The Internet and the Network Neutrality Debate
B. Frischmann, Infrastructure: The Social Value of Shared Resources, p. 317, Oxford University Press, 2012
46 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 25, 2012
This chapter explores how infrastructure theory applies to the Internet and in particular the network neutrality debate. The chapter demonstrates how the infrastructure analysis, with its focus on demand-side issues and the function of commons management, reframes the network neutrality debate, weights the scale in favor of sustaining end-to-end architecture and an open infrastructure, points toward a particular rule (which the chapter articulates and defends), and encourages a comparative analysis of various nondiscriminatory (commons management compatible) solutions to congestion and supply-side problems. I acknowledge that there are competing considerations and interests to balance, and I acknowledge that quantifying the weight on the scale is difficult, if not impossible. Nonetheless, I maintain that the weight is substantial. The social value attributable to a open Internet infrastructure is immense even if immeasurable. The basic capabilities the infrastructure provides, the public and social goods produced by users, and the transformations occurring on and off the meta-network are all indicative of such value.
Keywords: infrastructure, commons, open access, public goods, network neutrality, open internet, end-to-end
JEL Classification: D4, D5, D6, H4, H5, H54, K00, L4, L5, L9, O1, O3, Q2, R4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation