Alexis Madrigal on the History of Net Neutrality

This idea of net neutrality—this cherished idea, even, among Internet entrepreneurs and activists—has a long history, roughly as long as the commercial world wide web. It is, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig has argued, what makes the Internet special.

Last week, Tim Wu gave us his take on net neutrality after the FCC effectively gutted it to appease a previous court ruling. This week, we've had a bit of time to simmer down and digest the news.

In that spirit, Alexis Madrigal offers another side to the net neutrality story: if it's such a great idea, why is it so controversial?

Madrigal answers that question by providing a thorough history of the concept, proving that the age-old maxim that there are always two sides to a story.

Net Neutrality: A Guide to (and History of) a Contested Idea