Network Neutrality Recommendations Needed

by on March 30, 2007 · 18 comments

I’m starting a research project on network neutrality, and I’m hoping some of our smart readers can point me to stuff I ought to be reading. Below the fold I’ve got a brief summary of what I’m looking for. If you’ve ever studied the technical, economic, or political aspects of Internet routing policies, I would be eternally grateful if you could click through and give me your suggestions.

I’ve got a fair number of papers covering the network neutrality issue in broad strokes. What I’m looking for is some more in-depth materials covering some of the specifics.

First, I’d like to figure out what the state of research is regarding the utility of prioritization and packet shaping in routing protocols. I’ve expressed skepticism in the past about whether prioritizing technologies are necessary or helpful, but these have all been second or third-hand, and I’d like to go to the source. So I’m looking for good papers making the case for and against network designs that depart from the end-to-end principle. A literature survey would be especially helpful. Also, if anyone can suggest a good book that gives an in-depth explanation of modern routing technologies, that would also be helpful.

Secondly, I’d like to find some works that explain the structure of the Internet and the economics of peering. PFF had a pretty good study giving four case studies on the economics of network industries, but I’d like to find a more theoretical treatment, as well as some works looking in more detail at the dynamics of negotiations among network owners on the Internet. My sense is that the Internet is special—that because Internet routers are able to reconfigure themselves dynamically, the danger of any one network owner obtaining a dominant negotiating position is greatly reduced. So I’d be very interested in finding works that help me to flesh out that institution.

Finally, I’m interested in good regulatory capture stories. The ICC, FCC, and CAB are canonical examples of captured agencies, but I’m sure there are others. And if you’ve got a favorite book on the history of these or other agencies, that would be very helpful. And for balance, if you’ve got good examples of regulatory agencies that have resisted capture, I’d be interested in works about those too.

For all of these, bonus points for stuff that I can find for free on the Internet.


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