Regulating the Medium: Reactions to Network Neutrality in the European Union and Canada

Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 14, No. 8, pp. 3-14, 2011

13 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2011 Last revised: 23 Apr 2013

See all articles by Daithi Mac Sithigh

Daithi Mac Sithigh

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

In this contribution on network neutrality, the expression-related elements of this issue are considered, including a case study of Ireland, highlighting the broad powers enjoyed by ISPs, and discussing whether the problem is a genuine one. While noting that the matter has been the subject of various publications by a sizable number of US scholars, space is then given to comparing the state of the debate in Europe, Canada, and the United States, drawing on principles of telecommunications law. It is argued that the link between telecommunications and media regulation is at the heart of the net neutrality debates in Canada and (to a lesser extent) the European Union, and that the non-applicability of certain US doctrines in these jurisdictions (due to different market conditions and the established role of competition law) does not mean that regulatory or legislative action is unnecessary. Finally, it is contended that the consideration of net neutrality in the context of important social and political debates regarding speech, plurality, and innovation is a better approach than one focused on ex post identification of the most egregious examples of discriminatory practices.

Keywords: net neutrality, European Union, CRTC, censorship, common carrier

JEL Classification: L96, K23, L82

Suggested Citation

Mac Sithigh, Daithi, Regulating the Medium: Reactions to Network Neutrality in the European Union and Canada (February 1, 2011). Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 14, No. 8, pp. 3-14, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768764

Daithi Mac Sithigh (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

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