Net Neutrality - Global Thematic Research

Net Neutrality - Global Thematic Research


America is set to change the balance of power between Internet companies like Netflix and Internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T. On 14 December 2017, the FCC will vote on whether to eliminate net neutrality, the regulatory principle that ISPs should treat all Internet traffic equally. Supporters of net neutrality argue that an open Internet is essential in order to encourage innovation and free speech. Opponents of net neutrality argue that it discourages ISPs from investing in the high-speed broadband networks that the West badly needs if it is to stay ahead in the global data revolution.

The evidence points clearly to net neutrality rules being scrapped on 14 December 2017, because -
- President Trump and the Republican Party are both against regulatory over-reach;
- FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, is vehemently against net neutrality; and
- The US is falling down the world league table of broadband speeds, so it needs to incentivise its ISPs to invest in high speed broadband infrastructure by allowing them to charge all economic parties that benefit from using their pipes at commercial rates.

In this report we look into industry overview, trends, value chain of net neutrality, also identifying winners and losers.


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The backdrop to the net neutrality story
Net neutrality was set up for good reasons
Regulatory policies always have unintended side effects
Both sides of the net neutrality debate have strong arguments
It now looks like net neutrality may fall in the US under President Trump
Implications if net neutrality falls
US telecom operators and cable operators may benefit
Large US Internet companies who use substantial bandwidth may lose
Global telecom equipment makers could benefit
European and Asian telecom operators may see some benefit in the medium term
If implemented sensibly, a world without net neutrality may not be so bad
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