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American Civil
Liberties Union

Definition Supplied (Verbatim)

Network neutrality means applying well-established
"common carrier" rules to the Internet in order to
preserve its freedom and openness. Common
carriage prohibits the owner of a network, that holds
itself out to all-comers, from discriminating against
information by halting, slowing, or otherwise
tampering with the transfer of any data (except for
legitimate network management purposes such as
easing congestion or blocking spam).



American Library

Network Neutrality (or "net" neutrality) is the

concept of online non-discrimination. It is the
principle that consumers/citizens should be free to
get access to - or to provide - the Internet content
and services they wish, and that consumer access
should not be regulated based on the nature or
source of that content or service. Information
providers - which may be websites, online services,
etc., and who may be affiliated with traditional
commercial enterprises but who also may be
individual citizens, libraries, schools, or nonprofit
entities - should have essentially the same quality of
access to distribute their offerings. "Pipe" owners
(carriers) should not be allowed to charge some
information providers more money for the same
pipes, or establish exclusive deals that relegate
everyone else (including small noncommercial or
startup entities) to an Internet "slow lane." This
principle should hold true even when a broadband
provider is providing Internet carriage to a



Common Cause

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet

users should be able to access any web content they
choose and use any applications they choose,
without restrictions or limitations imposed by their
Internet service provider.



Dutch Telecom Act

Article 7.4a

Providers of public electronic communication

networks used to provide Internet access services as
well as providers of Internet access services will not
hinder or slow down services or applications on the


Internet (Translated from Dutch Wiki Version)


Dynamic Coalition
on Net Neutrality

Network neutrality is the principle according to

which Internet traffic shall be treated equally,
without discrimination, restriction or interference
regardless of its sender, recipient, type or content, so
that Internet users freedom of choice is not
restricted by favouring or disfavouring the
transmission of Internet traffic associated with
particular content, services, applications, or



The Electronic

This means that we oppose ISPs blocking content

based on its source or destination, or discriminating
against certain applications (such as BitTorrent), or
imposing special access fees that would make it
harder for small websites to reach their users.




The principle of net neutrality in the open internet

means that traffic should be treated equally, without
independent of the sender, receiver, type, content,
device, service or application



Commission (FCC)

Please note that the FCC definition is currently

undergoing revision (as of February 2015)


What Is the 'Open Internet?'

The "Open Internet" is the Internet as we know it, a
level playing field where consumers can make their
own choices about what applications and services to
use, and where consumers are free to decide what
content they want to access, create, or share with
others. The FCC seeks to ensure that the Internet
remains a powerful platform for innovation and job
creation; to empower consumers and entrepreneurs;
to protect free expression; to promote competition;
to increase certainty in the marketplace by providing
greater predictability for all stakeholders regarding
federal policy in this area, and to spur investment
both at the "edge," and in the core of our broadband
What is 'Net Neutrality?'

Network, or "net," neutrality is just another way of

referring to Open Internet principles.

Save the Internet /

Free Press

10. Slovenian

Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and

protects free speech. It means that Internet service
providers should provide us with open networks
and should not block or discriminate against any
applications or content that ride over those
networks. Just as your phone company cannot
decide who you could call and what you say on that
call, your ISP should not be concerned with what
content you view or post online.


The net neutrality provision in the Slovenian

transposition Electronic Communication Act (art.
203 of Zekom-1) sets (among others) restrictions on
setting tariffs for internet access on the basis of the
services and applications run by the end users.


Article 37 : Definitions:
Net neutrality is a principle that every internet
traffic on a public communication network is dealt
with equally, independent of content, applications,
services, devices, source and destination of the

Tim Wu

Network neutrality is as a principle to be used when

designing a network: that a public information
network will end up being most useful if all content,
sites, and platforms are treated equally.


12. Lawrence Lessig

and Robert W.
13. J Scott Marcus

Net neutrality means simply that all like Internet

content must be treated alike and move at the same
speed over the network. The owners of the Internet's
wires cannot discriminate.


Network neutrality is something of a catch-all

phrase that emerged in the United States over the
past decade to reect a number of potential
behaviours that some have considered to be
anticompetitive. Network neutrality implies that all
IP packets should be treated more or less the same.


14. Hagai Bar-el

Network neutrality is the adherence to the paradigm


that operation at a certain layer, by a network

component (or provider) that is chartered for
operating at that layer, is not influenced by
interpretation of the processed data at higher layers.
Service Approach
Network Neutrality as the adherence to the
paradigm that operation of a service at a certain
layer is not influenced by any data other than the
data interpreted at that layer, and in accordance
with the protocol specification for that layer.
15. Christopher

Network neutrality is a policy principle regarding

access to content providers to the internet end user
and potential discrimination in that access where the
end users ISP blocks it (in part or whole) often
subject to special fees.


16. Christopher Yoo

It requires network providers to route traffic without Link1

regard to the source or content of the packets of data
that move across the Internet, the application with Link2
which those packets are associated, or the senders
willingness to pay.
Yoo advocates a policy of network diversity. He
maintains that network providers should be
permitted to experiment with a variety of different
forms of network management unless and until the
evidence indicates that those practices are harming
consumers or competition.
For Yoo the debate over net neutrality is skewed by
a misunderstanding of the Internets history and
structure. Unfamiliarity with the Internets
architecture has allowed some advocates to
characterize prioritization of network traffic as an
aberration, he writes, when in fact it is a central
feature designed into the network since its

17. Marvin Ammori

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service

providers (ISPs) should treat all traffic that goes
through their networks the same, not offering
preferential treatment to some websites over others


or charging some companies arbitrary fees to reach

18. Gerald Faulhaber
& Michael Katz

Network neutrality is supposed to promote

continuing Internet innovation by restricting the
ability of network owners to give certain traffic
priority based on the content or application being
carried or on the sender's willingness to pay. The
problem is that these restrictions would prohibit
practices that could increase the value of the
Internet for customers.



Barbara van

Net neutrality as defined by the hard core all

packets are equal crowd is that it would not allow
this research problem to be resolved, which would
not be a good thing for app developers of the future.
The main idea is that user-controlled QoS, paid for
exclusively by the user and never charged to the
application developer, that can be used in any way
the user wishes, should be permissible as long as the
network provides good baseline QoS.


20. Harold Feld

The companies that owned the lines over which the

bits travelled (the phone companies) to leave the
traffic alone no getting in the way of customers
and the information they want to download, the
applications they want to run, or the devices they
want to attach to the network.


21. Martin Geddes

Network neutrality is the problem child of the

telecoms regulatory and policy classes. The ideas
origins are in the imbalance of power between
network users and owners, and the very real
potential for abuse of that power by telcos and ISPs.
The freedom to connect and communicate is both
precious and fragile.


The neutrality concept takes as its starting point a

reasonable desire: fair user access to the network,
on fair terms, and at a fair price. it then engages in
a philosophical error: it anthropomorphises packets
as if they were people or physical packages. This
creates a false equivalence between what are
arbitrary divisions of flows of data.

Whilst the intent of neutrality is good, this category

error has unfortunate paradoxical consequences:
the outcome is unfair, unreasonable and
discriminatory for network users to the point of
being manifestly unjust.