Network Neutrality 101 - Why the Government Must Act to Preserve the Free And Open Internet

October 19, 2010

The Internet has become a deeply ingrained in the lives of most Americans. It looms so large, in fact, it is easy to imagine that it is immune to change — that it will always remain the free and open medium that it is now. But there are no such guarantees. The Internet is a human institution, operated by real individuals and companies, and like most human institutions it is not static and unchanging. In fact, the history of the Internet as a mass public communications medium has been marked by two stages — and ongoing changes to the underlying architecture of the Internet, combined with a recent landmark court decision, may now be bringing us into a third stage. Read More...

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 3
    An Issue of Free Speech 4
I. The Threat 4
    ISPs Have the Technological Ability to Interfere With Internet Traffic 4
    ISPs Have the Incentive to Interfere With Internet Traffic 8
    Abuses are Not Theoretical - They Have Already Happened 9
    Innovation Will Suffer if Network Neutrality Dies 11
    The Push to Control Applications 12
    A Battle for Control 12
II. The FCC's Challenge 14
    1. The Dial-Up Era 15
    2. The Broadband Era 16
    3. A New Era of Filtering? 17
    FCC Enforcement of Network Neutrality 18
    Network Neutrality Still in Effect Due To Public Pressure, Not Competition 19
III. The Solution 21
    The FCC Must Reclassify Broadband Services 21
    Network Neutrality is the Status Quo 22
    Limits on the Powerful to Protect Freedom for All 23
NOTES 24
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