Saltzer. Jerome, H. "Open Access" is Just the Tip of the Iceberg." October 22, 1999. Link Accessed: 2003-07-08.

Keywords: cable, DSL, gatekeeping, end-to-end, Internet design, open access


Saltzer warns that cable and DSL Internet providers are acting as “gatekeepers” to the Internet by controlling what Internet services and features a customer receives over the providers network. Saltzer outlines six types’ controls imposed by the cable and DSL providers; video limits, server restrictions, fixed backbone choice, filtering, no home network and service bundling. It was these gatekeeping restrictions that triggered the Open Access debate (should customers get to choose the ISP that serves them broadband cable?) These controls stifle innovation, interfere with innovation and are anti-competitive. The primary enabler that has made the evolution of the Internet possible is the end-to-end arguments which state that no service, feature or restriction should be forced on the network. According to Saltzer (one of the original creators of the end-to-end arguments), gatekeeping threatens the integrity of the Internet’s original design.