I recently published an explainer piece on net neutrality in the Things to Know series run by the Media Industries Project at UCSB. It provides some clarification and contextualization of net neutrality and the debate surrounding it. This is especially important right now as the FCC has just begun reconsidering net neutrality regulations, so public awareness and engagement is crucial. Below is a snip from the piece.
Net neutrality has been a hot topic in media policy for years—yet it remains mystifying to many, even those who study or work in media industries. The issue is back in the spotlight recently— bubbling up from its regular coverage in the media and technology industries’ trade presses and blogospheres and heavy debate in policymaking circles to once again making headlines in the mainstream press and gaining popular attention. A new battle and a great furor have quickly risen up around FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal for new Open Internet rules, in the wake of the Verizon v. FCC decision that effectively gutted the previous policy. The 2010 Open Internet regulations were as close as the US has come to meaningful net neutrality policy, with prohibitions against blocking and discriminating against content, applications, services, and devices on the internet, but all of this was struck down by the DC Circuit Court in the Verizon decision. The plan now being considered by the FCC would undermine rather than protect the open internet, as it would support internet service providers (ISPs) operating private fast lanes for prioritized network traffic and charging content providers extra tolls to reach users. […]
Here are five things you need to know about net neutrality:
1. Net neutrality is not without history.
2. Net neutrality is a principle of public values over private interests.
3. Net neutrality is a battle over the shape of internet infrastructure.
4. Net neutrality is a broadly applicable logic.
5. Net neutrality is not dead yet.
For more on these things, go over to MIP Research to read the rest of the article.