Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Web Providers and Web Users: Are the Games Beginning?

From Kevin J. O'Brien of the New York Times, a piece on the debate over treatment of web users on the net. Notes Mr. O'Brien, "Proponents of the current system — called network neutrality — see that principle as a kind of civil rights declaration of the digital age, one that requires the gatekeepers of the global Internet to treat all users equally, regardless of application, source or download limit. While operators have never been required to maintain neutrality, the industry has created that expectation largely by charging users a flat rate for unlimited Internet access. But there is a big flaw in the concept, according to the operators: Networks have never been neutral. They have always been actively managed to some extent since their inception in the 1980s to ensure that all customers get a basic “best effort” level of service." In his article he examines both sides of the debate: should such management continue?

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