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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2006

Publication Citation

59 Federal Communications Law Journal 103 (2006)

Abstract

This Article calls for mandated "network neutrality," which would require broadband service providers to treat all nondestructive data equitably. The Author argues that neutral networks are preferable because they better foster online innovation and provide a more equitable distribution of the power to communicate. Without mandated network neutrality, providers in highly concentrated regional broadband markets will likely begin charging content providers for the right to send data to end users at the fastest speeds available. The Author demonstrates that regional broadband competition and forthcoming transmission technologies are unlikely to prevent broadband discrimination, ad hoc regulation under current statutory authority is ineffective in dissuading even grossly anticompetitive network discrimination, and several providers' executives have explicitly outlined their plans to begin discriminating. Additionally, the Author rebuts a congeries of arguments against network neutrality mandates, including appeals to management of network congestion, the call for multiple special-purpose networks, the suggestion to postpone regulation, and predictions of regulatory capture.