Net Neutrality - Exploring views of internet stakeholders in Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för informatik

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the views of internet stakeholders in Sweden, from the perspective of net neutrality. There does not exist one single definition of the principle, which makes defining net neutrality in the context of this thesis important. The basic concept of net neutrality is that all similar internet content should be treated equally. However there are several technical, economical and legal aspects to consider, and that makes an exploration of those aspects a part of our background. What peaked our interest was the combination of the high profile in the debate, complex topic and the result of a small survey we conducted that showed a low level of awareness. In this qualitative study, eight different respondents answered our questions, coming from three major categories of stakeholders (ISPs, CPs, and legal authorities). The analysis was based on interpretations of the answers and fitting them into a theoretical framework constructed by the authors to compare the views of the respondents. The reported views on net neutrality contains a wide range of concerns covering several disciplines. There is a mix of past, present and future concerns being lifted, with both technical, economical and legal aspects. The depth of the answers vary from shallow to very complex. To be able to comment on the findings we state our view of net neutrality as a starting point for our discussion. We found that the delicate and complex topic, high profile in the debates, and ongoing legal changes has led to a low response rate. From the responses received, the view of the stakeholders are more homogeneous among ISPs, and more varied among CPs. The respondents are pro net neutrality, more so from a theoretical perspective. The legal authorities has a pragmatic view and provided us with a deeper understanding. It would provide further insights to see how the view of the stakeholders might change when the guidelines from BEREC are presented in the late summer of 2016.

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