Research Notes

The European telecoms regulator BEREC launched a hearing on implementing the net neutrality rules – most telecom operators do not have the knowledge or the documentation required to make a serious response

Net neutrality and “open internet” regulation is a major subject globally. Some 50 nations around the world now have rules, and the number is growing. Given the speed of rulemaking and limited regulatory impact assessment, many have difficulty understanding what net neutrality is, how the regulation works in practice, and how to have a meaningful dialogue on the issue with many different stakeholders.

In the coming month operators will respond to the BEREC consultation. Many of the operators fail to make a compelling response either because they lack the knowledge, are not able to communicate in an effective way, or they are afraid to take a strong position.

In general, we find that operators are both arrogant and ignorant; arrogant that they need to acknowledge the activist element, but also ignorant in the important academic information that can bolster their case. Most important, operators are outmatched when it comes to the global, coordinated, and sophisticated campaigns orchestrated by internet activists. These groups run circles around the operators.

Europe’s telecommunications industry is in a difficult situation in relation to BEREC – it looks like Internet activists have already won.
Yesterday’s presentation of the guidelines at BEREC shows that European operators have not succeeded to communicate their views. The draft guidelines show that BEREC has listened more to the Internet activists than to operators.

Strand Consult runs an independent research organization that investigates net neutrality. It is recognized as a leader in publishing information about the issue and how it develops around the world.

Many pretend to be authorities on the net neutrality, but have little to no experience and understanding of the mobile telecom market. Their reports are based on opinions of stakeholders with big financial interests, rather than factual knowledge and academic research.

Strand Consult takes an objective view to the topic and an academic approach. Too much of the net neutrality discourse is based on emotion and ideology, not on facts. As such Strand Consult contributes with serious research and critical analysis. See Strand Consult’s 24 research notes on the topic.

Many companies hire strategic advisors to give them insight to the future. But one should not judge a strategic knowledge provider based on what it predicts about the future, but whether it was right about the past. Moreover the strategic advisor should be able to prove that it already predicted the reality today.

Strand Consult has long described that net neutrality would explode as a global issue. It has tracked the development and sophistication of transnational activist groups promoting the issue. Strand Consult has also described that net neutrality would become the regulator’s nightmare.

While it may seem like a preliminary win to politicians to make net neutrality rules, the regulation can become unwieldy, as new issues are invented as net neutrality violations. Regulators find that they are the target of political activism, not a good outcome for authorities which are supposed to be expert and independent. Moreover, regulators’ core activities languish as activism drives a new agenda, and they must adjudicate a new set of complaints.

To be sure, some regulators welcome the development because net neutrality breathes new life into a set of commitments which many thought were largely fulfilled when the state telephone monopoly was privatized and mobile licenses were offered. Now a new set of players, both activists and corporations, drive regulatory outcomes. This is a departure from classic regulation in which the regulator itself was the source of information and expertise.

Tap the world’s leading knowledge center on Open Internet rulemaking from Strand Consult
Strand Consult published the first version of a 450 page report in 2013 describing net neutrality from a variety of angles. Stakeholders from around the world, including operators, regulators, non-governmental, and journalists have taken advantaged of Strand Consult’s initial report Understanding Net Neutrality and Stakeholders’ Arguments. Strand Consult has also conducted workshops on the issue and speaks at conferences on this subject around the World.

Now Strand Consult launches 6 new reports on the subject, adding another 1000 pages in content. These reports can be bought individually or together. This expands Strand Consult’s collection to seven unique reports targeted for various needs and stakeholders in this debate.

1. Understanding Net Neutrality and Stakeholders’ Arguments
2. The legal instruments used for net neutrality and their pros and cons
3. The academic literature for and against net neutrality
4. Zero rating from an academic perspective and the empirical evidence for harm or benefit
5. Specialized services and traffic management, issues related to net neutrality
6. Overview of net neutrality rules in 50 countries
7. Overview of net neutrality and stakeholder’ arguments updated summer 2016

Buying Strand Consult’s reports is a way to save time and expense on gathering information and developing strategy with expensive consultants. In fact there is no consultancy company in the world that has such deep insight in all aspects of net neutrality as Strand Consult.

Together with our reports, Strand Consult delivers workshops that lifts people’s level of knowledge and makes them more intelligent to participate in the high-stakes debate.

Tap the world’s leading knowledge center on Open Internet rulemaking from Strand Consult, see Strand Consult’s research notes or contact one of our experts.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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