Network neutrality in the era of 5G

a matter of faith, hope, and design?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The article addresses the relationship of network neutrality (NN) and 5G, while abandoning technological determinism. Contrary to recent developments in the US, current EU law includes NN rules which imply non-discrimination and equal treatment of all internet traffic with specific exceptions, including in the case of congestion prevention. For their part, visions of 5G include tailored solutions for individual use cases, while prioritisation or guarantees for time-critical applications, such as autonomous vehicles, will become crucial. This means that differentiation rather than equality lies at the core of 5G. At the outset, NN and 5G seem to collide and contradict. Indeed, telecom operators have expressed concerns on the feasibility of EU regulation in terms of investments and innovation. However, viewed from the perspective of end-to-end (E2E) design principles, NN and 5G are not inevitably (merely) at odds. Moreover, network design, including the principle of neutrality, is a matter of choice. For its part, embracing diversity presents an alternative to promoting neutrality. The article thus promotes a societal debate on NN in the era of 5G which considers various dimensions from technology and economics to law and policy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation & Communications Technology Law
Volume28
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)115-130
Number of pages16
ISSN1360-0834
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • network neutrality
  • 5G networks
  • end-to-end
  • law
  • design

Cite this

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title = "Network neutrality in the era of 5G: a matter of faith, hope, and design?",
abstract = "The article addresses the relationship of network neutrality (NN) and 5G, while abandoning technological determinism. Contrary to recent developments in the US, current EU law includes NN rules which imply non-discrimination and equal treatment of all internet traffic with specific exceptions, including in the case of congestion prevention. For their part, visions of 5G include tailored solutions for individual use cases, while prioritisation or guarantees for time-critical applications, such as autonomous vehicles, will become crucial. This means that differentiation rather than equality lies at the core of 5G. At the outset, NN and 5G seem to collide and contradict. Indeed, telecom operators have expressed concerns on the feasibility of EU regulation in terms of investments and innovation. However, viewed from the perspective of end-to-end (E2E) design principles, NN and 5G are not inevitably (merely) at odds. Moreover, network design, including the principle of neutrality, is a matter of choice. For its part, embracing diversity presents an alternative to promoting neutrality. The article thus promotes a societal debate on NN in the era of 5G which considers various dimensions from technology and economics to law and policy.",
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}

Network neutrality in the era of 5G : a matter of faith, hope, and design? / Alen-Savikko, Anette Katariina.

In: Information & Communications Technology Law , Vol. 28, No. 2, 2019, p. 115-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - Alen-Savikko, Anette Katariina

PY - 2019

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N2 - The article addresses the relationship of network neutrality (NN) and 5G, while abandoning technological determinism. Contrary to recent developments in the US, current EU law includes NN rules which imply non-discrimination and equal treatment of all internet traffic with specific exceptions, including in the case of congestion prevention. For their part, visions of 5G include tailored solutions for individual use cases, while prioritisation or guarantees for time-critical applications, such as autonomous vehicles, will become crucial. This means that differentiation rather than equality lies at the core of 5G. At the outset, NN and 5G seem to collide and contradict. Indeed, telecom operators have expressed concerns on the feasibility of EU regulation in terms of investments and innovation. However, viewed from the perspective of end-to-end (E2E) design principles, NN and 5G are not inevitably (merely) at odds. Moreover, network design, including the principle of neutrality, is a matter of choice. For its part, embracing diversity presents an alternative to promoting neutrality. The article thus promotes a societal debate on NN in the era of 5G which considers various dimensions from technology and economics to law and policy.

AB - The article addresses the relationship of network neutrality (NN) and 5G, while abandoning technological determinism. Contrary to recent developments in the US, current EU law includes NN rules which imply non-discrimination and equal treatment of all internet traffic with specific exceptions, including in the case of congestion prevention. For their part, visions of 5G include tailored solutions for individual use cases, while prioritisation or guarantees for time-critical applications, such as autonomous vehicles, will become crucial. This means that differentiation rather than equality lies at the core of 5G. At the outset, NN and 5G seem to collide and contradict. Indeed, telecom operators have expressed concerns on the feasibility of EU regulation in terms of investments and innovation. However, viewed from the perspective of end-to-end (E2E) design principles, NN and 5G are not inevitably (merely) at odds. Moreover, network design, including the principle of neutrality, is a matter of choice. For its part, embracing diversity presents an alternative to promoting neutrality. The article thus promotes a societal debate on NN in the era of 5G which considers various dimensions from technology and economics to law and policy.

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