A slap in the face of Net Discrimination lobbyists

In the wake of AT Kearney's infamous report A Viable Future Model for the Internet, many analysts, journalists and activists pointed out the terrible flaws in this paper. I myself blogged about it a number of times, to point out amongst other things that the proposed model was anything but viable. Sadly though, it seems the paper had quite an impact amongst policy makers here in Europe and maybe elsewhere. In part, this is due (in my opinion) to the fact that access providers seem a lot more efficient at finding common grounds and lobbying policy makers (and sponsor expensive "research" papers) than Online Service Providers are. But it was also due to the lack of a refutation on the economic side.

That refutation has now been published, and I would go as far as describing it as an indictment of the AT Kearney "study" and the policy goes underlying that document. Under the title Are Traffic Charges Needed to Avert a Coming Capex Catastrophy?, economist Robert Kenny builds a systematic refutation of the AT Kearney paper. Kenny disects each of the arguments that forms the AT Kearney reasoning and breaks each one of them down with clinical precision. 

The starting point of Kenny's piece is potentially the most important one: that the need for a change in traffic management is taken as a postulate by AT Kearney and in no way demonstrated. This to me is the most important messages for policy makers and regulators: before meddling with internet traffic management, make sure you understand exactly what is happening, don't take anyone's word for it. 

Anyway, this is absolutely required reading and I suggest you spread this around once you've read it!

(On a side note, I'm still pondering why AT Kearney agreed to play a part in this farce. Surely their credibility has taken a huge blow with the publication of a paper that was so clearly designed to fit a pre-ordained conclusion…)