As Harold noted in the comment to my last post, empirical data has a way of settling theoretical disputes. I agree that the net neutrality debate is best understood as how to manage policy under conditions of uncertainty. Those with different premises (or philosophical perspectives) thus come out differently.
I also agree with Harold that it is not a reasonable view to argue that a two firm market is competitive, at least as a general matter (we can argue about exceptions, like Boeing v. Airbus, where there are only a few sophisticated buyers). In the broadband environment, the first challenge–all too ignored in the current debate–is to promote more platforms and, as I think Harold and I both agree, wireless broadband is our best bet.
In terms of wireless broadband, we are uncertain whether and how it will develop. In particular, we do not know whether licenses that are like property (i.e., the AWS ones) or whether leaving spectrum as unlicensed will better faciliate wireless broadband. Given this uncertainty, it seems to me that the best policy is to promote both avenues and the Spectrum Policy Task Force proposed just this approach. In the paper I noted earlier, and with which Harold quarreled, the key point we made is that there is a consensus–and a strong policy basis–for promoting some property-right like licensing of spectrum and thus there is a challege of how to define the contours of those rights.
Unfortunately, this is likely to be my last post. Thank you all for listening.