in Network neutrality


This book has been seven years in the writing and researching – beginning with sending the manuscript for the prequel to Bloomsbury in May 2009. I repeat my thanks to those who were acknowledged in that preface. This acknowledgements section also functions as a partial methodology as there are so many collaborators, inspirations and interviewees to acknowledge. The book is methodologically grounded in empirical interviews and analysis of primary and secondary materials, the latter often accompanied by interviews with the authors in person, by telephone, social media or by email. In spring 2009, no-one had written a book about net neutrality, though there have been many since, including several very impressive PhD theses in European policy and law, notably those by my sometime co-bloggers Katerina Maniadaki (2015) and Jasper Sluijs, those I examined by Alissa Cooper (2013) and Angela Daly, and somewhat tangentally the doctorates I examined by Andres Guadamuz (2011) and T. J. McIntyre. My own previous book on net neutrality appeared online in January 2010, and I was awarded a PhD at the University of Essex in summer 2010 for that work. I became a professor there, then was appointed to Sussex University in spring 2013. I have continued to work on net neutrality since 2009, writing about developments in mobile/wireless (2010), privacy (2011/13), Internet engineering (2012/13), European law (2012), human rights and developing countries (2013), and censorship and privacy (2014).1 But this book is far from a rehash of 2009 with added sections on developments since then.

This book was written in part using social media, a new development since the prequel was finished in spring 2009. Many multimedia connections have supplied material, inspiration and networking opportunities. I joined Facebook in 2007, Twitter in May 2009 (@ChrisTMarsden), Slideshare in 2010,2 and while the former is only used for actual ‘friends’ (as I do not wish to dilute my Dunbar number further than modern life forces), the latter pair have provided a very economical form of bibliographical alerts and other interactions, and my most recent public presentations. Similarly, my blog on net neutrality, with well over 1,200 entries since completing the prequel,3 has had almost half a million views, by bots and occasionally real people. To view updates on my thoughts after April 2016, do follow my work on Slideshare and @ChrisTMarsden.

I begin with the projects which formed a background to this work, either directly or tangentially.

The first thank you is to Professor Ian Brown, my collaborator on the interim book Regulating Code (MIT Press, 2013), in which the chapter on ‘Smart Pipes’ forms the net neutrality case study, and where my views on prosumer law (which dominate this book) were first sharpened. The genesis of that book was our work together at the Cambridge–MIT Institute in 2005/06, and our initial presentation on social media dominance to Gikii (the finest European Internet law symposium) in 2008. The work was mainly written in 2011/12 once I finished working on a book entirely about Internet Co-regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2011), finished in Melbourne in February 2012. Some of the ideas were further sharpened in the book tour of spring 2013. Putting prosumer law at the centre of our regulatory theory, shaped by both consumer, innovator and human rights perspectives, is key to the understanding of Internet regulation generally, and net neutrality in particular. It is why most telecoms regulators just do not ‘get it’ on net neutrality – they don’t care about less than entirely dumb citizens using the pipes they regulate. Ian has been a continued inspiration to my work for over a decade and it is to him as much as anyone that I intellectually dedicate this work.

The second thank you is to the academics and especially the engineers and Internet scientists, the people who made sure I understood the artefact that I discuss in this book. That begins with Cambridge, Professor Jon Crowcroft in particular, and MIT, Professor David Clark in particular, as well as Narseo Vallina Rodriguez and Hamed Haddadi. It also includes the various collaborators in Internet Science4 and, notably Thanassis Tiropanis, Kave Salmatian at Savoie, Juan Carlos de Martin, Elena Pavan and the fellows at NEXA Torino,5 Ziga Turk, Francesca Musiani, Meryem Marzouki, colleagues at IvIR at the University of Amsterdam, notably Nico van Eijk, Alison Powell, Damian Tambini, Sally Broughton-Micova and Monica Horten at LSE, and my ‘brilliant mind’ economist mentor Jonathan Cave. In particular, my thanks to my sometime research assistant and guide to Brussels and Den Haag, Ben Zevenbergen. I also must acknowledge the brilliant academic technologists at the FCC, notably Scott Jordan and Jon Peha, as well as the US net neutrality law pioneers Barbara Cherry, Barbara van Schewick and Rob Frieden, as well as Kevin Werbach and Andrea Matwyshyn. This area of research would not have been possible without Mark Lemley, Lawrence Lessig and Tim Wu, of course. I thank Harold Feld, Bill Lehr, Jesse Sowell, Julie Brill, Jonathan Sallet, Lawrence Spiwak, Christopher Yoo, Rene Arnold, George Ford, Sandra Bramann, Tom Hazlett, Roslyn Layton, Milton Mueller and the many other Beltway insider and outsiders who offered advice and critique at TPRC’15, IAMCR’15 (or earlier).6 Everyone at Gikii over the years has helped to develop my thinking, especially Daithi McSithigh, @technollama and Lilian Edwards.

At Sussex, my new home where I finished the book’s writing, I have been supported by Ed Steinmuller, Ian Wakeman and the Information Law group (@pillrabbit, @MMFrabboni and the great @technollama). Note that ‘2nd editions’ are not ‘REF-able’,7 but this is a ‘sequel with added law’. My thanks to the Law Department for giving me the space on sabbatical in autumn 2015 to complete the manuscript and to make it distinctive from the prequel, with Andres Guadamuz manfully directing our brand-new LLM in IT & IP. Essex, especially Geoff Gilbert and Sabine Michalowski, had been very supportive of the prequel in 2009 and the ‘Regulating Code’ period of 2012.

I must also thank former collaborators who have since moved on to Ofcom, especially where they have since disagreed with me, or rather followed the ‘company line’ that the self-regulatory solution of a Code, combined with switching and transparency, can work. Ofcom conducted some fantastic research in the period, notably in 2015 with four blockbuster reports, two of which were published in December as I finished this book. While I did not agree with the speed of Ofcom’s progress towards implementing net neutrality, I acknowledge that many current and former Ofcom experts provided both critical friendly advice and evidence when the corporate speed of progress was not always what some may have desired. Similarly, though many may think the European Commission a barrier to net neutrality implementation, there are many colleagues there who have conducted preliminary extraordinary work to make the new Regulation 2015/2120 a reality. They include Herbert Ungerer, the godfather of telecoms law in Europe, Kevin Coates, Anna Buchta, Constantijn van Oranje, Robert Madelin, Bettina Klein, Anna Herold, Kamila Kloc, Loretta Anania, Richard Cawley, Tony Shortall, Christian d’Cunha, Nicole Dewandre and Gordon Lennox. Members of the European Parliament whom I must acknowledge with great thanks include Amelia Andersdottir, Julia Reda (@senficon), Sabine Verheyen, Michael Reimon and Marietje Schaake, and their staffers past and present. I also must acknowledge those experts on European legislative affairs and the consumer at BEUC, notably Guillermo Beltra amd Thomas Myhr, and the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi), notably Joe MacNamee, together with La Quadrature du Net, BoF, ORG, Digital Rights Ireland, Statewatch, Article 19 and other EDRi members.8 For co-regulatory expertise and friendship, I also acknowledge my debt to Linda ‘Soft Law’ Senden, Yves Blondeel and Winston Maxwell. At the EBU, I thank Michael Wagner and Jenny Metzdorf, and the Open Forum Europe, of which I am a fellow. At ICANN Europe, I thank Jean Jacques Sahel, Adam Peake and Frederic Donck. At OECD past and present, I thank Sam Paltridge, Rudolf van der Berg, Taylor Reynolds, Verena Weber.

In chapters on their laws, I also thank experts from Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Council of Europe, OSCE, UN CEPAL, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, India and Japan. It would be remiss of me not to mention specifically Frode Sørensen, Carolina Botero, Pranesh Prakash, Sunil Abraham, Michael Joyce, Michael Geist, Craig McTaggart, Greg Taylor, Kevin Martin, Martin Husovec, and corporate experts at Vodafone, BT, Sky, Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, BBC, Verizon, Comcast and many other companies, as well as a huge variety of start-ups and shut-downs, venture capitalists and others in the ecology affected by net neutrality.

I enjoyed research fellowships and academic support during this research at Center for Technology & Society at Fundação Getulio Vargas (Rio), Seoul National University, GLOCOM International University of Japan, University of Melbourne School of Law, Foundación Telefónica, Comitê Gestor da Internet no Brasil (CGI), the South Korean Prime Minister’s office, Irish regulator ComReg and the Internet Science Network of Excellence.9 To all, my thanks. No-one else is responsible for any errors or omissions in this book.

The book’s heart was written in Brazil during three visits in 2015, especially as Fellow at FGV in October–November. The colleagues and friends there I must thank include Eduardo Magrani, Konstantinos Styliano, Nico Zingales, Nathalia Foditsch, Konstantina Bania, Louise Marie Hurel, Jamila Venturini, Pedro Mizukami, Marilia Maciel, Luiz Fernando Marrey Moncau. Most of all, for fellowship, friendship, intellectual discussion and co-authorship, Machiavellian strategic discourse, and companionship over the years at the Council of Europe, Internet Governance Forum, and FGV, I owe a huge debt of thanks to Luca Belli (and Marion). Abraços to all my friends in Rio, and the CGI in Sao Paolo, especially Flávia Lefèvre, Vinicius Santos, Diego Canabarro (and Pedro Ramos at InterLab). IGF2015 was also an extraordinary experiment in net neutrality discussion, and I thank all the many discussants there, notably Vint Cerf, Joe Cannataci, David Kaye, Hernan Galperin, Stefaan Verhulst and the Association for Progressive Communications participants. Here’s to another 25 years of APC, 20 years of CGI and a second decade of IGF!

If you helped but I forgot to thank you here or in the prequel, email. I will thank you in the blog ‘roll of honour’.

Finally, I can announce this is my last full-length monograph of this generation. I have authored five monographs in a decade, from Codifying Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007, with @damiantambini) to the prequel in 2009, to Internet Co-regulation (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Regulating Code (MIT Press, 2013, with @IanBrownOII) to this book. I am writing from the sunset window of our new-old house in Raynes Park, and while the future may hold many exciting open access contributions to the literature on Internet law, regulation and the digital socio-economic environment, they will not be sole-authored monographs. I dedicate that thought and this book with all my love to Kenza, without whom this book could never have been written.

Chris Marsden

Raynes Park, Surrey

1 Latest papers at
2 Latest presentations at
9 Internet Science Network of Excellence funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme: Information and Communication Technologies Grant Agreement Number 288021.

Network neutrality

From policy to law to regulation


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