Technological neutrality and network neutrality in telecommunications regulation
Policies at the 5G crossroads?
The paper “Technological neutrality and network neutrality in telecommunications regulation. Policies at the 5G crossroads?” will be presented at the 10th FSR Annual Conference (10-11 June, 2021).
5G promises to be a game changer for the extended connectivity-based value chain, encompassing a much broader set of digitalized industries. By reshaping competition among market players and among technologies, it is bound to change the meaning of different issues related to the principle of non-discrimination. In this paper, we consider the implications of these technological developments for two instantiations of this principle: technological neutrality and network neutrality. We conclude that any EU regulatory trend towards weaker technological neutrality and strong network neutrality would be at odds with technological evolution. 5G shows the potential to disrupt industries and increase uncertainty, which strengthens the case for technological neutrality while making net neutrality regulation irrelevant or counterproductive, and possibly susceptible to jeopardizing the principle of technological neutrality.