Net Neutrality Should Not Rely on the Common Carrier Doctrine

31 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2019

Date Written: December 21, 2018


This paper will look at what net neutrality is, the weaknesses of resorting to a telecommunications services classification with common carrier obligations to protect net neutrality, and conclude with a recommendation for an alternative method to protect net neutrality. It will do so through five parts, the first being this introduction. Part II will explain how the internet works, define net neutrality, and define common carriage. Part III will offer a brief overview of the relevant caselaw and scholarly literature pertaining to the net neutrality and common carriage debate. Part IV will analyze and critique the relevance of the cases and articles mentioned in Part III. Part V will propose a new piece of Congressional legislation that would protect net neutrality without imposing common carrier restrictions on IAPs.

Keywords: Net Neutrality, Common Carrier, Internet, FCC, Telecommunications, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Internet Law, Telecommunications Law

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Norton, Dan, Net Neutrality Should Not Rely on the Common Carrier Doctrine (December 21, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

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