Telecommunications and media companies are now moving to carry voice, video and data across unified IP-based networks, such as British Telecom’s £10bn 21st Century Network. Internet access is moving from the PC to the mobile phone, games console and task-specific devices such as Internet radios. This lecture will cover the technology behind these converging networks and diverging platforms, and the policy responses of regulators such as the US Federal Communications Commission, European Commission and UK Office of Communications.
How important are network neutrality rules, in the US and the European Union?
Should ‘converged’ media regulators such as Ofcom be merged into more general regulatory agencies such as the UK Competition Commission?
About the course
This multi-disciplinary course exposes students to basic communications and computer science materials on the core technological principles of the Internet, as well as more traditional social science materials such as public policy documents and reports as well as academic texts. In order to reinforce students’ appreciation of the importance of adopting a technologically informed approach to studying the Internet, the course covers several key policy debates such as content regulation, privacy and security and Internet governance, in each case identifying the extent to which the range of policy options is narrowed or expanded by fast-moving technological innovation, and shifts in public policy and regulation. This will, in addition, enable students to appreciate the broader implications and relevance of academic study in this field.
About the speakers