Don Marti

Wed 21 Jun 2006 08:00:26 PM PDT

Network Neutrality Prediction Market?

Right-thinking people everywhere all know that we want the Internet to be "neutral" in the sense that your Internet provider doesn't exclude you from using some cool service that someone else wants to offer over a connection from a different Internet provider.

But reasonable people disagree about how likely a non-neutral Internet is to take over from the happy mostly-neutral Internet of today.

But how do you measure how "neutral" the Internet is? I don't think the neutrality debate is going to go away, so it would be nice to be able to say "Neutrality was down 2% this month."

Should be possible to do automatically: get a bunch of accounts with various ISPs, get some servers in various colos, and do stats on throughputs and latencies.

Once you have a measurement, and people who disagree about which way that measurement is going to go, and money that depends on it, it sounds like you have all the ingredients for a bet, I mean a futures market.

Funding Net startups? Hedge your exposure to neutrality-hostile carriers. Got fiber and considering doing a peering deal that cuts latencies? Make some money doing it.