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Internet Governance 15 February 2012

Internet Society International Chapter Toolkit: Tools for Unraveling the Net Neutrality / Open Internetworking Debate


Network neutrality. Open internetworking. An Internet for all. These phrases and others have risen to the top of a multitude of regulatory, legislative, and policy agendas worldwide. The issues they encompass have become not just discussion points but flashpoints, primarily because they represent the intersection where Internet standards, applications development, business enterprise, and a vast array of policy issues meet.

The Internet works because the open standards on which it was built allows every network to connect to every other network. This model—known as the Internet model—is what makes it possible for anyone to create content, offer services, and sell products without requiring permission from a central authority, such as a network operator. The Internet model levels the playing field for everyone; it is the reason why we have the rich diversity of applications and services that many of us enjoy today.

Protecting and preserving that model of openness has been a priority for the Internet Society since its inception. Among a growing number of Internet Society Chapters, the issues associated with Net neutrality and open internet-working have become especially relevant; for those where the internet infra-structure has not yet developed, those issues may only be on the horizon. The information presented here is intended to provide background and a set of tools for understanding Net neutrality and open internetworking.

In this toolkit you will find …
  • An overview of Net neutrality and open internetworking
  • Work being done by the IETF that addresses Net neutrality and open internetworking
  • The open networking principles being advanced by the Internet Society
  • The Internet Society’s position on key issues associated with Net neutrality and open internetworking
  • Examples of how Chapter leaders and members leverage these issues to advance their Chapters
  • Suggestions for educating and stimulating discussion of these issues
  • Resources and tools
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