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Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a set of rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which say Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and Verizon, cannot block, throttle, or prioritize certain content on the Internet.

  1. Edge Still Edgy Over Net Neutrality Deregulation  Multichannel News
  2. AT&T CEO calls for net neutrality legislation  ConsumerAffairs
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  1. US Sen. Ed Markey says mobile carriers' alleged throttling practices highlight need for 'net neutrality'
  2. Democratic Senators Press Carriers Over Allegations of Video App Throttling  Gizmodo
  3. Dems Query Top 4 Mobile Carriers Over Throttling Concerns  Law360
  4. Wireless throttling: Senators ask four major carriers about video slowdowns  Ars Technica
  5. Full coverage
  1. Supreme Court on Net Neutrality Review: Not Happening!  No Jitter
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  1. Will a lame duck Congress take up the net neutrality fight?  The Daily Dot
  2. California's Net Neutrality Law Remains in Neutral  Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP (press release) (blog)
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  1. The Bipartisan Case for Modernizing Net Neutrality & Online Privacy Policy  The Heartland Institute
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  1. Prolific swatter and bomb hoaxer who broke up FCC's net neutrality vote pleads guilty  TechCrunch
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  1. Net neutrality compliance in France better than elsewhere in Europe  EURACTIV
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  1. AT&T CEO: State net neutrality and privacy laws are a “total disaster”  Ars Technica
  2. AT&T's Randall Stephenson Calls On Congress To Enact Net Neutrality And Privacy Legislation  Deadline
  3. AT&T CEO calls for privacy, net neutrality laws  CNET
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  1. WA prepares for challenges to net neutrality  Crosscut
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  1. How “net neutrality” became a hot-button issue  The Denver Post
  2. Net neutrality embodies cherished American ideals | Hoover  Reno Gazette Journal
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  1. The Midterm Election Didn't Salvage Net Neutrality  WIRED
  2. What the midterm election results could mean for net neutrality  MarketWatch
  3. House Democrats to Spotlight Net Neutrality, Broadband Access  Bloomberg Law
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  1. Commentary: Reinstate net neutrality complete with secure protections  Albany Times Union
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  1. US Supreme Court declines appeal against net neutrality laws
  2. Fight for net neutrality rules gains momentum  Network World
  3. The Supreme Court won't take up net neutrality  Washington Post
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  1. Man Admits To FCC Bomb Threat Over Net Neutrality Vote  Law360
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  1. #TBT: FCC Auction 97 going strong; AT&T and Intel's $500 wearable; Obama supports net neutrality … this week in 2014  RCR Wireless News
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  1. The Supreme Court and House Democrats breathe new life into net neutrality  Brookings Institution (blog)
  2. How Net Neutrality Was Awarded a Major Win This Week by The Supreme Court  Interesting Engineering
  3. What's Next for Net Neutrality in a Democrat-Controlled House?  InsideSources
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  1. The Loss Of Net Neutrality: The Stakes For Sports Content Providers  Forbes
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  1. The Future of Net Neutrality  The Nation.
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  1. Net Neutrality After the Midterms
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  1. California agrees to delay enforcing state net neutrality law
  2. California strikes deal with FCC to delay state net neutrality law  The Verge
  3. California agrees not to enforce its net neutrality law as Justice Dept. puts lawsuit on hold  Washington Post
  4. Full coverage

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.

A widely cited example of a violation of net neutrality principles was the Internet service provider Comcast's secret slowing ("throttling") of uploads from peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) applications by using forged packets. Comcast did not stop blocking these protocols, like BitTorrent, until the FCC ordered them to stop. In another minor example, The Madison River Communications company was fined US$15,000 by the FCC, in 2004, for restricting their customers' access to Vonage, which was rivaling their own services. AT&T was also caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for AT&T's new shared data plans could access the application. In July 2017, Verizon Wireless was accused of throttling after users noticed that videos played on Netflix and Youtube were slower than usual, though Verizon commented that it was conducting "network testing" and that net neutrality rules permit "reasonable network management practices".

Research suggests that a combination of policy instruments will help realize the range of valued political and economic objectives central to the network neutrality debate. Combined with strong public opinion, this has led some governments to regulate broadband Internet services as a public utility, similar to the way electricity, gas, and the water supply are regulated, along with limiting providers and regulating the options those providers can offer.