Guardian Knight or Hands Off: The European Response to Network Neutrality: Legal Considerations on the Electronic Communications Reform

Communications & Strategies, No. 72, p. 89, 4th Quarter 2008

24 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2009 Last revised: 17 Feb 2014

See all articles by Peggy Valcke

Peggy Valcke

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP); European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Bocconi University Milan

Liyang Hou

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - KoGuan Law School

David Stevens

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI) - IBBT

Eleni Kosta

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg Law School

Date Written: December 31, 2008

Abstract

Network neutrality refers to a policy principle regarding access for online content and service providers to broadband infrastructures. It implies a general and ex ante obligation of non-discrimination for network operators when granting access to providers of online services, with the aim of excluding practices such as blocking access to non-affiliated content, degrading the quality of transmission, imposing unreasonable restrictions or prioritising affiliated content. Whether such obligation should be "cast in the Stone Tables" of the law was first fiercely debated in the United States, and the issue is now gaining increased attention in other parts of the world, including the European Union, where the regulatory framework for electronic communications is currently under review. This article examines whether existing rules already provide the relevant authorities with the necessary tools to take action against broadband providers illegitimately discriminating or blocking content of those who are not prepared to pay a "toll" for the use of higher speed networks or better quality services. It focuses in particular on the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, including the reform proposals published by the European Commission on November 13th (type should be like 24th below) 2007 and the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 24th September 2008.

Keywords: network neutrality, regulation, electronic communications, reform proposals

JEL Classification: K23, L52, L63

Suggested Citation

Valcke, Peggy and Hou, Liyang and Stevens, David and Kosta, Eleni, Guardian Knight or Hands Off: The European Response to Network Neutrality: Legal Considerations on the Electronic Communications Reform (December 31, 2008). Communications & Strategies, No. 72, p. 89, 4th Quarter 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1374322

Peggy Valcke (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bocconi University Milan ( email )

via Roentgen 1
Milan, Milan 20100
Italy

Liyang Hou

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) - KoGuan Law School ( email )

Huashan Road 1954
Xuhui District
Shanghai, Shanghai 200030
China
+86-21-6293-4632 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.sjtu.edu.cn/TeacherDetail123.aspx

David Stevens

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI) - IBBT ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6
Leuven (Belgium), 3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.icri.be

Eleni Kosta

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
175
Abstract Views
898
rank
169,247
PlumX Metrics