Past Meetup

The Great Net Neutrality Debate

This Meetup is past

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Join the members of NYC Debate ( meetup group for yet another contentious public policy debate.

PLEASE NOTE: if you're already RSVPed to attend the earlier event, October Monthly Meetup (, you'll automatically be eligible to attend this debate. Therefore, no RSVP required for this debate for the attendees of the earlier event.


Background: All of us rely on the internet for various aspects of our lives. However, the internet, as we know it, may soon be changing. While this important public policy matter is not well-understood by the public, it's not overly complicated; moreover, it isn't as technically complex as it appears at the first blush.

Wikipedia ( defines it as ". . . the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content . . ."

This debate has been brewing for the past decade and now it's heating up in light of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet. ( The FCC deadline ( for a public comment period ended on September 15, 2014.

The FCC will then review the comments and make adjustments (if any) based on the input they’ve received from the businesses, lobbyists, and the public interest groups.

Next, they’ll put the rules on their open meeting agenda ( for an official vote. The FCC is expected to make their final decision by the end of the year. With that being said, the time is ripe for us to debate this topic!

Possible debate topics may include:

• Is net neutrality a "free speech" issue of our time? Also, should the access to internet be considered as a fundamental human right?

• Should the internet be considered as a "public utility"?; similarly, should the internet service providers (ISPs) be considered as a "common carrier"?

• Should all internet traffic be treated equally? Or do you support the prioritized "tiered-service" system?

• Should the mobile devices and smartphones be subject to the same net neutrality rules?


Debate Format

- Two sided, adversarial "townhall" debate format.
- Approximately four to six debate participants on each side; the remaining attendees will be part of the townhall audience. There's no mandatory requirement to participate or actively debate -- so attendees can sit back and observe.
- The townhall audience members can also ask questions directly to either debate groups.
- New debate participants will be selected for each topic.


Event Schedule:

5:00 to 5:45 - Introductions and Meet & Greet

5:45 to 6:45 - Debate Topic I

7:00 to 8:00 - Debate Topic II

8:00 to 9:30 - Post-event social



Here's a photo of the building entrance:

Once you enter the building, proceed to the "Amenities" room, as shown below:


Because this is a private venue, all attendees will be notified with the building address one day before the event. The map above is not the exact location of the venue and it's merely intended to show the approximate location.