Where Do You Stand on Net Neutrality?
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
As part of our renewed commitment to achieve greater impact on the world around us, AIS would like to draw your attention to a proposed change in how companies interact with the Internet. Recognizing the critical impact this change is likely to have on the IS profession as well as our personal online interactions, AIS asks that our members consider the pros and cons of the proposed challenge to Net Neutrality, and that members express their opinions to the relevant authorities around the world.
At the end of this email is a request that you respond to a three question survey about AIS member opinions on Net Neutrality and the extent to which AIS should itself get involved in the discourse.
Many agree that the Internet infrastructure needs an overhaul, but supporters of Net Neutrality strongly believe the current path would greatly endanger online freedom.
For those in Region 1 (and in particular, the United States), the open comment period for important US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rulings regarding Net Neutrality will be ending soon (July 15). If allowed to pass, these rulings will be the end of an open and neutral Internet. Large international companies like Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon (ISPs) make the argument that companies such as Netflix, who use a large portion of their networks' bandwidth, should help pay for speed, capacity and security improvements. The proposed plan would create a tiered Internet, allowing ISPs to charge companies for access to an online "fast-lane". These funds are supposed to be used to expand broadband infrastructure. Also included in the proposal is wording to prevent the ISPs from slowing or blocking access to their competition, but the courts have already ruled that the FCC does not have the power to enforce such safeguards. Essentially this plan would give ISPs more tools to control the flow of the Internet, without installing adequate checks or balances.
Regardless of your position, we recommend that U.S. members take advantage of the FCC’s open comment period to express your opinion. For those in other countries, we urge you to learn about, react to, and share with us, the positions of equivalent bodies in your country. Our goal is to inform our members around the world and encourage them to contribute their opinions to a national and global discourse.
1) The FCC open-comment site is located here: http://fcc.gov/comments. Instructions on commenting are here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2458143,00.asp
2) We have also started a discussion thread on this topic in the AIS Group on LinkedIn to
support the broader discussion.
3) You can find more information in support of Net Neutrality here:
4) You can find more information against Net Neutrality here:
5) Some Recent Articles from the business press regarding this issue, can be found here:
6) If you have access to BISE, you can read a very good and balanced article containing interviews with Christof Weinhardt and Marvin Ammori that describe efforts in several other countries: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-011-0180-6
7) Now that you’ve read this far, please don’t forget to take 2 minutes (that’s all!) and provide AIS with your viewpoint on Net Neutrality and whether AIS should participate formally in the debate. Click here for the survey. Please respond prior to July 7.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about this important issue, and for contributing your opinion to AIS and our members, and to those in a position to affect the future of the Internet.
Jane Fedorowicz, PhD
Immediate Past President, Association for Information Systems
President, Association for Information Systems
Technische Universität München