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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Barbara van Schewick’s book, “Internet Architecture and Innovation,” recently released in paperback, has come to be recognized as an essential work on the policy of network neutrality. Given the net neutrality issues in the news lately, the information in this book is as relevant now as when it was originally published two years ago.
In this post, Professor Barbara van Schewick discusses the relationship between network neutrality, non-discrimination rules and Quality of Service from her recently published paper, “Network Neutrality and Quality of Service: What a Non-Discrimination Rule Should Look Like.”
Professor Joshua Gans, Rotman School of Management, examines the impact of a service AT&T is developing that would let developers foot the bill for data usage in its apps.
Professor Nicholas Economides discusses his new article, co-authored with Benjamin Hermalin, on “The Economics of Network Neutrality.”
With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules scheduled to go into effect November 20th, they survived a Senate resolution of disapproval debate yesterday, and a vote today. This post provides a snapshot look at the state of the Open Internet Order, and who its supporters and opponents are.
Professor Joshua Gans, University of Toronto, takes a look at the recent news of Bank of America’s decision to charge consumers for debit card transactions. Looking at it from a net neutrality perspective, he compares BofA’s debit charges to a potential scenario with ISPs charging consumers for their Netflix viewing.
Joshua Wright, George Mason University School of Law, provides an overview of his new paper “The Law and Economics of Network Neutrality”. Co-written with Thomas Hazlett, this paper offers a legal and economic critique of the FCC’s new Network Neutrality policy.
Tim Wu, Columbia law professor, author of “The Master Switch,” and recent appointee to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has information industries and academics alike speculating about where he will focus his energies now that he is a senior advisor with the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning. Excerpts from recent articles highlighted.
Net neutrality is being examined closely and challenged from many angles recently. Last week alone saw two hearings, a joint resolution of disapproval, and a vote to prohibit funding of the FCC to carry out net neutrality regulations.
Everyone agrees that the Internet has become an important factor in economic growth and innovation. The debate over net neutrality concerns whether legally enforceable rules are needed to keep the Internet “open” to innovation by end users, either individual consumers or firms like Amazon.com and Google. This post looks at the FCC’s recent Open Internet Order, and what the impact may be on businesses and consumers.
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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.

Quote

HBO Max Viewing Will Start Counting Against AT&T Data Limits

“People should be free to choose which videos they want to watch -- whether that’s Netflix, Twitch or their local church’s Sunday service -- without the company they pay to get online trying to influence their choices.”  — Barbara van Schewick, Professor of Law, Stanford University
Barbara van Schewick
Bloomberg
March 17, 2021

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