service levels might have
allowed new services that now will not work. I frankly don’t believe it. People have talked about these magical
new services for a long time. Until now, they have not appeared. If one does appear, we will come up with a
way of delivering it. The exception might be Over The Top Video at 4K HD quality. I think it will be hard to get
this done over the Internet the way it is. It may be that “Long Tail Content” is moved to OTT exclusively to make
room for it. It turns out that most people watch the top 20 channels. In fact about 99% of us do. The vast
majority of programming takes up spectrum, but the value is limited. So maybe 4K HD stuff stays on our
existing “Fast Lane”. The current video networks bypass this regulation and may be the only way to do 4K in
volume. TBD at best.
What happens now I am sure is some number of lawsuits once the details are revealed. There will be court
fights for a couple of years. It is even possible that Title II will not be out of the courts before 2017 and the next
batch of FCC people are in place. That means that it could even be overturned before it gets in place, but I
don’t think that is likely.
My best advice is: Don’t Panic. No matter where you were philosophically on this, I think the impact over the
next 5 years is going to be minimal. In the long term, we can’t know. It may be that this is not the biggest thing
that happens to impact the way Internet Services are built and marketed. But in our long and winding road, this
is just one more step.
Have a great weekend!
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