Current Issues in Network Neutrality


Course Code:
LAW 4003
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Formerly Law 731) Do we need network neutrality rules and, if yes, what should they be? After more than ten years, this question is still hotly debated around the world. Network neutrality rules allow users to decide how they want to use the Internet without interference from Internet service providers. After a long, public fight that mobilized more than 4 million people in the US, the Federal Communications Commission adopted strong net neutrality rules in February 2015. But the debate over net neutrality is far from over. The FCC's net neutrality rules are under attack in Congress and in Court. At the same time, Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile are pushing the boundaries of the FCC's rules by exempting select applications from users' data caps — a practice known as "zero-rating" –, by degrading quality or requesting fees when data enters their networks, or by trying to evade the FCC's rules in other ways. At the same time, Facebook and Wikipedia are arguing that exceptions from net neutrality rules are necessary in developing countries to bring the next billion people online. In all of these cases, policy makers need to decide what the right policy should be. Through a mix of lectures, class discussions, and guest speakers, this seminar provides an introduction to net neutrality and explores some of the net neutrality issues that policy makers around the world are currently grappling with. Students are expected to attend all sessions of the class and participate in the class discussion. The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university. Students don't need to have any technical background to participate in the class; any necessary background will be taught in class. Elements used in grading: Short written assignments, class participation, attendance. CONSENT APPLICATION: To apply for this course, students must complete and submit a Consent Application Form available on the SLS website (Click Courses at the bottom of the homepage and then click Consent of Instructor Forms). See Consent Application Form for instructions and submission deadline.

Future Offerings

2016-2017 Spring

Current Issues in Network Neutrality LAW 4003 Section 01 Class #32032

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 18
  • Thu

Past Offerings

2015-2016 Spring

Current Issues in Network Neutrality LAW 731 Section 01 Class #46107

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 18
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