Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Education Week Commentary





Start Page

1, 12

Last Page



The past few years have witnessed a once-obscure issue known as “net neutrality” blow up into arguably the most publicized policy debate in US telecommunications history. An untold story is how this relatively technical debate spilled outside the rarefied airs of Congressional Committees and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) eighth floor to rage across the blogosphere, major newspapers, YouTube clips, and episodes of The Daily Show to become, if not a household phrase, a topic of popular debate involving millions of Americans. One explanation is that, at its root, the net neutrality debate is far more significant than a squabble among technocrats. Rather, it is first and foremost a normative debate, one that will determine the role of the Internet in a democratic society, with profound implications for the daily welfare of millions of citizens who rely on the Internet as a critical resource. Unfortunately, it is such normative concerns, along with related political and historical contexts, that have been least explored in much of the net neutrality scholarship to date. This article aims to address these gaps while expanding the parameters of the existing debate.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Reprinted from Journal of Internet Law, 12, 6, December 2008, 1,12-21, with permission of Kluwer Law International.



Date Posted: 12 June 2015