Net Neutrality and the Battle for the Open Internet

Subjects: Media Studies, New Media
Paperback : 9780472038596, 292 pages, 4 illustrations, 6 x 9, August 2022
Open Access : 9780472902453, 292 pages, 4 illustrations, 6 x 9, August 2022

The open-access publication of this book was supported by The Eugene B. Power Fund.
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How “net neutrality” became an all-out political battle in policy, industry, and activism for the future of communications and culture

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
    The Broadband Battle
Chapter 1
    Democratic Communications Infrastructure, Discourse, Policy, and Advocacy
Chapter 2
    Defining Broadband
Chapter 3
    Clash of Titans or Best of Frenemies?
Chapter 4    
    Nuclear Net Neutrality
Chapter 5
    The Title II Turn
Chapter 6
    Organizing for Net Neutrality
    Boring Points


“Net neutrality,” a dry but crucial standard of openness in network access, began as a technical principle informing obscure policy debates but became the flashpoint for an all-out political battle for the future of communications and culture. Net Neutrality and the Battle for the Open Internet is a critical cultural history of net neutrality that reveals how this intentionally “boring” world of internet infrastructure and regulation hides a fascinating and pivotal sphere of power, with lessons for communication and media scholars, activists, and anyone interested in technology and politics. While previous studies and academic discussions of net neutrality have been dominated by legal, economic, and technical perspectives, Net Neutrality and the Battle for the Open Internet offers a humanities-based critical theoretical approach, telling the story of how activists and millions of everyday people, online and in the streets, were able to challenge the power of the phone and cable corporations that historically dominated communications policy-making to advance equality and justice in media and technology.

Danny Kimball is Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Goucher College.

Net Neutrality and the Battle for the Open Internet is a thorough, engaging, and important history of the battles over net neutrality in the US. It offers a capacious examination of the many actors, stakes, maneuvers, and decisions involved in the fight over whether the principles of openness, nondiscrimination, and equality will structure how the internet operates in the US.”
—Allison Perlman, author of Public Interests: Media Advocacy and Struggles Over US Television

- Allison Perlman

“In this fine study, Danny Kimball expertly illuminates how the fight for an open internet is inextricably bound up with the ongoing struggle for democracy. By uncovering the historical, cultural, and discursive roots of the net neutrality saga, this book provides invaluable lessons for those of us who envision a brighter digital future.”
—Victor Pickard, coauthor of After Net Neutrality: A New Deal for the Digital Age

- Victor Pickard

“A handbook for activists on the front lines as well as a reference for academics and journalists, Kimball’s book shows how new words and meanings invited “everyday people” into the policy-making process.”
New York Journal of Books

- New York Journal of Books