Citations (5)


Footnotes (265)



Opening Bottlenecks: On Behalf of Mandated Network Neutrality

Bill D. Herman

Hunter College Dept. of Film and Media Studies

Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 107-159, 2006

This paper calls for mandated "network neutrality," the principle that broadband service providers (BSPs) should generally treat all nondestructive data equally. Without such a mandate, BSPs will likely begin charging content providers for the right to send data at the fastest speeds available. The present frequency with which BSPs block some data entirely may also increase.

Neutral networks are preferable for two key reasons. First, they spawn innovation, as illustrated by the explosive online innovation to date. Second, neutral networks better distribute communication power, promoting First Amendment values. Extant and likely future acts of discrimination erode both goals. The danger is real in the highly concentrated broadband market; BSPs have the incentives and means to engage in a high degree of broadband discrimination.

This paper demonstrates that ad hoc regulation under current statutory authority is ineffective in dissuading even grossly anticompetitive network discrimination. Further, network congestion can be and is managed adequately without resorting to discrimination. This paper also rejects the call for multiple special-purpose networks as both unrealistic and undesirable, and it rebuffs calls to postpone regulation. Finally, it rebuts allegations that regulatory capture will turn network neutrality mandates into incumbents' playthings.

FINAL VERSION, UPDATED JANUARY 23, 2007. For access to earlier versions, please contact author.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

Keywords: network neutrality, internet, telecommunications law, FCC, First Amendment, communication law

JEL Classification: K20, K21, K23, K29, L13, L42, L43, L52, L86, L96

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: May 17, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Herman, Bill D., Opening Bottlenecks: On Behalf of Mandated Network Neutrality. Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 107-159, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=902071

Contact Information

Bill D. Herman (Contact Author)
Hunter College Dept. of Film and Media Studies ( email )
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States
HOME PAGE: http://billyherman.com
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,455
Downloads: 421
Download Rank: 43,418
Citations:  5
Footnotes:  265

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 1.156 seconds