Comments for Not on my network! App exclusion and the net neutrality debate Verschoore Quentin 23 March 2016 After having read this article I decided to first make a theoretical reminder of the concept of « the internet neutrality » and than to base my reflective approach with respect to the first type of infringements raising the issue of the exclusion by ISP’s of applications competing with their own bundle of products. Honestly, I must confess that I had…Read moreAfter having read this article I decided to first make a theoretical reminder of the concept of « the internet neutrality » and than to base my reflective approach with respect to the first type of infringements raising the issue of the exclusion by ISP’s of applications competing with their own bundle of products. Honestly, I must confess that I had no idea of what was the “internet neutrality”. Net neutrality is the principle that data packets on the Internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source. As explained in the text, the issue of the “internet neutrality” has been sparking debate for years but is currently in vogue. Actually, it appeared in 2003, when Tim Wu raised the matter of the “broadband discrimination on the internet”. A perfect counterexample of neutrality could be found in the USA where some Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon have sought some support in order to implement a “two-tiered Internet service model”. This structure is based on discrimination between different type of content and services and would allow those who have paid for premium service to benefit from a prioritized traffic for quality of service. However, in February 2015, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) legislated on this matter and decided to reclassify high-speed Internet as a broadband telecommunication utility, subject to regulated rules, comparable to those implemented for the landline phone service. Concerning the exclusion by ISP’s of application competing with their own bundle of products, I must confess that I clearly understand their incentive to leave out those types of competitors from their Wifi hotspot network. It would allow them to capture a greater market share and increase their profit margin through benefiting from the added value of the app to the Internet service (one-way essential complements concept). In this way and in accordance with the 7.4 article of the Dutch telecommunication law, KPN, a company offering Internet access through Wi-fi in different places such as at the airport, were forced to pay a fine of 250 000€ for violating the telecommunication laws. Effectively, they excluded certain data traffic, such as BitTorrent, Telnet or VoIp from their Hotspot, obligating users to pay a premium service to access those apps. In my opinion it was important to regulate the Internet network in general in order to prevent any type of unfair competition. Therefore I am convinced that all those kind of abusing power behaviors must be prohibited since it is inconsistent with the dogmas of the opportunities of the free market. References ° http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2570924 ° http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Net-neutrality ° https://edri.org/netherlands-two-telcos-fined-for-net-neutrality-violations/ °http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/keith.chen/papers/OneWayEssComp.pdf °http://www.mobileworldlive.com/featured-content/home-banner/dutch-regulator-fines-kpn-vodafone-net-neutrality-breaches/ Show less Reply Quévy Victor 23 March 2016 I will ask first two questions and answer to it to back up my arguments and then express my opinion. The neutrality of the internet is a really important issue nowadays. Attest the statement of Obama and the FCC about it (1). But was it the case a decade ago ? Refer to Layland obviously not. Indeed, before, the only concern…Read moreI will ask first two questions and answer to it to back up my arguments and then express my opinion. The neutrality of the internet is a really important issue nowadays. Attest the statement of Obama and the FCC about it (1). But was it the case a decade ago ? Refer to Layland obviously not. Indeed, before, the only concern was about the speed of the internet. But according to Layland “the result is that paying for premium service over the Internet backbone would be paying for nothing. You would get the same level of service at the inexpensive rate. But is there a way for the carriers to make it have a difference? Yes: They could cause problems artificially. For example, they could make the allowable queue length for low-priority traffic very small, causing lower priority messages to be discarded at an unnaturally high rate”(2). But now, with the appearance of the Smartphones, the apps and the VoiP application, the neutrality of the internet have entered in another dimension. Now the implication is significant, especially for the Internet Service Providers. Indeed, WhatsApp, Skype and so on are replacing the text messages and the phone call (3). The second question I had was the following : “is there a difference between the big tv channels and the IPS?”. The answer is important because people don’t criticize the fact that you have to pay to have more channels on tv and nobody see it as a problem. But according to a report (4), “a telecom service provider discounting data is different from a content service provider offering priority channels of content”. So the response is yes and thus net neutrality is still seen as a problem. Now these two questions are clear, I will express my opinion. Firstly, in the monopoly situation, even if net neutrality decreases the consumers’ surplus, without this neutrality, the ISP have interests to raise the price of the internet and to offer the app. But what about people who just one to use the phone? I think that some people want to pay for something different (5). The article is written in such way that everybody uses the VOIP services but I don’t think it’s true. Thus, I think net neutrality is still important for the monopoly situation however they don’t say it is the case in the article. Secondly, in the competition situation, I think it is possible for ISP to propose an offer which excludes the app. It would target people without Smartphone or people still hang to the basic way of communication. They have to target only this group with net neutrality. But it would be not realistic because these people are not enough to make profits so they will offer the app to target a bigger group (Smartphone and VOIP users) because consumers could easily change of Internet Providers. In conclusion, net neutrality is important in both situations according to met and it is an important step in order to rise the consumers’ welfare. (1) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-26/fcc-adopts-net-neutrality-rule-backed-by-obama-for-open-internet (2) Layland, R. (2006). ‘Net neutrality: A debate about nothing? Network World, 23(19), 43. (3) http://www.frandroid.com/android/applications/top-applications/278492_les-meilleures-solutions-pour-passer-des-appels-en-voip (4) http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/net-neutrality-report-you-can-make-skype-whatsapp-calls-abroad-not-within-india-industry-reacts-274348.html (5) http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/net-neutrality-debate-three-opinions-that-provide-an-alternate-view-263408.html Show less Reply Carl-Olivier Sorce 23 March 2016 Before entering in the heart of the subject, it is important to have a clear definition of the internet neutrality. This concept means that internet service provider (ISP) treat all traffic equally. Indeed, the Internet has moved from an academic network to a network used for everyday purposes and opened to all. The network is now made of competitive and…Read moreBefore entering in the heart of the subject, it is important to have a clear definition of the internet neutrality. This concept means that internet service provider (ISP) treat all traffic equally. Indeed, the Internet has moved from an academic network to a network used for everyday purposes and opened to all. The network is now made of competitive and profit-seeking Internet access providers (ISPs). One important principle driving the current network is the universal access principle (all consumers are able to reach meaningful content, whatever the technical limitations of their service). In this article, the researchers, Axel Gautier and Sébastien Broos are using a model allowing us to determine the best peering relationships between ISPs applications regarding the threat to break the universality principle. To do so, they have developed a model with three goods: the internet, the phone and a VoIP app. As the impacts depend on the market situation of the ISP, they have taken in account two different situation. The first one is when the ISP has a monopoly situation. In this case, when the ISP is excluding the application, two opposite effects are observed. The first one is the Business stealing effect: for example, VOO’s clients are going to use an application like skype instead of their initial mobile operator. In this case, the application steals revenue from the mobile operator (VOO in this example). Nevertheless, as the application need the internet (complementarity effect) which is a service delivered by the ISP. As a result, a monopole situation, excluding the application is useless for the ISP as in this non neutral situation the mentioned effects have an opposite effect. The second case seems more realistic as several ISP are competing against each other. As we know, the price competition will lead to a decrease in prices and profit for the ISP but as mentioned in this article, this doesn’t necessary mean a better society welfare. The availability of substitutes weakens the business stealing effect as the complementarity effect persist (as the application will always be linked to internet). Concerning my opinion about internet neutrality, we can see in this article that the context is very important and that the different possible impacts are linked to the context of the Internet providers. Nowadays this market has become very competitive. The second situation is the one reflecting today’s society. Nevertheless, internet is a revolution that no one can live without it and the applications is only the extension of it. This communication structure is so important. To me internet is like second world which has to guarantee innovation rate, open access to information and a democratization of the participation to the Internet. The problem is that there are others technical features to take into account: in some circumstances, a perfect neutral internet favors or penalizes some classes of users and applications. For example, applications that need a constant flow of data with low latency between two or more nodes of the Internet are penalized by a routing model based on a first-come, first-served policy. Personally, I think that the internet neutrality has to be respected as it ensures competition between internet providers. It’s not just about lower prices but competition motivates Company to go forward, innovate and evolve. Sources: Coucheney, P., Maillé, P., & Tuffin, B. (2014). Network neutrality debate and ISP inter-relations: Traffic exchange, revenue sharing, and disconnection threat.Netnomics : Economic Research and Electronic Networking, 15(3), 155-182. Sidak, J. G. (2006). A CONSUMER-WELFARE APPROACH TO NETWORK NEUTRALITY REGULATION OF THE INTERNET. Journal of Competition Law & Economics, 2(3), Hogendorn, C. (2007). Broadband internet: Net neutrality versus open access.International Economics and Economic Policy, 4(2), 185.doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10368-007-0084-6 Turilli, M., Vaccaro, A., & Taddeo, M. (2012). Internet neutrality: Ethical issues in the internet environment. Philosophy & Technology, 25(2), 133-151. 2 Show less Reply Guiot Bertrand 23 March 2016 The Federal Communications Comission (FCC) had a lot of cases to resolve in court in recent years. All these cases deal with one of the most important challenge the FCC tries to deal with, the Net neutrality. This concept remains important for all Internet consumers because it even disallows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to threat data on the Internet in…Read moreThe Federal Communications Comission (FCC) had a lot of cases to resolve in court in recent years. All these cases deal with one of the most important challenge the FCC tries to deal with, the Net neutrality. This concept remains important for all Internet consumers because it even disallows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to threat data on the Internet in different ways in order to avoid discrimination or surcharge for users. In this paper, two issues remain important for ISPs : in one hand, the fact that they have to deal with applications (e.g. VoIP applications) that are competing with their own bundle of products. On the other hand, the fact that discrimination and surcharge cannot longer be used in order to offer any advantage to app users. In order to react at the first issue, ISPs face two possibilities : banning VoIP applications or taxing VoIP applications users with a price surcharge. Axel Gautier and Sébastien Broos noticed in their paper that ISPs are winners in both cases of increasing the price of internet and excluding the apps. However I read that freezing and throttling VoIP services have three main negative effects for users, net neutrality and competition in general. At first, it leads to unfair traffic management pratices by proposing Internet telephony and restricting access to specific applications (i.e. gaming or instant message services). Secondly, limiting access to VoIP services has a risk of weakening the competition : you can find on the net free VoIP, substitutes at paid voice calls offered by ISPs. Finally it has the consequence to decrease innovation while developers of content and applications tend to reconsider their choices of investments into new applications if there is a risk of discrimination by ISPs. References : 1) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/net-neutrality-challenges 2) http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-10/27/net-neutrality-european-union-vote 3) http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Net-neutrality 4) http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now 5) http://www.cnet.com/news/net-neutrality-rules-under-assault-again-heres-what-you-need-to-know-faq/ Show less Reply Fournier 22 March 2016 In order to replace this comment in its context, I will begin by summarizing what I have read about net neutrality. It seems that the current debat is about VoIP applications such as “Viber”, “Hangout” or even “Skype”. The concept of net neutrality stipulates that ISP (Internet Services Providers) such as “Belgacom” or “VOO” in Belgium or “Orange” and “Free”…Read moreIn order to replace this comment in its context, I will begin by summarizing what I have read about net neutrality. It seems that the current debat is about VoIP applications such as “Viber”, “Hangout” or even “Skype”. The concept of net neutrality stipulates that ISP (Internet Services Providers) such as “Belgacom” or “VOO” in Belgium or “Orange” and “Free” in France have to guarantee a access to internet without discrimination of users, content, platforms AND applications. According to the singular definition of Internet, it is a right and ISP can’t decide to privatise someone of its right. The president Obama has spoken in favor of the neutrality of Internet in a communiqué of the White House and has asked to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission), which is the agency in charge of regulating the media, to adopt clear rules in this disputed debate. Before getting to the heart of the matter, I will try to explain in a few lines the pros and cons on this subject. At this moment, it seems that it is difficult to find the balance bewteen a perfect net neutrality that knows its owns limits and the fact that ISP need to earn enough in order to invest in the next-generation infrastructure. (1) Everybody should have access to Internet without restrictions bewteen those who are ready to pay and those who can’t afford it. But it could be the only way to guarantee a minimal quality service even during congestion period by reducing the bandwidth of the last one. In this context, one matter appears now. How ISP have to treat VoIP applications that are competing directly with their own bundle of products. In this paper (7), we could read that the DACM has fined Vodafone and KPN for infringements against the net neutrality law in the Netherlands. Two strategies have been showed up. ISP have either prohibited such applications of applied a higher price for user’s VoIP applications. It appears that two competing effects are at stake. Those two effects are called “the business stealing effect” and “the complementarity effect” by Axel Gautier and Sébastien Broos in their paper. Neverthless it seems that one is overwhelming the other. Showing that ISP are aslo winners if they increase the price of internet rather than excluding the apps. The economic side is not the only one to consider. Indeed it seems according to the paper that firms’ and consumers’ interests are aligned, which is imposing net neutrality. In order to give my opinion, I’d say that net neutrality is essential and it seems to me to be a right to give the same access to Internet to anyone. There exists other possibilities than excluding those apps. It have been proven that it isn’t even profitable to do that in the most real case. However, net neutrality is according to me the most important and ISP have to become more innovative in order to make money and to upgrade their infrastructures. Sources: 1. http://www.ipdigit.eu/2014/11/can-obamas-initiative-ensure-that-internet-fast-lanes-do-not-develop-to-the-detriment-of-standard-access/ 2. https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/net-neutrality-challenges 3. http://berec.europa.eu/eng/document_register/subject_matter/berec/reports/4602-monitoring-quality-of-internet-access-services-in-the-context-of-net-neutrality-berec-report 4. http://www.callforwarding.com/blog/net-neutrality-voip-need-know/ 5. http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21632020 6. http://www.ipdigit.eu/2012/02/net-neutrality-where-do-we-stand-in-europe/ 7. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2570924 8. http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/regulate-voip-calls-suggests-dot-panel-115071700034_1.html 9. http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/voip-news/how-net-neutrality-affects-your-voice-over-ip-services-67795 Show less Reply Gabrielle van Outryve 21 March 2016 « The exclusion or no-exclusion problem is part of the larger “net neutrality” debate. » The debate about net neutrality is a very sensitive one. On the one hand, some traffic management from the ISP’s should be allowed for security reasons, integrity of network, and avoidance of congestion. As Obama mentions, ISPs can be seen as gamekeepers of the Internet.…Read more« The exclusion or no-exclusion problem is part of the larger “net neutrality” debate. » The debate about net neutrality is a very sensitive one. On the one hand, some traffic management from the ISP’s should be allowed for security reasons, integrity of network, and avoidance of congestion. As Obama mentions, ISPs can be seen as gamekeepers of the Internet. This gives them the capacity to control the “traffic flows” so as to prioritise the traffic to some services who need it to function properly. This is mainly the case for VoIP applications. But like said by the European authorities, “there is a fragile balance between ensuring the openness of the Internet and the reasonable and responsible use of traffic management by ISPs”. And this is what governments are afraid of. ISP’s could be tempted to block or slow down applications that form a threat to them because they are more efficient and cheaper substitutes. Their purpose is then to weaken the competition. But another strong argument is the negative effect it could have on innovation. The fact that ISP’s have the power to regulate the internet lowers the developer’s incentives to innovate, knowing that the quality of their app could be tampered if they don’t pay more to have access to these applications. So, “Only the richest companies will be able to pay the extra tolls to ensure their online content is accessible through these fast lanes”. Open internet and net neutrality is then crucial for the development of small businesses and start-ups, because it lowers the entry barriers. European authorities see other threats as well, like privacy issues: “ISPs may use different techniques to improve internet traffic. Some of these techniques may be very intrusive, and even let ISPs know the content of the traffic that passes through their networks”. No net neutrality means to empower ISP’s, which will seize every opportunity to turn things to their advantage. This is why the worldwide authorities are voting rules in favour of net neutrality. On 26 February 2015, the FCC voted a law to keep an open internet. Obama emphasised the notions of openness, fairness and freedom. In Europe, the Council of Europe adopted on January 2016 a set of rules “protecting and promoting the right to freedom of expression and the right to private life with regard to network neutrality ». All those laws seem to indicate that the worldwide trend is evolving in favour of net neutrality. However, if we distance ourselves from it, we could question to whom the power will be handed over. By decreasing ISP’s capacities, isn’t it a strategic move for the authorities to appropriate this power themselves? There could be a “danger of government overreach », which eventually will not solve the problem. Moreover, the regulations aren’t sufficient. Some ISP’s like Comcast & T-mobile are trying to get around these rules to achieve the same end. Another often forgotten aspect of net neutrality is the condition of competition between ISP’s to be welfare enhancing. The principle of net neutrality should, in my opinion, be crucial, however we should be aware of the hidden implications it could have. References: http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now https://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/net-neutrality-challenges https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Rec(2016)1&Language=lanEnglish&Ver=original&BackColorInternet=C3C3C3&BackColorIntranet=EDB021&BackColorLogged=F5D383 https://www.battleforthenet.com https://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2014_64web.pdf Show less Reply Antoine de Halleux 20 March 2016 I think that the app exclusion question depend on the two possible situations explained in the article, monopoly and competition. The question also depends on which side of the problem we are situated: as an ISP or as a consumer. When the ISP is monopolist, I could totally understand that this ISP exclude the app out of its network, because intuitively,…Read moreI think that the app exclusion question depend on the two possible situations explained in the article, monopoly and competition. The question also depends on which side of the problem we are situated: as an ISP or as a consumer. When the ISP is monopolist, I could totally understand that this ISP exclude the app out of its network, because intuitively, we could think that the consumer will not leave the network for only one excluded app since there are no competitors. The model presented in the article determined that excludability was not profitable in this case, but the condition therefore is that the provider could determine the two competing effects of app exclusion and adapted the network price accordingly. This may be difficult to assess and to realize in real life. When there is competition, I think that the ISP shouldn’t exclude the app because the consumer could easily switch of providers. The allowance of the app is therefore a basic feature that every ISP competing should have, according to me. From the consumer perspective, it is always preferable to have access to the app, either in a monopoly or in a competitive environment. Finally, I consider that net neutrality is primordial today and that therefore, an app excludability shouldn’t be allowed. When examining Internet, we can separate it in two parts: the physical and the logical architecture (Wikipedia). The logical architecture should be accessible without restriction to any Internet user. When an IPS exclude an app, then it’s clearly the logical architecture of the Internet which is affected and therefore the harm caused to the consumer should be forbidden. Furthermore, the model described in the article proved (theoretically) that excludability is always unprofitable. References: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutralit%C3%A9_du_r%C3%A9seau Show less Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. 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