Thursday, December 25, 2014

U.S. Network Neutrality Rules Will Set Back Service Provider Hopes for 2-Sided Business Models

Sometime early in 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is going to issue its long-awaited network neutrality rules. Just as certainly, no matter what the FCC does, there will be lawsuits challenging the rules.

All of that, plus a possibility the Congress will eventually step in and provide direction, mean we still will have no resolution of network neutrality rules in 2015.

In the end, some compromise solution is likely, with consumer access remaining a “best effort only” service, and business users free to buy or create services featuring prioritized access.

If, as likely, consumer services remain based on  “best effort” access, at least one logical way for service providers to create a “two-sided” business model in the consumer Internet access business will fail.

Service providers continue to hope that other methods of selling services for third party business partners might yet emerge.

In fact, some hope 5G mobile networks will embed precisely such features into the fabric of the eventual standard.

But content delivery networks, acting all the way to a consumer account premises, will not be among those features.

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