internet lab | Podcast Season: 1 - Episode: 18 / Release date: 2-3-2023

1:1 with Bill Woodcock
Packet Clearing House

Key Quotes

"Telcos in Europe are still hugely dependent on the data that they're collecting about customers and selling: they are not actually profitable based upon what they're charging customers."
1 / 11
"If we had a rational market in which providers were responsible to customers, more than to investors, or at least to both, providers would be happy to sell more of what they have to sell."
2 / 11
"[Telcos'] R&D is not going into how to provide more bandwidth more effectively to their customer, their R&D is going into how to track their customer's activity against the wishes of the customer, more covertly."
3 / 11
"[A 'fair share':] catches Big Tech in its net, but there are only a few of them. What the economy is mostly populated with is startups and SMEs, and they're also being asked to pay for the desired greater profit margins of the telcos."
4 / 11
"Characterizing this as a penalty levied against Big Tech, is simply trying to use the animosity that Big Tech has quite clearly created for itself as a rationale for these artificial payments."
5 / 11
"The actual artificial payments [to telcos] would largely be coming from the parties who don't have the legal resources and defences of the US government, protecting them, and that is the European startup sector."
6 / 11
"The customer is paying the telco to keep modernising their networks so that there will always be enough bandwidth and the user can buy more bandwidth when they want to."
7 / 11
"[A 'fair share':] it doesn't make sense from a business perspective, it doesn't make sense in terms of economic incentives, it certainly doesn't make sense in terms of an overall economy."
8 / 11
"Undermining [the Internet] by saying less effective people should be allowed to penalise more effective people, that breaks a model that is working really well and has for 30 years."
9 / 11
"Anything that lobbyists for incumbent [telco] monopolies advocate for is likely to be antagonistic to the interests of the startups that are the ones (...) producing economic growth."
10 / 11
"Most Internet regulators are either captured at this point or struggling to avoid it. We’ve got to bolster their defences (...). We have to pay more attention to how we keep Internet regulation from being captured by incumbents."
11 / 11

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About Our Guest

Bill Woodcock | Executive Director - Packet Clearing House
Bill Woodcock is the executive director of Packet Clearing House (PCH), the international non-governmental organisation that builds and supports critical Internet infrastructure, including Internet exchange points and the core of the domain name system. Since entering the Internet industry in 1985, he has helped establish more than three hundred Internet exchange points. In 2011, Bill wrote the first survey of Internet interconnection agreements, as input to the OECD’s analysis of the Internet economy. He then conducted follow-on surveys in 2016 and 2021, with the participation of more than 27,000 Internet service providers in 192 countries. He also served on the board of the American Registry for Internet Numbers for fifteen years. Currently, Bill’s work focuses on the security and economic stability of critical Internet infrastructure.