A matter
of interest

It is been quite of an year for Net Neutrality.
On February 26, 2015 the FCC will decide on the Internet’s fate.
But is a law enough to solve every problem?

2003

Net Neutrality is the principle that data should be treaten equally on the internet.

The term, which was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu, has now become the official expression to talk about data packet discrimination.

2005

Some ISP restrict the traffic depending on the data type.

In 2005 the ISP Madison River Communications prevents its subscribers from using a VoIP services, such as Skype; in 2007 Comcast, one of the biggest USA provider, blocks Bittorrent traffic on its network.


2008

The FCC has always expressed its position in favor of Net Neutrality.

In 2008 the FCC opens an investigation into Comcast's treatment of Bittorrent traffic and orders to stop every discrimination.

2008

Comcast wins against the FCC.

Comcast sue the FCC to the US Court, who asserts that the Federal Commission, according to the actual regulation, doesn’t have the authority to influence the way ISPs control the internet traffic.

TODAY

Users ask for a law which clearly defines roules and limits to respect.

On February 26, 2015 the FCC has to reclassify the Title II of the Communication Act, a law that regulate the telecommunication system. By redefining ISPs like common carriers, they will be obligated to treat all the data equally.

On the web everyone talk about Net Neutrality

Google Trends data shows how Net Neutrality query has grown a lot in the last 12 months. Blogs, news websites and other web media talked a lot about this issue captured the public attention.


Everyone believe in Net Neutrality, but things are more complicated.

Politics, news websites, activists, content providers and internet service providers expressed different opinions about the issue.

We analyzed the debate on the web starting with Google researches and we found out that there are two ways of talking about Net Neutrality: on one hand who use technical terms (es.: how the Internet works) and on the other hand who use ethicla terms (es.: Internet freedom).


Obama declared his support to Net Neutrality, pushing the FCC to take measures.

On November 10th, 2014 Obama shared a video revealing his aim to protect internet freedom, starting an online petition sustained by all democrat senators. On the other side republican reported this behaviour as an unjustified political interference with economic issues, defining it as the Internet Obamacare.

Obama used more tecnical terms

The tag cloud shows the most used words during the President Obama's video published on November 10th, 2014. It is clear that in this graph there are more technical words rather than sentimental.

  • Ethical terms
  • Tecnical terms
  • Neutral terms

News and information websites described the situation in a neutral and non partisan way.

In our research blog and news website represent the biggest part of our results. Articles merely describe the actual situation and the development of facts without using words to strong with the purpose of influencing public’s opinion.

Blog and News are the 80% of the results of out research on Google.com

News and Blog speak the same

The graph shows how the terms of the debate change depending on the different queries. There’s a general predominance of technical terms that report the facts as they are.

"Net Neutrality"
News
  • ISPs
  • Obama
  • Service
  • Companies
  • FCC
  • Rules
  • Netflix
  • Fast lane
  • Idea
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Agency
  • Interest
  • Obamacare
  • Comcast
  • Verizon
  • Traffic
  • Videos
  • Speed
  • Network
  • Content
Blog
  • ISPs
  • FCC
  • Service
  • Companies
  • Netflix
  • Principle
  • People
  • Network
  • Traffic
  • Regulation
  • Technology
  • Customer
  • Content
  • Broadband
  • Authority
  • Obama
  • Data
  • Comcast
  • Website
  • Debate it
"Open Internet" + "Against"
News
  • FCC
  • Open Internet
  • ISPs
  • Freedom
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Obama
  • Service
  • Companies
  • Consumers
  • Regulation
  • Content
  • Verizon
  • Fast lane
  • Agency
  • Innovation
  • Proposal
  • Network
  • Netflix
  • Authority
  • CC*
Blog
  • FCC
  • ISPs
  • Rules
  • Consumers
  • Companies
  • Comcast
  • Innovation
  • Obama
  • Content
  • Service
  • Verizon
  • Agency
  • Americans
  • Issue
  • Title II
  • Time
  • Information
  • CC*
  • Future
  • Principle
"Open Internet" + "Stand For"
News
  • FCC
  • Open Internet
  • Obama
  • Freedom
  • ISPs
  • Service
  • World
  • Innovation
  • Content
  • Rules
  • Proposal
  • Stand
  • Platform
  • People
  • Power
  • Future
  • Consumers
  • Court
  • Americans
  • Nation
Blog
  • Open Internet
  • FCC
  • Obama
  • Rules
  • Stand
  • Principle
  • Interest
  • Companies
  • Content
  • Freedom
  • Innovation
  • Comments
  • People
  • Information
  • Tom Wheeler
  • Rights
  • ISPs
  • Title II
  • Service
  • Fast lane
  • Ethical terms
  • Tecnical terms
  • *Common Carriers
  • Reset filter

Many people protested to preserve their freedom on the web.

Activist websites collected many petitions, accusing ISPs of mining the freedom on the Internet and operating following their own interests. The FCC recieved more than 800K comments for the Net Neutrality public consultation.

Each signed petition generated a tweet, 1364 per day — about 1 per minute.

The most active users on twitter associated the hastag #NetNeutrality to ethicla hashtags.

#Telecomprom refers to the annual FCBA dinner, where all the telecommunication lobbyists are invited. It is often used, from activists, as the symbol of the ISPs’ monopoly over the Internet. There is also another group of co-hastags that have a stronger sentimental meaning and that refer to the many protests against police violence: #ICANTBREATHE, #FERGUSON, #BLACKLIVESMATTER.

In the meanwhile Netflix and Comcast keep try to play up to users while they make war.

Conten Providers (such as Google or Netflix) fear that ISPs can create a two speed Internet, forcing users to pay for their content. On the other side the Internet Service Providers reject such an imaginary assumption, pointing out that their only interest is to guarantee the best service for their customers.

«A stronger net neutrality to avoid blackouts that plague the cable industry and harms consumers.» — Netflix

«The public discourse has reached a fever pitch: emotion and hyperbole are substituting for fact.»— Comcast

But the real focus of this debate has nothing to do with any ideological hue.

Net Neutrality debate seem to be based on a strong ideological mold: the protection of the Open Internet, the fear of the two speed Interenet, the right to Internet Access. These are all very strong topics, suitable to attract a large number of people.

But the actual cornerstone of Net Neutality is strictly connected to economic issues.

ISP e CP want to redefine the economic agreements which regulate the web.

Internet Providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon want to have more control on the online content, in order to obtain more profits.

Content Providers, on the other hand, complain the increasing prices charged by the ISP; they don't want to pay more to reach their users.

Internet traffic comes from Content Providers.

When you watch a streaming movie the Content Provider send the data on the Internet, which is managed by CDNs and Internet Service Providers, that control the last mile of tubes.

2013

2018

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Composition of the internet traffic
The HD and 4K streaming video is growing, year after year, for volume and for traffic percentage. (Cisco Forecast)

ISPs and CPs entrust the management of the internet traffic to CDNs in order to optimize it.

Content Delivery Networks are well trained companies that distribute the internet contents. They are able to store big amount of data in servers all around the world in order to reduce the distance between providers and final user.


CDN's market in USA
In USA the the 91% of the CDN's market is managed by only three companies. (Deepfield Report)

Some Content Providers want to be independent.

Netflix and other Content Providers are building their own Content Delivery Networks to avoid traditional CDN's fees, bypassing the current economic system.


Mutation of CDN Netflix traffic
From 2012 Netflix revolutionized the traffic managment by building its own CDN. (Deepfield Report)

But anyway their data have to go through ISP to arrive to us.

ISPs make commercial agreements with the traditional CDN. The new shortcuts, external to those agreements, make the internet traffic difficult to be managed. That's why when you try to watch a streaming film or make a videocall everything get stuck.


ISP in USA
The 67% of Americans can choose between only two internet provider.
(SoftBank Group Anaysis)

Is a law really able to change the scenario?

The Net Neutrality debate is strictly connected to ideological issues. But to understand the real cornerstones it is important to examine the economic interests.