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Net neutrality policymaking: A comparative study of the UK and the USA

Pothong, Kruakae (2015) Net neutrality policymaking: A comparative study of the UK and the USA. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Net neutrality is a hotly debated and contested policy for broadband Internet access provision. In principle, net neutrality prescribes no discrimination by the type or size of data packet exchanged over the Internet. This principle has fostered innovation and economic growth. The non-discriminatory principle ingrained in Internet architecture has also made it the ultimate platform for convergence of technology, business and service. However, the content, businesses and services that the Internet supports, particularly rich content such as online audio-visual services, are pushing the existing Internet network infrastructure to its limits. The imbalance of growing demands for bandwidth and relatively static supply of network capacity has sparked a policy debate over network management principles for Internet access provision. The interdependent yet competing interests of network and content providers and all levels of convergence taking place on the Internet make net neutrality policymaking extremely challenging. To explain emerging net neutrality policies in the US and UK, this research examines the net neutrality policymaking process based on the understanding that the process is both structured and actor-driven. Treating policymaking as a communicative process, it identifies as the research data the formal communication and policy actors’ accounts of their informal communication during the policymaking process. An analytical framework that emphasises the interaction between structural factors and policy actors is then applied to both sets of data. This research argues in support of the position that net neutrality policies, like other polices, are communicative, structured and actor-driven. The challenges in developing net neutrality policy and policy measures result from the convergence of transmission infrastructure and content, and the interdependent yet competing values and interests underpinning the provision and consumption of these services.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Net neutrality, Internet, policy, communication
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Other academic unit: School of Media and Communication
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680528
Depositing User: Miss Kruakae Pothong
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 09:56
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11457

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