Book Cover

Net Neutrality
Towards a Co-regulatory Solution

Christopher T. Marsden

Bloomsbury Academic 2010

Bloomsbury Open Access

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Book Summary / Abstract

Chris Marsden maneuvers through the hype articulated by network neutrality advocates and opponents. He offers a clear-headed analysis of the high stakes in this debate about the Internet’s future, and fearlessly refutes the misinformation and misconceptions that abound.' - Professor Rob Freiden, Penn State University

Net Neutrality is a very heated and contested policy principle regarding access for content providers to the Internet end-user, and potential discrimination in that access where the end-user's ISP (or another ISP) blocks that access in part or whole. The suggestion has been that the problem can be resolved by either introducing greater competition, or closely policing conditions for vertically integrated service, such as VOIP.

However, that is not the whole story, and ISPs as a whole have incentives to discriminate between content for matters such as network management of spam, to secure and maintain customer experience at current levels, and for economic benefit from new Quality of Service standards. This includes offering a 'priority lane' on the network for premium content types such as video and voice service. The author considers market developments and policy responses in Europe and the United States, draws conclusions and proposes regulatory recommendations.