Networks and Infrastructure

Net Neutrality

“Net Neutrality” refers to the concept of an “open Internet” whereby end-users can access the lawful content, applications, services and devices of their choice. Policymakers around the world are considering whether and how to ensure that the Internet remains “open” and Internet access service providers do not improperly block or degrade content sent over their networks.

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Professor Barbara van Schewick, Stanford Law School, examines FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that he circulated to the Commission last week. Critical questions the “Internet Architecture and Innovation” author addresses are: Do the proposed rules abandon earlier FCC policies on access fees? And if yes, should we care?
Professor Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University, examines both sides of the Internet ‘fast lanes’ debate from an economics’ perspective. The FCC’s Open Internet Rules, adopted in 2010, were established to make sure that all Internet traffic was treated the same. However, yesterday, the FCC has released a draft document that could allow some Web companies to pay more for faster access.
Michigan State University economist Jay Pil Choi will have three papers presented at this year’s annual International Industrial Organization conference.
Professor Joshua Gans, University of Toronto, examines arguments about whether the recently announced Comcast-Netflix arrangement contradicts net neutrality rules or has the potential to negatively impact consumers.
Last Friday, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee hosted a Congressional briefing on the "D.C. Circuit Decision on FCC Open Internet Rules." University of Pennsylvania law professor Christopher Yoo was among the panelists to provide analysis of the Verizon v. FCC ruling.
Columbia University law professor Tim Wu shares his thoughts about the recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules.
On the one year anniversary of the FCC’s Open Internet Advisory Committee, member Professor Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University, reflects on his experience as a committee member.
In his article for The New Yorker, Columbia University law professor Tim Wu discusses the current state of the net neutrality rules. In “The Coming War Over Net Neutrality,” Professor Wu states that the net neutrality rules are “a pricing truce for the Internet.”
“The Economics of Network Neutrality,” by Nicholas Economides and Benjamin Hermalin, discusses the private and social benefits of allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as the telephone or cable companies, to charge content and application providers (e.g. Disney, Google, Microsoft, Netflix) for access to the ISPs’ residential customers.
In September, Silicon Flatirons held a conference to look at The Changing Dynamics of Video Programming. This conference summary, provided by Laura Littman and Stephanie Minnock, details the participants’ exploration of the changing economics, programming, and technology related to this dynamic market.
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Fact Sheets

Net Neutrality

Given the significance of the Internet, preserving its “openness” – an idea often referred to as “network neutrality” or “net neutrality” – has been a long-standing issue.


Big ISPs Finally Gave Up on Blocking California’s Landmark Network Neutrality Law

“While California has been free to enforce its net neutrality law for over a year, today removes any doubt that the state has the right to protect its economy and democratic discourse from the whims of large phone and cable companies.” — Barbara van Schewick, Professor of Law, Stanford University

Barbara van Schewick
Fast Company
May 6, 2022

Featured Article

Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination

This paper looks at ideas to support open access to the Internet, including net neutrality rules.

By: Tim Wu