For over ten years, “net neutrality” in one form or another has been a controversial topic for those who follow telecommunications law, digital policy making, and, increasingly, Internet users of all stripes. Unfortunately, however, the rugged contours of this topic are all too frequently sanded down in-order to make net neutrality fit into a preferred set of political and policy priors.
ICLE’s scholars regularly contribute to debates over net neutrality, exposing the complexity and subtlety of the topic—and seeking to advance a more rational understanding of its meaning and interpretation. Simplistic prohibitions enacted under slogans like “no Internet fastlanes” elide the tradeoffs inherent in any policy prescription. To close the digital divide, promote the rollout of next generation connectivity, and generally enable consumers to receive the quality of service they desire at a reasonable price, it is essential that policy makers consider the full scope of costs and benefits associated with any net neutrality policy.