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Network Neutrality in the European Union and the United States: Current Regulation and Future Trends in Comparative Perspective


September 27, 2011 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Room 90
A lunch presentation with Axel Knabe, University of Passau. Germany.

About the event: In the European Union, as well as the United States, lawmakers have started to pursue the goal of Network Neutrality as a principle in regulation of information infrastructure. However, the debate over whether Network Neutrality should be a regulatory mandate is far from over.

In this talk, Mr. Knabe will provide an overview of the main arguments that have been advanced by proponents and opponents of Network Neutrality over the last years. He will specifically discuss the scope and substance of current Network Neutrality regulation in the European Union and the United States. Mr. Knabe will show how other policy areas that concern the regulation of Internet Service Providers, as well as the elusive and multi-sided nature of today´s markets, have influenced the debate. He will then discuss how the pace of technological change poses serious challenges to the development of sound regulatory policies.

Finally, Mr. Knabe will discuss constitutional aspects of Network Neutrality and the delicate balance between property rights and free speech in telecommunications industries.

About the Speaker: Axel Knabe is a research fellow at the Institute for IT and Security Law at the University of Passau, Germany. He is also a doctoral candidate in the Department for Public Law and Legal Philosophy at the University of Mannheim, Germany. In January 2011, he became a Non-Residential Fellow at the Stanford – Vienna Transatlantic Technology Law Forum (TTLF). Mr. Knabe earned his law degree from the University of Mannheim in January 2007. Between May 2007 and May 2009, Mr. Knabe successfully completed the compulsory two-year long clerkship program in Germany and became eligible for admittance to the German bar (Ass.iur.). During this time he was, among other things, a law clerk at a Federal District Court in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Between November 2008 and April 2009 Knabe worked at the law firm Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe LLP in Washington, D.C. as an international fellow. His work there mainly focused on questions of Foreign Sovereign Immunity Law, International Trade Law, Commercial Law and IT Law. Since November 2008 he has been a contributor to the International Enforcement Law Reporter for which he covers various aspects of international enforcement law.