Network Neutrality: A Competition Angle
Competition Policy International, Vol. 2, August 2011
10 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: August, 30 2011
While there are no universally accepted definitions, “internet traffic prioritization” or, in broader terms, “network neutrality,” are terms generally used to refer to the equal treatment of internet traffic by internet service or network providers (“ISPs”) over wired or wireless networks, and the right of consumers to access content and services on the internet on a non-discriminatory basis.
The term "network neutrality" is closely related to the concept of a “common carrier,” dating from 16th century English common law first developed around port authorities, but going back further to Roman law concepts. A common (or public) carrier, in its original meaning, is a private entity that, under the authority of a regulatory body, provides a service to the general public without discrimination. The typical examples of common carriers are in the shipping and freight traffic business.
Keywords: network neutrality, internet traffic prioritization, competition, broadband internet, wireless, merger control
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