Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: June 26, 2014

Network Neutrality and Quality of Service: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like

van Schewick, Barbara, Network Neutrality and Quality of Service: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like (June 26, 2014). Stanford Law Review, Forthcoming; Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper No. 462; Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2459568. Available for download at SSRN:

In December 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the Open Internet Order, which enacted binding network neutrality rules for the first time. Network neutrality rules limit the ability of Internet service providers to interfere with the applications, content and services on their networks; they allow users to decide how they want to use the Internet without interference from Internet service providers. In January of this year, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the core provisions of the Open Internet Order – the rules against blocking and discrimination. The Court upheld the Open Internet Order’s disclosure rule, so Internet service providers still have to publicly disclose any blocking or discrimination that occurs. As a result of this ruling, Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T or Cox Cable that connect users to the Internet are now free to block any content, service or application they want. They can slow down selected applications, speed up others, or ask application or content providers like Netflix or Spotify to pay fees to reach their users. These practices would fundamentally change how each of us experiences the Internet.  In the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s decision, US policy makers have to decide (again), which, if any, network neutrality rules the US should adopt. They essentially have three options: The FCC can take steps to preserve the Open Internet Rules; it can develop a different, narrower network neutrality regime under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act within the boundaries established by the Court of Appeal’s decision; or Congress or the FCC can adopt a new network neutrality regime under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.  This paper helps policy makers think through the available options, focusing on the substantive merits of the different non-discrimination rules under consideration. In addition to rules that forbid network providers from blocking applications, content and services, rules that forbid discrimination are a key component of any network neutrality regime. Non-discrimination rules apply to any form of differential treatment that falls short of blocking. They determine, for example, whether network providers are allowed to provide low-delay service only to their own streaming video application, but not to competing video applications; whether network providers can count only traffic from unaffiliated video applications, but not their own Internet video applications, towards users’ monthly bandwidth cap; or whether network providers can charge different Internet access charges depending on the application used, independent of the amount of traffic created by the application. The paper makes four contributions: First, it proposes a substantive framework that policy makers can use to evaluate alternative proposals for network neutrality rules and assess specific forms of discriminatory conduct. Second, the paper evaluates eight existing proposals for non-discrimination rules and the Open Internet Order’s non-discrimination rule against this framework and proposes a non-discrimination rule that policy makers should adopt around the world – a rule that the Open Internet Order adopted in part. Third, the paper offers the first in-depth analysis of the relationship between network neutrality and new network-level services called Quality of Service. Finally, the paper provides the first detailed analysis of the Open Internet Order’s non-discrimination rule for fixed broadband Internet access. The paper is relevant beyond the US: In Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the member states are currently considering which approach to network neutrality they should take. The Brazilian Parliament is in the process of adopting network neutrality rules. In all of these debates, non-discrimination rules are a key point of contention. And no matter which network neutrality regime a country adopts, the question of which, if any, network-discriminations require a legal response will remain relevant for years to come.”

Data now available for evaluating individual systemic footprint of 33 large U.S. bank holding companies

“The Federal Reserve Board today announced the availability of data that can be used to evaluate the individual systemic footprint of 33 large U.S. bank holding companies.  The data will help to ensure comparability when evaluating the systemic risk profile of each banking organization. The data cover five categories often used when considering the potential systemic… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Conflict Minerals, Defense Acquisitions, Defense HQ, UN, Virtual Currencies

CONFLICT MINERALS: Stakeholder Options for Responsible Sourcing Are Expanding, but More Information on Smelters Is Needed, GAO-14-575: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2014. DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Review of Private Industry and Department of Defense Open Systems Experiences, GAO-14-617R: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 26, 2014. DEFENSE HEADQUARTERS: DOD Needs to Reevaluate Its Approach for Managing Resources Devoted to… Continue Reading

You Are Here Project

“Every day for the next year, we will make a map of a city in which we have lived. Each of these maps will be an aggregation of thousands of microstories, tracing the narratives of our collective experience. We will make maps of the little things that make up life — from the trees we hug,… Continue Reading

Bottlenecks in the Open-Access System: Voices from Around the Globe

“A level playing field is key for global participation in science and scholarship, particularly with regard to how scientific publications are financed and subsequently accessed. However, there are potential pitfalls of the so-called “Gold” open-access (OA) route, in which author-paid publication charges cover the costs of production and publication. Gold OA plans in which author… Continue Reading

Report reveals millions of young adults use illicit substances every day

“According to SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) data, on an average day, 3.2 million young adults used marijuana, 57,304 used heroin, 51,319 used cocaine, 46,179 used hallucinogens, and 17,868 used inhalants.  Drinking was also prevalent among this age group.  In the past year, 27 million young adults consumed alcohol.  Even more concerning, this… Continue Reading

Despite Rise in Felony Charges, Most Immigration Convictions Remain Misdemeanors

“Convictions for the petty offense of illegal entry continue to dominate the criminal enforcement of federal immigration laws, according to a new analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of case-by case records from the Justice Department. During the first six months of fiscal year 2014, two out of three immigration convictions — 24,647 out… Continue Reading

Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2014: 1st Quarter

“This quarterly survey provides national summary statistics on the revenues, expenditures and composition of assets of the 100 largest state and local public employee retirement systems in the United States. These 100 systems comprise 89.4 percent of financial activity among such entities, based on the 2007 Census of Governments. This survey presents the most current… Continue Reading

As the Nation Ages, Seven States Become Younger, Census Bureau Reports

“The median age declined in seven states between 2012 and 2013, including five in the Great Plains, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today. In contrast, the median age for the U.S. as a whole ticked up from 37.5 years to 37.6 years. These estimates examine population changes among groups by age, sex, race… Continue Reading

Rethinking the Corporate Intranet in the Age of Information Everywhere

Deploying a Search-Driven Information  Architecture to Address Intranet Challenges, Tucker Hall – Director, Industry Communication, Coveo; Chip Brush – Senior Systems Engineer, Coveo. June 2014. Continue Reading