University of Colorado Boulder
When to Regulate? The Digital Divide and Net Neutrality
University of Colorado Boulder

When to Regulate? The Digital Divide and Net Neutrality

Taught in English


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

David Reed

Instructor: David Reed

Beginner level

Recommended experience

29 hours to complete
3 weeks at 9 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace
Progress towards a degree

What you'll learn

  • Internet Policy Knowledge: Identify core problems and policies impacting the Broadband Digital Divide and Net Neutrality.

  • Analytical Skills: Build frameworks to critically evaluate and develop policy positions on the Digital Divide and Net Neutrality.

  • Communications Skills: Write and articulate clear, well-reasoned positions on current policy issues and debates.

Details to know

Shareable certificate

Add to your LinkedIn profile

Recently updated!

June 2024


15 assignments

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills


Earn a career certificate

Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV

Share it on social media and in your performance review


There are 4 modules in this course

In this module, you will learn how the early Internet was viewed not only as a disruptive force to communications services but to government regulation of information services as well, raising the important question of what justifications should be provided in support of policies designed to regulate Internet services. In short, we consider the important question of whether and in what fashion we should regulate the Internet. While this may seem strange to you given the large amount of government regulation of Internet services in today’s world, as you will see, the roots of the Internet began with a declaration in opposition to any government regulation of the Internet networks and services!

What's included

9 videos15 readings4 assignments1 peer review3 discussion prompts

In this module, you will learn how policy makers within the United States, since 2010, have been advancing broadband Internet access service to become a universal service to all residential locations. We will discover how National Broadband Plans are pivotal policy planning tools to identify and address the main policy issues driving this universal service designation. This is perhaps the most significant communications policy development that has occurred in the last 100 years since telephone service was declared a universal service in the early 1900s! You will learn how far the transition to universal broadband service has progressed, and what have been the key drivers of progress, along with the remaining barriers facing this transition set in motion by the recognition of the Internet as critical infrastructure for the nation.

What's included

15 videos10 readings4 assignments1 peer review1 discussion prompt

So far in this course we have studied the problems identified as “Digital Divide issues” that have become increasingly apparent since before the National Broadband Plan was completed in 2010. We now turn to gain further understanding of the digital divide, as reflected in the definition of the term by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as “the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access information and communication technologies (ICTs) and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities.” As you will learn in this learning module, the gaps included in this definition, known as digital equity gaps, arise due to wide disparities in the broadband usage and adoption patterns of different groups of people in the United States. To study how public policy can address digital equity gaps, we will focus on the broadband equity initiatives and activities included in the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021. Specifically, we will learn how the Digital Equity Act of 2021, one of the major policy components included in the IIJA, plans to address Digital Equity gaps. We will then use the Colorado's Broadband Roadmap and Digital Access Plan as a case study to assess the approaches taken in Colorado to address both Digital Divide deployment issues as well as digital equity gaps. To assess the approaches taken in this case study, we will apply portions of the interdisciplinary policy framework to help us critique these plans and programs now underway in the state of Colorado.

What's included

5 videos9 readings2 assignments1 peer review1 discussion prompt

Our earlier modules have focused upon access to broadband infrastructure based upon the actual availability of broadband services throughout the geographic areas or communities where consumers reside and the affordability of broadband services to consumers to deliver the benefits of broadband necessary in modern society. In this module we turn to examine another type of access to broadband services which is the ability of consumers to access the online resources provided by broadband services. The quality and performance of network access for Internet users are addressed in the often-controversial net neutrality regulations intended to manage fair and efficient access to online Internet resources such as Internet applications and websites. In this module, you will learn about the evolution of network neutrality regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission. As you will see, these regulations are among the most controversial that have been applied to Internet services due to philosophical differences in how the Internet should be regulated by the government.

What's included

9 videos10 readings5 assignments1 peer review


David Reed
University of Colorado Boulder
1 Course64 learners

Offered by

Recommended if you're interested in Computer Security and Networks

Get a head start on your degree

This course is part of the following degree programs offered by University of Colorado Boulder. If you are admitted and enroll, your coursework can count toward your degree learning and your progress can transfer with you.

Why people choose Coursera for their career

Felipe M.
Learner since 2018
"To be able to take courses at my own pace and rhythm has been an amazing experience. I can learn whenever it fits my schedule and mood."
Jennifer J.
Learner since 2020
"I directly applied the concepts and skills I learned from my courses to an exciting new project at work."
Larry W.
Learner since 2021
"When I need courses on topics that my university doesn't offer, Coursera is one of the best places to go."
Chaitanya A.
"Learning isn't just about being better at your job: it's so much more than that. Coursera allows me to learn without limits."

New to Computer Security and Networks? Start here.


Open new doors with Coursera Plus

Unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs - all included in your subscription

Advance your career with an online degree

Earn a degree from world-class universities - 100% online

Join over 3,400 global companies that choose Coursera for Business

Upskill your employees to excel in the digital economy

Frequently asked questions