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Beyond ‘Neutrality’: How to Reconnect Policy to Reality?

I have some bad news: the published literature on ‘net neutrality’ fails to grasp the stochastic nature of broadband and its implications. This means that the relationship of traffic management to QoE is universally misunderstood and/or misrepresented.

As a result the whole policy process is being placed into opposition with nature! Nature isn’t changing to accommodate the policy process. So the policy process has to change.

Now for the good news: we know how to align the policy to the science (and the immutable constraints of physics and maths). Both the technical and political issues are tractable. And there are ways of everyone saving face, too!

However, in my experience coming to terms with the “stochastic science gap” creates a lot of anxiety. It’s like being told there’s no Network God, when you’ve been brought up to believe in a benevolent Datagram Deity.

I have created a new presentation about life beyond ‘neutrality’, if you are willing to refresh some of your beliefs about broadband.

By Martin Geddes, Founder, Martin Geddes Consulting Ltd

He provides consulting, training and innovation services to telcos, equipment vendors, cloud services providers and industry bodies. For the latest fresh thinking on telecommunications, sign up for the free Geddes newsletter.

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Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

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