From Network Neutrality to Data Neutrality: A Techno-Economic Framework and Research Agenda
Information Systems Research, Forthcoming
44 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2015 Last revised: 13 Aug 2017
Date Written: March 08, 2017
The Internet has assumed a central role in the global economy facilitating commerce and communication, and is thus central to many areas of IS research. In particular, IS researchers played a critical role in the academic discourse on net neutrality, which has recently informed new regulatory frameworks in the US and Europe. We discuss and categorize the various issues and key trade-offs that are still being debated in the context of net neutrality, and identify open research questions in this domain. Based on these insights, we argue that net neutrality, which is concerned with a gatekeeper at the infrastructure level, may just be part of a larger debate on data neutrality, where the gatekeeper may rather control a software platform. We provide several examples of potential data neutrality issues and generalize the key trade-offs in the context of a proposed four-step framework for identifying and organizing promising areas of IS research on data neutrality.
Keywords: Network neutrality, zero rating, public policy, Internet governance, network management, data management, data neutrality, platforms, gatekeeping
JEL Classification: L96, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation