CLOSED: Network Neutrality and Its Impact on Innovation – Call for Papers


Final submissions due: CLOSED
Publication issue: November/December 2018

 Guest Editors: Schahram Dustdar, TU Wien, and Elias P. Duarte Jr., Federal University of Paraná (

Call for Papers

Network neutrality (NN) has been discussed for more than a decade. However, only recently have laws and rules regarding NN been implemented in several places around the globe (such as the US, the European Union, Japan, and some countries in South America). No precise definition exists for NN, but a common definition extracted from current regulations is that NN is the principle by which all traffic on the Internet must be treated equally. Therefore, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) can’t slow down, prioritize, or block any type of specific traffic, regardless of its origin, destination, and/or content. This means that traffic differentiation (TD) practices aren’t allowed. Without such regulations in place, ISPs might employ TD to deal with congestion, or because of commercial agreements, or even to benefit their own services. NN supporters claim that by slowing the traffic of bandwidth-hungry applications — such as video streaming or peer-to-peer file sharing — ISPs reduce congestion in their networks, postponing the need for upgrading the infrastructure (which is expensive). ISPs also might prioritize the traffic from providers that are willing to pay for it, the so-called fast lanes. An ISP might even prioritize its own services or degrade competitors’ services to attract more users, thereby increasing revenue.

Such discrimination between different types of traffic threatens innovation, fair competition, and the consumer’s freedom of choice on the Internet. In a world without NN, it would be possible for an ISP and its partners to control which services consumers would most likely use (no real freedom of choice) and which services would most likely succeed (unfair competition). This control could give big corporations the power to greatly influence people’s online behavior and which services they consume.

For startup companies and independent innovators that lack the same amount of resources as ISPs and big corporations, they might not be able to compete fairly with more established services. Innovative services might struggle to succeed or they might not even see the light of day because of poor performance, including higher response times caused by ISPs discriminating against their traffic. Thus, NN is essential for ensuring a level playing field for the development of new applications and services on the Internet. Cloud services, over-the-top (OTT) services, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and software are examples of applications and services that need NN to adequately flourish in the future.

With this in mind, this special issue seeks contributions from the research and industrial communities addressing various topics within this area, including

  • NN measurement;
  • TD on the Internet;
  • counteracting TD;
  • NN for the IoT;
  • statistical models for NN;
  • streaming analytics for NN;
  • data mining for NN;
  • open source and open Internet initiatives for NN;
  • NN for the Future Internet;
  • evaluation frameworks for NN solutions; and
  • innovation case studies connected to NN.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must be original manuscripts of fewer than 5,000 words, focused on network neutrality. Please note that each figure counts as 250 words, as part of the word count. All manuscripts are subject to peer review on both technical merit and relevance to IC’s international readership — primarily practicing engineers and academics who are looking for material that introduces new technology and broadens familiarity with current topics. We do not accept white papers, and papers which are primarily theoretical or mathematical must clearly relate the mathematical content to a real-life or engineering application. To submit a manuscript, please log on to ScholarOne (