VIDEO: @OliverSylvain on #NetworkEquality @berkmancenter

Berkman CenterToday, July 14 2015, Professor Olivier Sylvain of Fordham Law School presented his Feb 2015 paper Network Equality in a lunchtime talk at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.One of the few clear priorities of the federal Communications Act is to ensure that all Americans have reasonably comparable access to the Internet without respect to whom or where they are. Yet, in spite of this, the main focus of policymakers and legal scholars in Internet policy today has been on promoting innovation, a concept that Congress barely invokes in the statute. The flagship regulatory intervention for this approach is “network neutrality,” a rule that forbids Internet providers from blocking or interfering with users’ connections. The paper critiques the prevailing approach and calls for a fundamental return to the distributional equality principle at the heart of communications law. While it has virtue, the singular focus on innovation could starkly exacerbate existing racial, ethnic, and class disparities because the quality of users’ Internet connections refract through those persistent demographic variables. Video is below.

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Twitter: #networkequality