Arguments suggesting that the economic viability of the Internet is unsustainable without the Online Service Providers paying the Internet Service Providers for traffic are not new. In 2011 Diffraction Analysis published a report entitled ‘Net Discrimination Won’t Buy You Next-Generation Access‘ where we explored some of these arguments in relation to access network investments. In the light of renewed vigor in calls for net discrimination since then, Google asked Diffraction Analysis to express our views on these issues in a white paper. The idea for us was to produce a document that could be understood by anyone, even without a technical background, and would lay out the economic workings of internet traffic. We are publishing the paper today on SSRN, under the title ‘There’s no economic imperative to reconsider an open Internet.’
This is an important paper (we think) because in the debates around Net Neutrality there is a lot of complexity and many half-truths. Our conclusion is that the situation is nowhere near as dire and complicated as some would make it out: solutions to fluidify traffic with limited financial impact on the players involve exist and can easily be put in place.