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Thursday, October 22, 2009

'Reasonable' traffic management: Robinson analysis

So now the middle of the game - after the End of the Beginning. What is 'reasonable' traffic management? David Robinson at Yale points out that what we're looking for is not 'reasonableness' as in the 'man on the Clapham omnibus' - but 'least discriminatory', least invasive' or 'least harmful', in his analysis of the Markey Bill:

I fear the bill would spur a food fight among ISPs, each of whom could complain about what the others were doing. Such a battle would raise the probability that those ISPs with the most effective lobbying shops will prevail over those with the most attractive offerings for consumers, if and when the two diverge.

Why use the phrase “reasonable network management” to describe this exacting standard? I think the most likely answer is simply that many participants in the net neutrality debate use the phrase as a shorthand term for whatever should be allowed — so that “reasonable” turns out to mean “permitted.”

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