Image credit: Net Neutrality in Focus, Geneva Internet Platform — https://www.giplatform.org/resources/net-neutrality-focus
Regional Bureau Director, North America
There are few Internet policy issues as divisive as net neutrality, neither are there many issues that apparently elicit such passion. At the root of the debate is, in my opinion, not necessarily the principles of net neutrality; rather, I believe it is in the mechanism used to enforce it.
While there is no single interpretation of what net neutrality is, there are certain accepted principles set forth by Timothy Wu (who coined the term in 2003) that are widely accepted. This includes the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally or ‘neutrally’ by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) without blocking, throttling or discriminating against a competitor’s content or services.
Over the years, almost all participants in the Internet ecosystem—from civil society and public advocates to the largest Silicon Valley tech companies to ISPs themselves—have come around to agreeing with this general version of these principles.
The Internet Society published a policy brief on net neutrality in 2015. In this brief, we outline how openness is a fundamental value that has contributed to the success of the Internet, both in the U.S. and around the world. We have always supported the values of a truly global and open Internet based on transparency, access and choice.
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