Net Neutrality Is Dead, Long Live “delayed-action regulation?”

The other news out of Capital Hill today concerns the defeat of "Network Neutrality" legislation in the House. Susan Crawford shares her thoughts on the what could come next. She points to the need for better data on the broadband market and asks if we need "a Draconian set of escalating remedies."

As I've said in the past, we need better empirical evidence — both CAIDA-style and antitrust-style — about the state of the broadband marketplace in the U.S. today. Until we have that, it's hard to say how the net is being harmed or what we should do about it.

How about this: let's create a Draconian set of escalating remedies (injunctions, escalating damages, structural separation mandates) and write them down in careful detail. Let's say that unless the network providers show over the next two years that they are not, in fact, illegitimately shaping network management in order to favor their own business plans, these remedies will be put in place — two years from now. This delayed-action regulation might be easier to push through, and might just make the providers toe the line. If they do, we'll all be rewarded by solidified consumer expectations of an unfettered, blazing-fast internet for everyone.

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