Comparative case studies in implementing net neutrality: a critical analysis of zero rating

Marsden, Christopher T (2016) Comparative case studies in implementing net neutrality: a critical analysis of zero rating. SCRIPTed, 13 (1). pp. 1-39. ISSN 1744-2567

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (577kB)


This article critically examines the relatively few examples of regulatory implementation of network neutrality enforcement at national level. It draws on co-regulatory and self-regulatory theories of implementation and capture, and interdisciplinary studies into the real-world effect of regulatory threats to traffic management practices (TMP). Most academic and policy literature on net neutrality regulation has focussed on legislative proposals and economic or technological principles, rather than specific examples of comparative national implementation. This is in part due to the relatively few case studies of effective implementation of legislation. The article presents the results of fieldwork in South America, North America and Europe over an extended period (2003-2015). The countries studied are: Brazil, India, Chile, Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Canada, United States, European Union. Empirical interviews were conducted in-field with regulators, government officials, ISPs, content providers, academic experts, NGOs and other stakeholders from Chile, Brazil, United States, India, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Slovenia, Norway. It also explores the opaque practices of co-regulatory forums where governments or regulators have decided on partial private rather than public diplomacy with ISPs, notably in the US, Norway and UK. The article notes the limited political and administrative commitment to effective regulation thus far, and draws on that critical analysis to propose reasons for failure to implement effective regulation. Finally, it compares results of implementations and proposes a framework for a regulatory toolkit. The specific issue considered are the tolerance of zero rating practices, notably as deployed by mobile ISPs.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Net neutrality, Zero rating
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence
K Law > KJ Europe
Depositing User: Chris Marsden
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 15:40
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 02:32

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update