Two channels are said to be equivalent if they are degraded from each other. The space of equivalent channels with input alphabet X and output alphabet Y can be naturally endowed with the quotient of the Euclidean topology by the equivalence relation. We show that this topology is compact, path-connected and metrizable. A topology on the space of equivalent channels with fixed input alphabet X and arbitrary but finite output alphabet is said to be natural if and only if it induces the quotient topology on the subspaces of equivalent channels sharing the same output alphabet. We show that every natural topology is sigma-compact, separable and path-connected. On the other hand, if |X| \geq 2, a Hausdorff natural topology is not Baire and it is not locally compact anywhere. This implies that no natural topology can be completely metrized if |X| \geq 2. The finest natural topology, which we call the strong topology, is shown to be compactly generated, sequential and T_4. On the other hand, the strong topology is not first-countable anywhere, hence it is not metrizable. We show that in the strong topology, a subspace is compact if and only if it is rank-bounded and strongly-closed. We provide a necessary and sufficient condition for a sequence of channels to converge in the strong topology. We introduce a metric distance on the space of equivalent channels which compares the noise levels between channels. The induced metric topology, which we call the noisiness topology, is shown to be natural. We also study topologies that are inherited from the space of meta-probability measures by identifying channels with their posterior meta-probability distributions. We show that the weak-* topology is exactly the same as the noisiness topology and hence it is natural. We prove that if |X| \geq 2, the total variation topology is not natural nor Baire, hence it is not completely metrizable. Moreover, it is not locally compact anywhere. Finally, we show that the Borel sigma-algebra is the same for all Hausdorff natural topologies.

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Record created 2017-01-12, last modified 2018-01-28