Columbia Professors Featured in a Panel Discussion on Net Neutrality

Some of the nation’s leading experts on net neutrality participated in a panel discussion on December 8 in Columbia’s Davis Auditorium – 412 CEPSR.  The event was free, open to all and was live streamed.

The panelists discussed the pros and cons of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expected December 14 vote to repeal net neutrality, which essentially are rules governing whether internet service providers can create fast lanes for certain content or throttle the loading speeds of others. Such rules were forbidden under net neutrality guidelines instituted by the FCC under President Obama. But Ajit Pai, the FCC commissioner, has defended the repeal as restoring Internet freedom, arguing that net neutrality rules have damped investment in Internet services.

The panelists discussed the impending FCC vote and its likely effects on the Internet. Will the FCC decision change the Internet in ways that will affect everyone in America? What regulations should be imposed on the Internet and what can people do to educate themselves and make their opinions heard?

The panel was moderated by Ethan Katz-Bassett, a professor of electrical engineering who is an expert on Internet services and content delivery. And the four panelists were: Henning Schulzrinne, a Columbia professor of computer science and member of the Data Science Institute who is former chief technology officer for the FCC; Vishal Misra, a Columbia professor of computer science and member of the Data Science Institute who advised the Indian government on its adoption of net neutrality regulations; Sarah Morris, senior counsel and director of open Internet policy at the Open Technology Institute; and Peter Boothe, lead software engineer for the Google part of Measurement Lab Project.

The panel was sponsored by the Data Science Institute, the Electrical Engineering Departmentthe Department of Computer Science, the School of International and Public Affairs and the Nasdaq Educational Foundation.

--By Robert Florida


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