What Is the Nature of the Internet?

The debate over net neutrality is reaching a new phase, says Matt Warman. One that depends on defining the nature of the Internet: is it a simple utility or is privileged access allowed?

The nature of the entire internet could change if ‘net neutrality’ regulations are adjusted. The Europe Commission, communications regulator Ofcom and the American F.C.C. are all consulting on whether internet service providers can really be compelled to treat all web traffic equally. At the heart of this debate is a philosophical question: is the web a simple utility? Do consumers pay internet service providers to get a service which is basically the same from all of them, or should ISPs be allowed to offer commercial entities privileged access?