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Net Neutrality and Managed Services: Your Expertise is Needed!

With the FCC poised to vote up or down on opening a rule making proceeding on net neutrality, the old battle lines are being redrawn in the press and advocates and opponents are taking their respective and predictable positions. Meanwhile, in the background, and the back rooms, calm and hopefully constructive conversations are being held. Looking backward is usually only helpful to appreciate how much we’ve learned and advanced; despite the news reports, net neutrality is not the same issue it was in 2005 or 2006.

Today, net neutrality may boil down to resolving a single issue, how to allow network operators to offer “private” managed services alongside a public “neutral” network in a fair and scalable way. Because of the properties and capacity of optical fiber, FTTH would make the solution somewhat simpler. But fiber networks will never be the only way that consumers access the Internet, and so the solution must accommodate all platforms, including wireless.  As the floodgates soon open to receive public comment on this contentious issue (the proceeding is expected to be introduced on October 22), the FCC needs thoughtful, informed and technically accurate comments from individuals who are experienced in operating networks and can focus on this particular question. If you fit this description, or know someone who does, I would love to hear from you as we prepare comments on behalf of the EDUCAUSE community. You will find an example of a proposed solution here that was presented to the FCC by Free Press, Google, the Open Internet Coalition, New America Foundation, and Skype.  Comments on this graphic would be appreciated as well.

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