Current Issues in Network Neutrality


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


(Formerly Law 731) Due to the change in administration, the future of net neutrality in the US is in question again. Network neutrality rules are based on a simple principle: Internet service providers like Verizon or Comcast that connect us to the Internet should not control what happens on the Internet. Net neutrality rules prohibit ISPs from blocking or slowing down websites, making some sites more attractive than others, or charging sites fees to reach people faster. After a long, public fight that mobilized more than 4 million people across the political spectrum, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted strong net neutrality rules in February 2015. Now these rules might be on the chopping block. FCC Chairman Pai, who opposed the rules when they were adopted, has declared his intention to roll back the rules, while expressing some support for "net neutrality principles." At the same time, Republicans in Congress have indicated they might consider a legislative solution. Through lectures, class discussions, and guest speakers, the seminar will introduce students to the key questions underlying the net neutrality debate so that they can become informed participants in this debate. Do we need net neutrality rules, and, if yes, what should they be? What are the options for addressing net neutrality at the FCC and in Congress? How do past court decisions constrain the FCC's options for adopting net neutrality rules? While the class focuses on the net neutrality debate in the U.S., the underlying policy questions are general and directly applicable to ongoing net neutrality debates around the world. The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university. Students do not 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. Students are expected to attend all sessions of the class and participate in the class discussion. 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.

Past Offerings

2016-2017 Spring

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

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 18

2015-2016 Spring

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

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Consent 18
Back to the Top