Dr Konstantinos Stylianou interviewed on net neutrality

As net neutrality continues to provoke a heated debate, the US Federal Communications Commission voted on December 14 to repeal the relevant rules, a move that was widely expected since last summer.

 Dr Konstantinos Stylianou has researched and written on net neutrality, and maintains a moderate view on whether strict net neutrality rules are needed.

He shared his views with Sputnik News, Russia's state news agency, and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the largest professional organisation of engineers in the world.

While the complete abolition of rules, as the FCC did, may allow broadband Internet providers to act against the interests of the market, the previous regime, which imposed strict inflexible obligations, was also not fit for the market. Konstantinos said that "discrimination and exclusionary practices are an inherent component  of the competitive process" and that "because of the very close scrutiny ISPs are under even absent net neutrality rules, and because of the very well-shaped expectations of consumers in terms of large variety and few limitations, the newly enabled offerings will be about expanding choice and features rather than restricting them”.

This will of course influence consumer behaviour, which may turn out to disfavour some services and apps, but this is the result of  consumers responding to choice, which is welcome. The more important question is: what will ISPs do with the extra revenue? If they use [it] to offer consumers even better deals or invest in infrastructure or new services then this is a great outcome for all. If  the additional revue becomes shareholder value, it’s not ideal. But this is an issue that goes well beyond net neutrality.”