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How the network of networks works

16 Sep 2015

The Internet was established as a network of networks, with little sense of national borders and little centralised international oversight. As it has grown, so too has argument around the decision-making processes and entities involved in its governance. In parallel, governments have a vital role to play in enabling and encouraging development of the communications infrastructure on which the Internet operates.

This seminar will introduce participants to the basic features of Internet architecture and how it is governed, as well as to ‘hot topic’ policy issues related to internet access generally.

Topics to include:

  • How are decisions made currently relating to Internet governance?  What are the key areas of disagreement?  What is the perspective from within Europe?
  • To what extent can national governments control the Internet?  What role do supranational bodies play in its regulation?
  • How does the underlying structure and markets behind the physical network affect the way we use the web?  What are the key infrastructure issues for national governments and how are these playing out at present across Europe?  (eg: net neutrality, spectrum sharing, universal access)
  • Where will investment come from to build the next generation of networks and what are the policy implications? (eg: should consumers pay more, should we move away from typically open and free web we enjoy, who should decide?)