The Framing of Network Neutrality Governance: Economists, Lawyers & Engineers

James Perry

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    Abstract

    The neutrality of the internet with regard to applications (e.g. search, social networking, email, to mention only three) has been central to innovation and growth in the knowledge-economy over the past two decades. Until recently, neutrality was built into the internet's design via its core standard, Internet Protocol (IP), which rendered obsolete many of the "normal" restrictive business practises deployed by dominant telecoms companies. As both legal scholars and technologists have explained, the engineering "purity" of IP made the internet a platform for development that was truly generative: Useful innovations in
    applications of the internet could take hold easily, and it was difficult – or indeed impossible - for incumbent business interests to disrupt or sabotage them. However, this neutrality is now under threat. New technologies have given incumbent businesses the ability to discriminate between applications and engage in a form of rent-seeking that threatens the generativity of the internet. A "Network Neutrality" regulatory arena has thus emerged as the subject of intense and heated debate among politicians, policy-makers and business leaders. At stake is not just who profits from the internet, but also whether it remains an open platform for future growth and innovation. This paper
    examines the interaction between the key professions driving Network Neutrality policymaking, namely Lawyers, Economists and Engineers. Combining a mapping of their observable policy inputs with a critical analysis of their respective operational paradigms, the paper seeks to understand who is framing the
    debate, how they are doing so, and to what (systemic) effect.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventThe 4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012: Design and displacement: Social Studies of Science and Technology - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Duration: 17 Oct 201220 Oct 2012
    Conference number: 2012
    https://sf.cbs.dk/4s_easst/final_conference_program_ready

    Conference

    ConferenceThe 4S/EASST Joint Conference 2012
    Number2012
    LocationCopenhagen Business School
    CountryDenmark
    CityFrederiksberg
    Period17/10/201220/10/2012
    Internet address

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