FCC study: Successful broadband countries allow net neutrality

As the FCC mulls more solid net neutrality rules for wired and wireless networks, the commission has issued a new draft report that indicates most of the successful countries--when it comes to broadband deployments--have opened up the networks of their main operators to competing service providers. The FCC is seeking comment on it by Nov. 16.

The report by Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society details findings from a range of market-oriented democracies in a quest to understand what approaches are most effective in bringing broadband to the masses.

Most of the highest-ranking countries use net neutrality policies, under which the incumbent carriers have to allow competitors to lease capacity on their networks and offer their own services, the Berkman report said. By contrast, the U.S. stands out for having instituted such rules in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 but backed away from them early in this decade, the report said.

In fact, net neutrality policies played a significant role in the success of many first-generation wired networks that transitioned from dial-up to broadband. Japan, South Korea, Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.K. are among the countries that have used open-access rules to foster strong broadband markets, the report said.

Interestingly, wireless broadband policies were more complicated and more difficult to draw conclusions from, the report said.

For more:
- see this PC World article
- see the report

Related articles:
FCC's net neutrality proposal could end mobile web gate keeping
Net neutrality for wireless: The few versus the many