Net neutrality rules are gone - are your buildings ready?

A WHITE PAPER BY CONNECTED EDGE PARTNERS:

Connected Edge Partners helps our Property Owner partners manage the lanes of network traffic into their commercial and retail buildings in ways that bring sufficient competition that will help eliminate the possible negative consequences of not having net neutrality rules. 

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Note:  This white paper does not explain what Net Neutrality is.  Instead it focuses on how Connected Edge Partners contributes to the needed new ways to mitigate the negative consequences of its repeal.

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Net Neutrality's historical perspective 

“Cable companies”, as they have been historically called, now form a major portion of the telecommunications industry and, over the past 20 years, it has more and more become a major participate in sales to Small Business and Enterprise customers, the majority of whom are the key leasing tenants or customers of Connected Edges Partners’ property owner partners.  Most analysts agree that a majority of Cable companies got into the Internet Service Provider (ISP) business by coincidence, which helped shape the entire broadband industry and which led directly to the demand for net-neutrality.  Here's why, in the past, in most countries (particularly those outside the U.S.) the local “Phone Company” was encouraged to take advantage of its entrenched quasi-governmental entity status to use its lines as a nation’s primary conduit for access to the internet.  However, in the U.S., when consumers started demanding broadband, most phone companies couldn't deliver. Their DSL connections were much slower than the Cable companies' connections. The Cable companies on the other hand could deliver faster speeds because they had laid tens of thousands of miles of CATV cabling across the U.S. in the '80s and '90s as cable TV went from being a luxury to a near necessity. TV cable wasn't designed to carry two-way traffic, much less internet traffic, but it was quickly adapted to broadband delivery. This inexact solution to the demand for widespread broadband access works just fine technically.     


With the passage of time, even with new marketplace demands happening and more educated consumers reacting, we find that Cable Companies still operate their emerging broadband ISP businesses  like “cable TV” companies, meaning they tend to think and operate their ISP businesses like the television-transmission business that they originally designed their networks for and as a local-monopoly. For, in doing TV cable, they were able to get exclusive television-connection rights to specific towns and neighborhoods in deals made decades ago. However, in the broadband world, there are no such exclusivity rights.  Yet the costs to build out competing last-mile broadband network infrastructures are enormous, leading to an environment where most commercial broadband users are limited to only one or, at best, two broadband providers accessing the buildings where their businesses reside.  Consequently, ISP businesses are very profitable for Cable companies.  And, with regard to pricing, because tenants in a building are captive and simply cannot jump to different ISP CableTV providers (not even one), Cable companies have been able to pretty much set their own pricing and terms.


To understand how Cable companies are pleased with a lack of net-neutrality think about the fact that they pay cable channels like Fox and ESPN a few bucks per subscriber per month for the right to carry their channels' signals. But when a cable channel is just starting out, it's the other way around — it pays cable operators for "carriage" of its signals.  So, if Cable companies can charge some cable channels for carriage, why can't they charge Facebook or Netflix as well? Why can't they pick and choose which online services their customers can access? The lack of net-neutrality regulations can make this possible and this is the nightmare scenario of many end-users of the internet (e.g. commercial tenants) — basically, turning the internet into cable TV.  All this should be of serious concern to property owners who house these tenants in their buildings.  They should be concerned that any failure of a carrier to deliver the speed, capacity, content and terms that businesses need and depend on can and will force tenants to seek other locations (i.e. other leasable space) and may even find other cities to move to, anywhere they can buy the services they need from another carrier who has made the decision to have telecommunications services that are more closely aligned with their tenant needs.  And, now, with net-neutrality rules gone, the commercial real estate industry needs to be more aware than ever of their historic inability to influence these carrier decisions, for this is a dynamic that has them now having to guess which buildings (their own and those of their competitors) have or do not have a carrier serving it in ways that will have them retain the business tenants they want to keep, as well as bring in new ones.


Connected Edge Partners will change that tenant dynamic

 These new property owner/tenant concerns stem from the new-found power that U.S. telecom giants have from the repeal of “net-neutrality” rules that the Obama-era FCC put in place to protect businesses from broadband providers using their power to limit web access – rules that prevented these large corporations from charging us more for certain types of high-speed internet access and/or have unwanted controls over content, both of which could make survival harder for businesses who could likely be disadvantaged through such controls and/or higher costs.  And, with the emerging Cable companies and traditional local “Phone Company” now technically legally capable of controlling what we receive, send, see and do on the internet, it is perfectly understandable for some to be concerned, and yet the repeal of net-neutrality regulations turns out to be the wrong solution to its perceived problems.  It is competition, with choice in the market place, that is the solution.  And, it is competition that Connected Edge Partners is bringing to the markets it serves, for it is competition that all are now understanding will be our best protection against any possible negative results of the net-neutrality repeal.


Connected Edge Partners (CEP) envisions a world of alternative broadband choices at and routes to commercial and retail buildings for internet access.  Such choices will protect content leaders, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, etc. (those who were rattled by the recent FCC overturning of net-neutrality rules) in ways that will maintain the integrity of their content with CEP-sponsored methods that promote commercial property owner carrier-neutral controls over how carriers access and operate their networks in their buildings.  



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"Protect Your Tenant's Network Traffic and Content"

Test to see where lands

At Connected Edge Partners (CEP) we enable competition among carriers at the “Edge.” We do this in new ways that help our property owner partners’ tenants end an era where the “Edge” is a monopoly, ends all worries about the lack of net neutrality rules and gives to tenants choices among carriers, with its resulting improved pricing.   


Through its property owner and carrier partnerships CEP facilitates the kind of network connections needed by tenants of commercial and retail properties – connections that are better, faster and more reliable.  With CEP you can meet and exceed all these needs including the ever-growing need for greater broadband capacities for today and for the future.

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To do this, CEP will gather the carriers’ existing network transport at new Meet-Me-Rooms or Colocation (colo) environments by improving upon the property owner’s traditional MPOE (minimum point of entry) by turning the MPOE into network peering and cross-connect locations that give much of the advantage back to the tenants or “end-users” in the building.  All this will  give tenants (and by extension property owners) the competition they desire and need for greater choice, pricing and applications, while, at the same time, allowing them to avoid, through in-building choice, any carrier that they perceive may be misusing its new-found freedoms from net-neutrality in ways that hurt them.  When this happens such tenants will be less inclined to want to relocate to another building (or city) or less inclined to not sign that lease extension.  As one longtime Silicon Valley internet analysis recently stated. “Technology needs to figure out a way to increase competition.”


We are in world where commercial and retail tenants have only two choices for broadband - one a somewhat pricey, but fairly fast cable-broadband provider and another a cheaper, but pitifully slow, DSL “Phone Company” provider.  And, without net-neutrality we are in a world where it is possible for carriers to exact extra fees or throttle or even censor the internet and make the internet work more like cable television, where providers can decide what content can reach an audience.  Now, image being a tenant in a CEP “Edge” connected building and having in its basement a place where you can choose from among multiple different broadband providers and could easily switch within hours (or minutes) from one to the other in a carrier-neutral environment.   Image a new world where tenants need not feel as though the world came to end on 12/12/17 (the date of the FCC’s rollback of net-neutrality rules) - with its perceived give-away of power to major carriers like Verizon and Comcast “to block mobile apps, slow websites and even control which news outlets can be accessed," (as feared recently by the ACLU).  Imagine a new world where an in-building environment exists where the tenant has a more user-friendly and carrier neutral way to get its broadband services at prices that are forced to be competitive.   That is now a reality when tenants have the CEP solution where new in-building infrastructures coexist in a competitive carrier-neutral environment so that when carriers reach the “Edge” of their networks they can connect to and/or peer easily with other carriers and tenants within a building.      


That's the improvement Connected Edge Partners brings to the commercial real estate market and, more specifically, to tenants.  We will encourage the existence of multiple carriers to all meet together at the MPOE in buildings and to be eager to connect to tenants and to backhaul options that our property owner partners will facilitate in a Meet Me Room/colo setting for wireline/wireless (most likely 5G) services that compete for tenants and for backhaul sales.  And, for those who may still be concerned about the net-neutrality rules going away, these are the kinds of settings that deserve our support because Facebook, Netflix, Google and other online content providers are now assured that, with carrier choice being made possible at the MPOE-level, the internet and its content/data will be delivered as intended and expected by its end-user customers.      


Finally, let’s not forget about the ever-evolving “Edge” being at the CEP-created Colo (and learn more about Colo at CEP’s “Why the Edge” page).  For it is here where new Cloud-like data center capabilities can be realized, where data-impacting latency (distance) is no longer an issue and where the use of "content-delivery networks," or CDNs, can have servers placed in the Colo for caching content geographically close to the carrier's local network, all in the building and at the “Edge” of carrier networks.


To illustrate, imaging watching a business’ real-time video presentation not having to travel from its origination point (say, California) through a dozen different autonomous internet backbone networks to get to an office in Atlanta. Instead, imagine it needing to travel only a few in-building stories from the CEP Colo (and the server located therein) to the tenant’s suite just a few hundred feet away.  Ironically, this now turns over the lack of net-neutrality advantages over to the content provider as opposed to the carrier (who transports its traffic to the building), as this gives property owners a measure of control over a tenant’s traffic that it never had before in its buildings.  It gives them the ability to provide to its tenants all the streaming services they need by being able to hook a tenant's data into in-building CEP enabled servers instead of having to travel a network of multiple carriers across the U.S. to a far-away server. With this kind of control at the MPOE level property owner MPOEs can now be Cloud-like and capable of protection aganst any discrimination by carriers who could otherwise favor one streaming service at the expense of others, giving tenants what they need: faster speed without greater cost.  As one internet industry leader recently stated “The greatest check on an ISP is the likelihood of an unsatisfied customer leaving."   


In summary, Connected Edge Partners addresses the lack of net-neutrality rules by bringing to the commercial and retail real estate community broadband and network services options that:


Provide new practical and workable networking solutions for traditional last-mile to the “Edge” connections to tenants. 


Give carriers new improved MPOE environments that give them peering and cross-connecting opportunities they never had before.


 • Provides carriers with “bundles” of ROEs at a time into multiple commercial and retail properties via master Right of Entry arrangements.  

 

Eliminates property owner demanded ROE “door” fees that are sometimes imposed on carriers. 


Provides carriers immediate network expansion opportunities with its further market penetrations and new sales revenues. 


Provides our ever-watchful state and federal regulators a means to see a carrier’s response to net-neutrality repeal, as well as observe and monitor its position on healthy competition in its markets.