Policy, Policy, Policy
Whatever the philosophical arguments in favour of net neutrality, there seems to be no logical reason why carriers can't charge for differentiated access to services. At the heart of such schemes will be policy engines to sort traffic streams and identify and allocate appropriate classes. My Internet browsing is not important and is therefore best effort, but your cloud-based video conferencing application is more important and so you pay for a better service, which the carrier must be able to guarantee.
Something has to happen to support the investment required in the networks we need to deliver the applications which hungry consumers and enterprises demand. Why shouldn't people pay more for better service? One consequence of net neutrality taken to its extreme is that the access networks become a natural monopoly, funded out of general taxation or via special levies, like a road network. Of course, that's not going to happen, so there is a clear need for the network provider to make money from their investment. And that means leveraging a consistent policy architecture, with the PCRF at its heart. Watch out for more on this topic in future bulletins.