Research Notes

Important information about net neutrality. Strand Consult´s views appear in the news about the court ruling

The recent court decision on net neutrality was in line with what Strand Consult has predicted and described in our report “Understanding Net Neutrality and Stakeholders’ Arguments”.

Strand Consult was in Washington, D.C. meeting with stakeholders as the decision in the net neutrality case between Verizon and the Federal Communication’s Commission was announced.

Leading up to the court decision was AT&T the launching of a new Sponsored Data program. This is an example of the kinds of partnerships that telecom companies want to explore. Net neutrality supporters have called this discriminatory, but it appears that such programs will increase value for consumers, as companies will sponsor data so that it does not count against data caps. Read Strand Consult’s research note AT&T’s Sponsored Data is nothing new. Why it’s hypocritical to allow paywalls but not data caps and an interview with Strand Consult in Forbes. 

Strand Consult’s report examines the challenges that operators face when they launch new and legal products such as Sponsored Data.

The District Court of Appeals in Washington struck down net neutrality rules
Telecommunications companies and telecom regulators around the world have been awaiting this decision. The District Court of Appeals in Washington DC struck down net neutrality rules for the second time. The court affirmed that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can’t regulate broadband providers as common carriers. To be sure, the fight is not over yet. Net neutrality supporters are mobilizing to request that the FCC reclassify broadband providers as common carriers. This will be an interesting time as the Energy and Commerce Committee of the United States House of Representatives in Congress has kicked off an effort to reform the Communications Act of 1934.

Most important, now that the rules have been struck down, the marketplace is allowed a natural experiment to see whether internet service providers act in discriminatory ways, something the net neutrality supporters have alleged will happen.

Strand Consult maintains that the FCC has actually won with a loss in the court because the court affirmed that that the FCC has authority to regulate broadband providers, as long at the providers are properly categorized. However the new Chairman will likely pursue a new agenda that takes into account public safety and cybersecurity and a more holistic view of the internet value chain that may hold content/application providers and handset makers accountable for anticompetitive activity, not just telecom operators. Additionally the Chairman has indicated that he will take an ex-post evidence based approach to prosecuting discriminatory behavior. That’s good news for operators who won’t be constrained by proactive laws.

Strand Consult was mentioned in the media many times on this landmark decision. Strand Consult’s Roslyn Layton, author of the net neutrality report, appeared in television, radio, and print media. Following are some few of the highlights of the media coverage.

1. C-Span
2. Net neutrality and the internet’s future: Decoding the DC Circuit Court’s Decision
3. Business Week
4. U.S. News and World Report
5. MIT Technology Review

As the following links demonstrate, Strand Consult is one of the most knowledgeable experts in this area, especially when it comes to looking at how different stakeholders are derailed by frivolous arguments in the debate.

To learn more about net neutrality, order Strand Consult’s comprehensive report Understanding Net Neutrality and Stakeholder’s Arguments. The report includes a conference call between Strand Consult and your organization, examining your unique market situation. The report can also be combined with a strategic workshop to get your team the knowledge and skills they need quickly. Order this important report today so that you are not caught unprepared when the net neutrality debate explodes in your country.

Best regards,

John Strand

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