Institutions of higher education and libraries are leaders in creating, fostering, using, extending, and maximizing the potential of the Internet for research, education, and the public good. The groups believe network neutrality protections are essential to protecting freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth.
At its best, the Internet is a platform for learning, collaboration, and interaction among students, faculty, library patrons, local communities, and the world. Libraries and institutions of higher education make an enormous amount of Internet content available to the general public—from basic distance learning classes to multimedia instruction, cloud computing, digitized historical databases, research around “big data,” and many other educational and civic resources—all of which require an open Internet. Institutions of higher education and libraries do not object to paying for the high-capacity Internet connections that they need to support their students, faculty, administrators, and library patrons; but once connected, they should not have to pay additional fees to receive prioritized transmission of their content, services, or applications.
These groups support strong, enforceable rules to ensure that higher education and libraries can continue to deliver online educational and public interest content at a level of speed and quality on par with commercial providers. In 2014, APLU along with other higher education and library organizations, representing thousands of colleges, universities, and libraries nationwide, released a joint set of Net Neutrality Principles The principles call upon the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) to ban blocking, degradation, and “paid prioritization”; ensure that the same rules apply to fixed and mobile broadband providers; promote greater transparency of broadband services; and prevent providers from treating similar customers in significantly different ways.
The full text of the principles can be found here.
In 2015, the FCC adopted and implemented “Open Internet Rules” that apply to fixed and mobile broadband service. The Open Internet Rules bans blocking, degradation, and paid prioritization, amongst other provisions. More information can be found here.