Luca Belli

A Discourse Principle Approach to Net Neutrality Policymaking: A Model Framework and Its Application

The question of whether and how to protect the principle of network neutrality (“NN”) is currently one of the most hotly debated topics of Internet policy around the world. As the name may already suggest, NN is essentially a non-discrimination principle that applies to the transmission of Internet traffi c. It prescribes that, in principle, all Internet traffi c should be transmitted on an equal basis, or at least in a manner that does not favour or disfavour particular users, applications, content, ser-vices or devices. The need to protect NN through law and policy is widely perceived as a result of the discriminatory treatment of Internet traffi c which some Internet providers have begun to engage in (BEREC 2012 ) while others have publicly announced their wish to do so. 1 Such discriminatory treatment has the potential to restrict the freedom of Internet users to receive and impart information and use or run services and devices of their choice.

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