Network Neutrality: A Roadmap for Infrastructure Enhancement

3 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

Policies Enabling Access


Network neutrality (NN) is the principle according to which Internet traffic shall be treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference regardless of its sender, recipient, type or content, so that Internet users’ freedom of choice is not restricted by favouring or disfavouring the transmission of Internet traffic associated with particular content, services, applications, or devices.

To date, several countries have implemented NN laws, while many others are scrutinising the opportunity to elaborate such legislation. Meanwhile, growing attention is paid to the question of how to finance network expansion. Certain content and applications providers have been experimenting new typology of peering agreements that require them to pay ISPs for a direct connection to their consumers (aka “sender-pays” model). While some might argue that similar arrangements are necessary to support ISPs in enhancing their network infrastructure, the obvious counter-argument is that end-users are already paying for infrastructure maintenance (and enhancement) through their broadband subscription. Furthermore, in the lack of an industrial policy aimed at steering ISPs investments towards network enhancement, it seems difficult to assess whether ISPs will, indeed, invest their revenues in the enhancement of network infrastructure.

This workshop will interrogate such questions as:
(i) how does NN relates to network enhancement?
(ii) is the market alone able to provide appropriate answers to guetentee network enhancement in accordance with the NN principle ?
(iii) how can governmental policies promote private investments in network enhancement without impinging upon the NN principle?
(iv) is there room or need for State-subsidized network infrastructures?

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Luca Belli, Intergovernmental Organisations, Council of Europe
Primavera De Filippi, Civil Society, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


The link to the workshop report

Type of session


Duration of proposed session

90 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#netneutrality, #networkneutrality, #openness, #humanrights, #freeinnovation

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

- Elvana Thaçi, Intergovernmental Organisations, Council of Europe, confirmed;
- Carolina Rossini, Civil Society, New America Foundation, confirmed
- Chris Riley, Private sector, Mozilla, confirmed;
- Ana Olmos, Civil Society, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, confirmed;
- Michele Bellavite, Private Sector, ETNO, confirmed;
- Parminder Singh, Civil Society, ITC for Change, confirmed;

Name of Moderator(s)

Luca Belli, Council of Europe & Université Paris 2 (CERSA)

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Nicolo' Zingales, Tilburg University

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The first part of the workshop (around 45 minutes) will be dedicated to an interactive roundtable during which the panellists will be asked to provide concise answers (i.e. less than 2-minute-long) to the questions asked by the moderators. Furthermore, panellists will have the possibility to reply to their peers' statements.

Subsequently, the panellists will engage in an open an dynamic debate, during which the audience will play a key role asking questions, providing inputs and steering the discussion.

The attendees and the remote participants will be allowed to ask questions during the workshop, but their participation and inputs will be particularly encouraged during the second part of the session.

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

No information provided

Background paper

No background paper provided

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