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Catalog

Newsletter

IRIS plus 2011-5: Why Discuss Network Neutrality? (2011)

  • Online only
European Audiovisual Observatory
978-92-871-7246-4
Type of document :
Book
Format :
Paper
Language :
English
Size :
A4
Number of pages :
39
5.00 € / 5.00 $US
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Scarcity of Internet capacity is the starting point of the "network neutrality" debate. At the heart of the discussion is the question to what extent the legislature should tackle this shortage and its consequences through regulation, or whether the answer can be provided by free market forces. This IRIS plus is therefore, in a way, linked to an edition of the IRIS Special series entitled "To Have or Not to Have - Must-carry Rules". In the cable television sector, must-carry obligations have, in the past, granted access rights to distribution networks.This IRIS plus reports on the latest developments in the network neutrality debate, summarises the most recent changes in the legal framework for electronic communication and compares the situation in Europe with that in the USA.

LEAD ARTICLE

Net Neutrality and Audiovisual Services

Network neutrality is fundamentally important for audiovisual services. Distribution of these services is becoming more and more dependent on fixed or mobile Internet networks, requiring very high transmission capacities and resulting in bottlenecks.

The lead article explains what exactly happens in the complex process between the supply and consumption of audiovisual media services via the Internet, both from a technical point of view and in the economic sense. It shows that the blocking or slowing down of data traffic linked to such bottlenecks creates the risk of unauthorised control of communication networks or of the data traffic that they carry. Does the legislature need to intervene and, if so, how?