internet lab | Podcast Season: 1 - Episode: 17 / Release date: 16-2-2023

1:1 with Chris Marsden
Monash University, Australia

Key Quotes

"[Net neutrality,] I thought this was all settled policy (...): [network fees] that's a battle that will not be fought again. It's been a real eye opener to realise that we're now having to have this debate again."
1 / 14
"Internet traffic has been growing over 40 years, but over the commercial internet, it's been growing strongly in Europe over the last 25 years. But it's been growing more slowly over those 25 years."
2 / 14
"This is a positive sum game. It's really been very, very noticeable in telcos' own statistics how much people have been willing to invest more money in faster connections."
3 / 14
"Most of us don't watch a lot of Ultra High Definition [(UHD)]. Most gamers don't do a lot of UHD. The threatened content explosion has been in people's imaginations, not in reality."
4 / 14
"The telcos are suggesting something has changed: I don't see any proof of that [change]."
5 / 14
"There's an assumption which has been built into a lot of these plans, which is that it's really a small group of very big companies on both sides of the debate: that just isn't the case."
6 / 14
"[Network fees:] it doesn't hurt the really big content providers, because they are truly enormous. But it affects the people at the margins, particularly on the content provider side."
7 / 14
"The dangers are that you're basically just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy: you are helping Big Tech by increasing the barriers to being able to provide content over networks."
8 / 14
"ARD, ZDF, France Télévisions, BBC and the other state broadcasters said: If you introduce [network fees], you're essentially (...) forcing [us] to pay the telco networks to provide content that the public's already paid for."
9 / 14
"Big Tech has spent billions and billions of euros on content delivery networks (...). Big Tech companies are actually gigantic Internet traffic companies, as well as being content providers."
10 / 14
"The local piece, the actual last mile delivery, is the piece that is being upgraded, and is the piece where, of course, users are paying for those upgrades."
11 / 14
"It's really important to remember that there is still room for lots of innovation in content. We are not at the end of history where there are five big companies, (...) there really is still room for new companies to come in."
12 / 14
"Those prophets of doom, which have been around for 25 years, are incorrect. (...). There is no need to break the [Internet] model, which has been so successful for those 25 years."
13 / 14
"I was on the advisory committee for the (...) evaluation of the Open Internet Regulation (...): it's relatively recent in terms of this debate, and it was a very exhaustive analysis of the [Regulation], and it said it's working fine."
14 / 14

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About Our Guest

Prof. Chris Marsden | Professor of AI, Technology and the Law - Monash University, Australia
Professor Chris Marsden recently moved from Sussex Law School in the UK to Monash University in Australia, where he is Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Technology and the Law. He is an expert on Internet and digital technology law, with a focus on regulation by code - whether legal, software or social code. He is the author of many scholarly contributions as well as five books including "Net neutrality", "Regulating Code" with Professor Ian Brown and "Internet Co-regulation".