Post 'net neutrality' internet needs new measurement tools, Princeton experts tell policymakers

phys.org | 3/6/2019 | Staff
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For much of the past decade, fierce political battles over the internet have involved concerns that the fastest access would go only to those with the greatest ability to pay. In testimony last week in Washington, however, a Princeton professor said measuring such performance is no longer so simple. On the internet, speed no longer rules.

Speaking before the Federal Trade Commission's hearing on internet competition and consumer protection, Nick Feamster said changes to the structure of the internet require new methods to measure online services. He said using speed as a benchmark is no longer the best measure.

Oversimplification - Conclusions - Feamster - Professor - Computer

"Oversimplification is going to lead to wrong conclusions," Feamster, a professor of computer science, told the audience during the March 20 conference in Washington, D.C.

Feamster, who is also deputy director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, later explained that internet speeds have vastly increased overall and most traffic now consists of video. At the same time, content is delivered to consumers in ways that are fundamentally different than five 10 years ago.

Issue - Dynamics - Faster - Speeds - Market

"The real issue here is that the dynamics are changing because of faster speeds and shifting market structure," Feamster said in an interview. "We have to figure out how to help protect consumers in light of the changing technical dynamics."

The conference featured speakers and panel discussions that raised issues related to consumer protection on the internet, especially in light of recent changes. Tithi Chattopadhyay, the center's associate director, joined a panel discussion on technological developments and market structure. A former director of Wisconsin's state broadband office, Chattopadhyay discussed internet competition and commerce and spoke of states' roles in the market.

Address - Feamster - Efforts - Consumers - Access

In his address, Feamster spoke about efforts to measure and oversee consumers' access to information on the internet. In the past, much of this has concerned the speed at which information moved...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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