Net neutrality is the attitude that Internet service suppliers must treat all information on the Internet equal, and not differentiate or charge in a different way by customer, content, website, policy, application, nature of attached tools, or technique of communication. For example, under these ethics, internet service suppliers are incapable to deliberately block, or charge funds for particular websites and online content. In order to preserve the equality of the internet, we must protect Net Neutrality. People apply the internet daily without putting much consideration into it.
Every time people want to identify something which they do not recognize, they look it up. Particularly with the expediency of having a mini-computer in their pocket all over the place they go, it has to turn out to be the second temperament for them to reach into their pocket and apply Google. The Pew Study Internet Project established that about 15% of the adult populace does not apply the Internet; those slightest probable to apply the Internet consist of ‘older citizens, grown-ups with less than high-school schooling and individuals existing in households receiving less than $32,000 for every year (Goldsmith, Jack & Tim 126).’
Net neutrality is a significant issue as it gives Internet service suppliers and big companies too much authority. It turned out to be a hot issue in 2014 once the head of the Centralized Communications Commission; Tom Wheeler specify a plan that would make clients pay extra for internet service as a result of making it achievable for Internet service suppliers to basically bribe corporations like Netflix to offer their clients quicker service than their oppositions. In the same year, Comcast marked an agreement with Netflix that offered Comcast clients advanced rapidity on Netflix. This affects everybody that applies to sites such as Hulu, Youtube, along with other film stream services (Goldsmith, Jack & Tim 126).
Individuals were extremely opposed to these laws alongside net neutrality and as a result, New Yorker commentator even suggested these procedures as “Net Discrimination”. One proceeds that the inhabitants did to complain about this progress was the “Internet retard,” where activists got a lot of websites to have a little loading icon to tip-off at the slow heaps from positions to raise attentiveness on net neutrality.
Net neutrality is a big issue and diverse sectors of it get conversed in the media. Since 2016, the major issue that relays to net neutrality is information collection. This show in 2014 demonstrates to us that with composed individuals and attitudes, issues might be done.
The outcome of a world without net neutrality might be devastating. Innovation might be stifled, opposition restricted, and access to data limited. Customer preference and the free marketplace would be forfeited to the benefit of a small number of companies. On the Internet, clients are indecisive control — settling on between content, submissions, and services accessible everywhere, no issue who possesses the system (Gottschall 23).
However, with no Net Neutrality, the Internet might look more like cable TV. Network possessors will settle on which channel, content, and submissions are accessible; clients will have to prefer from their list of options. Net neutrality has its extraction in the custom of the ordinary carriage. Ordinary carriers are communal transport suppliers of possessions, people, or data such as browbeat, airplanes as well as telecommunication companies.
There many reasons to decline Internet regulations. For instance, when the pro-regulation group refuses to accept, current centralized laws offer customers and the Centralized Communications Commission with important fortification from online bias. These consist of laws overriding anti-trust, antagonism, and marketable interference (Gottschall 56).
A number of people might argue that offering internet to everybody might be too costly and use too numerous resources, and might even articulate it’s unworkable. In accordance with the United States Census Bureau, 75 % of households declared having a supercomputer, contrasted with simply 8.2 % in 1984 (the initial year when Census Bureau inquired about computer possession.”
If such a radical raise has occurred, it is not possible to get fractions into the superior ’90s. The initial issue to recognize is that there are numerous dissimilar varieties of infrastructures that offer internet. A number of instances are satellites, character infrastructures, and unit tower.
Fiber infrastructures might be one of the cheaper and extra well-liked ways of a set of connections. Satellite infrastructures are defective in that they are contradictory, deliberate, and that there might be other causes which can influence the rapidity and accessibility of it. There are numerous aspects to how much it charges to apply these infrastructures and wires such as assets for Internet service suppliers, the cost for walking and employees, and antagonism.
Net neutrality is the encouragement that Internet service suppliers must not discriminate against data being propelled over the Internet and should treat all information packets uniformly despite the source, kind of content. The threat of an Internet with no net neutrality is that Internet service suppliers would be permitted to bound agenda or services the end-user might access. Internet service suppliers presently organize the “last mile” utilized to bond to the Internet.
The concern is that Internet service suppliers will influence the authority to show favoritism against corporations that are in undeviating antagonism or generate proceeds by limiting corporations that do not reimburse them a charge (Hazlett 48). The American Constitutional Rights Union believes, “with no net neutrality, net suppliers can chunk or slow down contact to sites they possibly not like. They may also decide what services and tools users may access, utter whether users are permitted to visit well-liked chat rooms or participate in popular games and allocate higher charge for well-liked downloads.
In order to preserve the equality of the internet, we must protect Net Neutrality. The law should strike a stability between defending the classified rights of Internet service suppliers to manage their companies and defending the public’s awareness. The Internet might be viewed as a succession of wires linked by central hubs, recognized as routers. As a result, these routers obtain data from those or servers’ nature and reorganize it suitably. When the command is comparatively squat the routers have no difficulty systematizing and distributing this information.
The matter arises once the data turn out to be overpowering to the wire and the router should start a lineup system much as the line at a explore counter. This lineup coordination is where the matter of net neutrality curtails. Individuals in support of Net Neutrality consider that the package must be disseminated in a first-in-first-out foundation.
This coordination treats all packages of data, regularly despite the content, source, or dimension. This is as well recognized as a “most excellent effort” network as a network makes its greatest effort to distribute packets as rapidly as probable in the order they are acknowledged.
The Internet is one of the most powerful tools of the modern age as source of knowledge, entertainment and wealth generation. While a large majority of the population has no understanding of how the Internet actually works and how the content arrives at their computer they understand its importance. Scholars, lawyers, lawmakers and advocacy groups have began to worry about who has control of the Internet’s content and its distribution.
Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers or ISP’s should not discriminate against information being sent over the Internet and must treat all data packets equally regardless of source, type or content. The danger of an Internet without network neutrality is that Internet service providers would be allowed to limit programs or services the end-user can access. ISP’s currently control the “last mile” used to connect to the Internet. The worry is that Internet service providers will leverage the power to discriminate against companies that are in direct competition or create revenue by limiting companies that do not pay them a fee (cybertelecom.org, 2009). The American Civil Liberties Union believes,
“Without net neutrality, network providers can block or slow down access to sites they don’t like. They can also determine what services and equipment users can access, dictate whether users are allowed to visit popular chat rooms or play popular games and assign higher fees for popular downloads.” (aclu.org, 2006)
The law must strike a balance between protecting the private rights of Internet service providers to manage their businesses and protecting the public’s interest.
The Internet can be viewed as a series of wires connected by central hubs, known as routers. These routers receive data from individuals or servers sort and redistribute it appropriately. When demand is relatively low the routers have no problem organizing and distributing this data. The issue arises when the data becomes overwhelming to the router and the router must start a queuing system much like the line at a checkout counter. This queuing system is where the issue of net neutrality stems (Felten, 2005) (Wu, 2005).
Those in favor of Net Neutrality believe that the packet should be distributed in a first-in first-out basis. This system treats all packets of data, equally regardless of content, source, or size. This is also known as a “best effort” network because a network makes its best effort to deliver packets as quickly as possible in order they are received. (cybertelecom.org, 2009)
The worry is that packets will be reordered or dropped based on the decisions of these internet service providers. The FCC has filed a motion to stop Comcast from setting its routers to slow down the transfer of packets from peer-to-peer programs of its customers.
Opponents of net neutrality already believe that the first-in-first-out method discriminates against a high-bandwidth traffic there requires low jitter or hiccups such as VoIP telephone or streaming video. Cybertelecom.org sums it by saying “… because TCP/IP treats all traffic the same it discriminates.” Some companies argue that they must discriminate against some packets to prevent spam and virus.
Internet service providers such as Comcast and other opponents disagree they say net neutrality is a solution to a problem that does not exist (cybertelecom.org, 2009). Even the FCC chairman Michael Powell stated that “there was no need for preemptive regulations that could imperil still-to-be discovered business models on the Internet (CNET News.com, 2005).”
Later that year, the first case is about net neutrality begun to surface. Consumer complaints about Internet service providers no allowing applications like virtual private networks or WiFi devices as well as the case of Madison River. Madison River is a North Carolina telecommunications company that intentionally blocked voice over Internet phone traffic (Wikipedia, 2009). Madison River may have been the first company to fall into the FCC’s crosshairs for net neutrality, but it certainly was not the last. Companies like Comcast, AOL and AT&T have all been the focus of FCC investigations.
Although the FCC is the main legal body actively pursuing net neutrality. Congress has moved to pass net neutrality bills multiple times in both the House and the Senate and the FTC has begun to look into the regulation of Internet. Also net neutrality falls under the umbrella of antitrust law. For example, when content providers such as Comcast or AT&T began to vertically integrate to provide both content and distribution this brings up strong questions of monopolization (Wikipedia, 2009)(cybertelecom.org, 2009).
Both the FTC and FCC have drawn fire from large corporations with invested interests in the internet over their regulation. Verizon states “with both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission engaged in oversight of Internet usage and practices, new legislation and more regulation, with all their unintended consequences, are not needed (cybertelecom.org, 2009).”
Net neutrality has its roots in the tradition of common carriage. Common carriers are public transport providers of goods, people or information such as railroads, airplanes and telecommunication companies. They cannot discriminate what they carry or where they carry it. This provides the important movement of goods and information that keeps our country moving (cybertelecom.org, 2009).
The DC circuit’s interpretation of the 1934 communications act found that a subscriber has the reasonable right to use his telephone in ways which are privately beneficial without being publicly detrimental. This will later set the precedent in which the FCC drafted its consumer rights to net neutrality (cybertelecom.org, 2009).
The Federal Communications Commission created a policy to promote the nature of the public Internet (FCC.org, 2009).
- Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
- Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
- Consumers are entitled to connect to their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
- Consumers are entitled to competition a long network providers, application and service providers, and content providers
In 2005, the FCC for the first time in four states network neutrality principles by starting an investigation towards Madison River Communications, a local telephone carrier was blocking voice over IP service. The FCC acted on a complaint filed by Vonage, a VoIP telephone company.
Prior to the FCC to take Madison River to court they settled because Madison River agreed to stop blocking voice over IP calls and pay $15,000 to the US Treasury (Wu, 2005)(CNET News.com, 2005). The Madison River case, because it was settled out of court, did not set a precedent for net neutrality, but it did show the FCC was willing to enforce its policies (Wikipedia, 2009).
In August of 2008 the FCC voted to uphold a complaint against Comcast, ruling that it even legally inhibiting users from using bit torrent at peer-to-peer filesharing software. Similar in nature to the Madison River case, the FCC did not penalize Comcast, but requested that they stop such practices (FCC.org, 2009). The FCC Chairman said,
“The order was meant to set a precedent that Internet providers and indeed all communications companies could not prevent customers from using their networks and the way they see fit, unless there’s good reason (Wikipedia, 2009).”
When AT&T and BellSouth merged it created an agreement on net neutrality that it would “not provide or sell to any Internet content, application or service providers… any service or privileges, degrades or prioritizes any packet transmitted over AT&T/BellSouth’s broadband Internet access service based on its source, ownership or destination (Wikipedia, 2009).”
The argument over net neutrality is far from over with companies like Comcast still pushing the envelope and challenging the status quo. Although no broadband provider is currently blocking websites, Comcast voiced that they would be in favor of charging a fee so that one website would load faster than another. BellSouth said in an interview to Cnet News.com
“They and other broadband provider should be able to offer different plans that feature enhanced levels of service or promote their own brand names and products or services of selected vendors… [ That includes ] entering into arrangements with content providers by which the content provider pays for special treatment, such as preferential listings or faster downloads from the provider’s website were receiving higher quality of service (CNET News.com, 2005).”
Moving forward, government agencies, Congress and lawmakers must carefully walk a fine line between providing protection to citizens and infringing on a business’s right to profit, innovate, and expand. Christopher Calabrese, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel, summed it up by saying,
“The Internet is the greatest forum for free speech every created, and these net neutrality principles, if adapted, will ensure access to a wide variety of information and services available online. The rules proposed by the FCC will allow the American public to choose how it accesses and uses the Internet without interference from some corporate monopoly (aclu.org, 2006).”
Example #3 – Net Neutrality in the Us: Advantages and Disadvantages
The term ‘network neutrality’ (NN) was first used in 2002 by Tim Wu, a professor of law and author. By using this term Professor Wu wanted to qualify the fact that according to him no authority was entitled to decide what information was or was not accessible online.
Since 2002, and this first introduction to network neutrality by Wu, the concept of network neutrality evolved and became more commonly used. Nowadays, net neutrality means that all internet traffic should be treated in the same way without giving the right to internet service providers to block or slow down access to specific websites. Net neutrality also prohibits internet service providers to charge customers in order to get a better service. It excludes any discrimination, blocking, or throttling of any content.
This concept of net neutrality is a topic highly discussed today since a lot of countries are trying to find a way to regulate it. This regulation regarding network neutrality differs from one country to another. As an example, in Europe, the 2015/2120 regulation was established to protect network neutrality in countries belonging to the European Union.
Unlike Europe, the situation in the United States regarding the regulation of network neutrality is more complex. In fact, the establishment of a law protecting network neutrality under Barack Obama’s presidency and the repeal of this law by Donald Trump very recently created a debate within the American society about the importance of network neutrality.
In this essay, we will focus on the current situation in the United States where two camps are opposed: in one hand the ones in favor of net neutrality and on the other hand those who are for a ‘free internet’ without any regulation.
The argument will take place if there should be net neutrality, where all internet users, websites, services will have the same speed (like on a highway, all cars going the same speed) or should there be a prioritized lane for the internet users who can afford (‘the fast lane’) by financial means, and perhaps make exclusive deals with the internet provider to give them faster broadband.
As it is widely debated in different parts of the world, several points of view will be considered for example why it may benefit the internet user who is willing to pay more for faster broadband and reach their customers with more efficiency compared to everyone else going in the ‘slow lane’. This essay will be split into 5 sections examining different views of NN.
· 1. Network Neutrality in the United States
To beingwe will set out the situation in United States and we will try to understand why President Trump took the decision to repeal the regulation about network neutrality.
· 2. Net Neutrality – better service, but for whom?
In the second part, we will explore why the concept of network neutrality is the center of lot of debates by exposing arguments in favor and arguments against it.
· 3. Pay more for better treatment?
In the fourth section we will examine the Internet Service Providers and about their interest concerning the revocation of the protection of network neutrality regulation or if NN can benefit the consumer as well.
· 4. Public interest issue
In the fifth section we will highlight the importance of free speech in NN and the consequences of such would diminish.
· 5. Conclusion
Based on the evidence a comprehensive overview will be provided, leaving the essay with final thoughts from the writers.
1. Network Neutrality in the United States
Since the creation and the democratization of the Internet, a certain number of means were put in place to try to regulate it. That is why, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was established. The FCC ’s aim is to regulate interstate communication medium as the television, the radio and more recently internet. In 2015, under Barack Obama’s presidency, the FCC released a law: the Open Internet Order which aimed to protect network neutrality in the United States.
Thanks to this new law, the high-speed internet was recognized as a telecommunication service rather than an information service as it was considered before. In the United States’ Communications Act, information services are found under the « title I » section and are restricted with less important rules than « title II » services which designate telecommunication services that are more heavily regulated. The shifting of the Internet from a « title I » services to a « title II » services have for main consequence the strengthening of its regulation, and the protection of net neutrality was part of this change (”2008 Performance and Accountability Report” FCC).
But in 2017, President Trump was elected. He designated Ajit Pai as the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Pai, a few years before being elected into this position, had been a lawyer for Verizon, one of the Internet Service Providers in the United States. Nowadays, he is accused by many people to be still very close to Verizon and to act conforming to their wishes. In fact, Ajit Pai announced very quickly in November 2017 his wish to repeal the regulation about network neutrality.
In December 2017, the FCC voted to cancel the Open Internet Order, established only two years before (Rudy, 2016). By consequence, Internet Service Providers gain more power over the internet and have the possibility now to choose to slower speeds for some website or to make customer pay to access to higher service.
This decision is highly debated in the United States since it is supported by Internet Service Providers and criticized by some companies and some citizens. Actually, in 2017 a survey had been made by Mozilla and Ipsos with American citizens on net neutrality (Snider, Yu, Brown, 2017). The result was that 76% of American people support net neutrality. And under this 76 %, 81% Democrats support net neutrality against 73 % Republicans.
These results are showing that the majority of the US public opinion is in favor of a regulation that protects net neutrality. And the election of President Trump as a Republican president is not an argument to repeal this law since most of the Republican electors are also in favor of net neutrality. This led us to wonder why Trump’s administration started to take this decision about ending net neutrality.
Donald Trump is indeed openly opposed to the idea of net neutrality since 2014. He was one of the complainers of Barack Obama’s law, and for him, Obama’s fight to set this law was only a ‘power grab’.
According to Ajit Pai, the repeal of the network neutrality law has many positive effects. In his view, if there is net neutrality there would be a lack of money gained from customers and web platforms and this money could be reinvested to provide a better service for everyone including people living in rural areas.
In fact, he argues that a lot of marinas don’t have access to broadband and that the net neutrality law is to blame (Freeman, 2017). The repeal of this law will allow ISPs to extend their service into areas in rural places. Pai’s other argument is that if Internet service providers’ customers are not happy with their service they can change it ad choose an ISP that is better shaped for them.
In reality, this argument is not valuable due to the lack of diversity of choice of Internet service providers in the United States. Pai claims also that less regulation is a way to have more innovation. His opinion is that that the repeal of the law will conceive a more competitive market place. In reality, even if Pai tries to show the possible benefit that can get customers, his idea clearly emphasizes his wish to protect Internet Service Provider’s needs. In other words, under the law of network neutrality protection released by President Obama’s government, the service providers were prevented to do what they wanted. The repeal of this law allows them to get back their power.
Speaking of power, in the U.S. there was the infamous case of the loss of net neutrality where Verizon Communication Inc. Sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2010, due to excessive control over them as an internet provider. The FCC claimed that wireless and wired internet should be treated the same as public utilities (like gas and water) and to be regulated by the government and use net neutrality rules (Wyatt, 2014). Verizon which was a big internet provider considered such claims absurd and in the court of law initially won, diminishing the net neutrality laws that the government has imposed on the internet service user.
However, the FCC returned with stronger acclaims of internet service providers as public utilities and eventually won, meaning that from 2014 all internet service users have to follow net neutrality rules. Of the three orders that make up the FCC Open Internet Order 2010, two were vacated (no blocking and no unreasonable discrimination) and one was upheld (transparency).
This not only shocked wireless internet providers for smartphones but also affected all businesses running internet cables into people’s homes as well. Not the mention the philosophical point of view, meaning that the internet providers in modern-day as so crucial that they have to be regulated in a similar way. It was also defeating the whole idea that the internet is an innovative, incredible place, the idea that small start-up businesses have the same chances in competition as the big monopolies on the internet.
It was because of the liberty of the internet that small start-ups such as Facebook that originated from a Cambridge student’s laptop, could go and spread and prove its worthiness to its competitors in a fairway. Which of course Facebook did just that, and gained 600 million active users whilst its fair competitors like Myspace were forced to cut costs, lay off staff and eventually lost 350 million dollars and became an unplugged social entertainment destination (Hartung, 2011). If the internet loses its lierty, where is the sportsmanship within the ‘online business running race’? It will no longer be just if the big players can pay off ISP’s to prioritize their business over a new player.
2. Net Neutrality -better service, but for whom?
Netflix Inc has claimed that that with the loss of net neutrality large providers created congestion that had to follow the open-web rules (after the Verizon Vs FCC case). Initially, the service that the consumers of Netflix were receiving was shockingly bad (with a bad connection and having to reboot constantly) and so, a short-term solution was used by Netflix where they routed the videos around the jams by distributing it to different Verizon channels. Verizon blamed Netflix for not managing the flow appropriately.
In this case, it can be argued that Netflix was trying to provide a better service for its customers, to administer faster connections by using different flows of other channels, but for the intention of keeping customers (Shiels and Shaw, 2017). Of course, it can also be said that it was for the benefit of Netflix to provide the same service without having to pay a fee for faster internet connection.
It is also a common thought that Netflix is less concerned about net neutrality for the reason that exclusive deals have been agreed between internet service providers and Netflix at this time. There have been several news media outlets who have suggested that private peering deals have taken place between Netflix and ISPs which have been confirmed by Netflix (Brodkin, 2014).
This can lead us to the pro view of net neutrality, some people prefer to have the internet regulated to limit what the Internet Service providers conduct. For them, if there is no regulation, these ISP will be a threat to the Internet openness because they will have too much power. They will also be able to choose what content can be viewed or not by users. These people believe that everybody is supposed to have access to the same rights. The fact that some companies can have a better service by paying more is a contradiction to the values of democratic countries.
From the evidence, the clearest beneficiaries are the operators and service providers. They will have more room to maneuver with no net neutrality, in addition, ISP’s can charge a fee for faster services as a consequence of making the competition on the internet relentless. In addition, companies can profit by requesting fee’s from their customers e.g. ‘Facebook package’ who buys it, does not have to pay every time they want to access the social media platform.
In essence, these companies can potentially flourish (Wattles, 2017). Some people may also add that the current generation needs to adapt to this new era of consumption and that we need to allow companies to compete amongst themselves and for consumers to pick and chose the service that is the fastest and best suitable for them.
Lots of service providers also argue that even if the law was repealed, consumers won’t feel the change in their everyday use of the internet. For them, the repeal of the network neutrality law allows them to choose to highlight some websites or to hide others, but that does not mean that they will actually do it.
It should also be noted that service providers have to take into account public opinion. An example of an internet provider losing customers was in 2007 and 2009 when AT&T prevented iPhone users to use certain applications like Skype, in order to push their customers to use applications provided by AT&T. The same in 2012 when AT&T put a limit on FaceTime for Apple users, and this enraged a lot of consumers using apple products (Goldman, 2012). If net neutrality was present, a company could not do such a thing to request an extra fee to use an App that the phone comes with, and so the customer base
Lastly, it can be considered some net neutrality attackers argue that NN gives more space for the government to control what is online and that there is a need for the internet to be independent of any country’s regulation.
The loss of net neutrality may also be favorable for the ISP’s because then they do not have to invest in a larger capacity of ‘lanes’ (for equal access for everyone) but they can receive the financial mean from investing companies that do want a faster connection.
4. Pay more for better treatment?
Whilst there are several and various arguments occurring over the importance and equal access to the Internet, it is important to consider this topic from a controversial point of view as well.
In a democratic society, having an educated and aware population is crucial to make civilized decisions. The access to opinions, educating materials, debates, information, and raw data goes into gathering the knowledge to take part in the society.
However, when there is an extra fee to be paid for the basic internet access based on who a person is, and where the information comes from maybe disadvantaging the minor societies who can not afford the different prices.
For example, if you have electricity and gas at your house, you don’t pay a different price if your Romanian or Hispanic or your income is above a certain level. You don’t have to pay extra for telephones if you live in a poorer area after it became a regulated utility (Bates, 2018). Putting different prices on basic Internet access can, therefore, be very dangerous at the societal level, for dividing societies within a town and perhaps creating conflicts by taking away the democratic opportunities from the minorities. It is one thing if a person wants to travel and buy a ticket on the train.
The ticket can be more expensive for luxuries e.g. champagne and push-seats, but the basic ticket should be available for everyone. Additionally, if the news and information flows do not support the well-information and well-educated electorate for a healthy democracy, then the economy, culture, and society can suffer. In a way, a country can start to develop backward if people are not well informed, compared to other countries where there is open Internet access is funded. A way that funding could potentially continue to happen, is charging a higher price for luxuries so that the basic level of information is kept afloat.
However on the other hand, one can argue that information costs money, even today’s world. Correction – everything costs money, and as demand is increasing for better, faster Internet and more and more information to some putting a price tag increasing demand may not seem like a huge travesty.
For example, even today TV companies charge more for better channels, popular TV shows like Game of Thrones on HBO, or the most hip and upcoming movies are not available for the huge masses just the individuals who are willing to pay extra for a better service. This can also make the TV channel (HBO) feel more special, and Game of Thrones more treasured and exciting that not everyone can watch it. As another example, it is like opening a huge public library.
But to enter the library or borrow a book you have to pay a fee. Of course, it is not to say that ALL libraries should be put under a lock and key and say that only individuals who are from a higher-class part of town can enter, and whose salary is above a certain level can borrow any books. That would be discrimination, but to keep the library open for everyone and request a small fee in exchange for a book is not a tragedy (Howard, 2018).
5. Public interest issue
In a contrasting perspective, disallowing the creation of information (restricting speech) on the Internet, and regulating it with fees can be seen as an act as against human rights.
As mentioned before, entertainment services and products (like hit TV channels and shows) may be a big business to charge more, however, to charge more for the ability of every user to create news and culture and participate in conversations with people across the globe may not be as empowering (McSherry, 2018).
This can not only be a slap in the face (excuse the vulgarity) for the average Internet user, but important topics are discussed on social media and used the platforms to spread awareness. For example‘The Black Lives Matter’movement was sparked on Twitter that eventually let to a number of mass movements in public that attracted a lot of media attention and awareness of the issue. Such could not have been done without the freedom of speech being exercised on social media.
Social media numbers can also be looked at and considered that if seven in ten adult Americans regularly use at least one social media outlet a day (McSherry, 2018) than those numbers may significantly drop if it becomes pricey from one day to another. Not to mention, the Internet has increasingly played a huge part in political expression and organizing. Barack Obama was the first president to use the Internet for his campaign that essentially changed politics (Miller, 2008).
Many questions remain unanswered towards the end of this research, perhaps future investigators may analyze the point of restriction in NN. It may acceptable to restrict travel if a person cannot afford it, they just will not travel. If an individual wants to fly to an exotic location they should have to pay, but to pay to speak? It still remains a question amongst many but as this essay purposed to view net neutrality from the ISP’s point of view, the final gatherings may be found in the conclusion below.
Many reflections have been considered about web consumer trafficking if it should be equal access or prioritized only for some. The degree, to which this issue affects one or reverse, depends on where the individual is located. It is indisputable that this issue is much more discussed in the U.S. due to legislations taking place jeopardizing net neutrality. The EU law currently enshrines a user’s right to be “free to access and distribute information and content, run applications and use services of their choice”. Specific provisions ensure that national authorities can enforce this new right (Body or European Regulations for Electronic Community).
Meaning it is less of a severe issue if one is living in Europe, however, U.S.A being one of the major powers of the world their actions can feedback on the rest of the globe and influence other countries’ actions. The major point of concern is freedom of speech, to conclude. Whilst it is true that entertainment and information cost money in the modern world, including academics and do library memberships. Perhaps the basic level information should not be priced for the masses including minor societies, depending on salary levels, and backgrounds of individuals.
Everyone deserves the same chance, the same starting point, and if one works themselves up to the possibility to afford nicer luxuries than that should be so. Net neutrality should be applied, as for big monopolies who can afford exclusive deals with ISP’s should also have the right. They also deserve to work up the scale and keep improving, without the use of discrimination of small start-ups. One is not a fan of extremism, in this case legislation of net neutrality should be passed with certain exceptions, but that is for the ISP’s and companies to decide amongst themselves.
In this essay about net neutrality, we provide an overview of what net neutrality is and why it is a current political issue. The essay will define net neutrality. Furthermore, it will describe the pros and cons of net neutrality, including reasons that net neutrality is beneficial and ways that it could be detrimental.
The essay will discuss the current legal status of net neutrality, as well as the potential future of net neutrality. In doing so, the essay will discuss some figures, including the head of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai. In addition to giving you an overview of net neutrality, the essay will also provide you with an excellent guide for how to write academic essays.
It includes all parts of an academic essay: introduction, hook, thesis statement, a body that includes evidence and analysis, a conclusion, and works cited section. All sources are properly quoted and cited in the essay. Therefore, you will be able to use it as a template in your own academic writing endeavors.
What is Net Neutrality?
Coined by Columbia University Media Law professor Tim Wu in 2003, the term net neutrality refers to the idea that Internet service providers should be required to enable access to all content and applications available on the internet, regardless of their source, without favoring or blocking particular websites, applications, or products (Wikipedia, 2018). The idea is that the internet service provider (ISP) is paid to provide the user with access to the entire internet, not to act as a barrier to some information. The alternative to net neutrality would allow ISPs to provide preferred access to some users or providers. While different tiered models could exist, tiers could charge different users different amounts for service, charge for different levels of access, or even charge websites to allow users to access them.
For example, some service providers slowed or throttled uploads from some sights, including peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) sites, and sites from competitors like Vonage, Netflix, and YouTube. Under net neutrality rules, the FCC is able to penalize throttling and enforce the user’s ability to freely access the entire internet through an ISP. Net neutrality does not prohibit ISPs for charging more money for faster access speeds, just on discriminating based on the content of the websites.
Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality
On the surface, net neutrality seems like a completely good concept. It makes sense that internet users who have paid to access the internet should be able to use their ISPs to access all of the Internet, without the ISP acting as a nanny and restricting or slowing access to some websites.
However, there are some arguments that net neutrality could have negative long-term and short-term impacts on communications in the United States. To really understand the net neutrality issue, one has to first look at the pros and cons. Like many issues in modern American politics, it becomes clear that the debate over net neutrality is a debate between those who control the internet and those who use it.
What is Good about Net Neutrality?
The pros of net neutrality are far easier to outline than the cons. The internet was created to be neutral, and to provide a way for all users to access all content. The internet was developed with the idea that ISPs should be like phone service providers, providing the same connection regardless of what data you are accessing. Proponents of net neutrality suggest that it protects innovation, by keeping big companies from paying for special treatment and putting start-ups at a disadvantage.
More importantly, proponents suggest that net neutrality protects free speech, by prohibiting ISPs from giving preferential treatment to some content, or, worse, blocking or throttling access to other content. Perhaps most importantly, true net neutrality would require reclassifying ISPs from their current classification to something more like a utility, which would mean that ISPs would be required to provide services to any customer willing to pay for them, regardless of credit, type of business, or the user’s assets.
Future of Net Neutrality
Implementing the Restoring Internet Freedom Act will probably not have immediate consequences for internet consumers. In the fact of consumer and voter protests, ISPs have been very adamant that they will self-regulate and that they will be very transparent about any throttling or prioritizing.
However, it is likely that they will slowly decrease net neutrality, making a significant difference in user experience over the course of several months.
However, the end of net neutrality is not set-in-stone. The FCC is an administrative body. It has the power to create acts, such as the Restoring Internet Freedom Act, but these acts must comply with all federal laws.
Therefore, Congress has the power to pass a law guaranteeing net neutrality. There has been tremendous voter support for Congress to do so, but Congress has not responded. Rather than voting against net neutrality, the issue, which has become partisan, has largely been avoided by the Republican-controlled House and Senate both refusing to vote on the issue. As of May 18, 2018, House Democrats were attempting to force a vote on net neutrality (Brandon, 2020).
Example #5 – Interesting ideas
Definition of net neutrality:
“Net neutrality is the principle that data packets on the Internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source. Net neutrality is sometimes referred to as the “First Amendment of the Internet.”
In the United States, high-speed Internet carriers, including AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon, are seeking legislative support for a two-tiered Internet service model. In a two-tiered model, carriers would be able to charge owners of Web sites a premium fee for priority placement and faster speed across their pipes. Those opposing the carriers argue that the Internet was designed to work in a traffic-neutral way and has become what it is, to some extent, because of that neutrality. They would like to see Congress pass a telecom reform bill that contains language in favor of Net neutrality.
Critics of the two-tiered model fear that the extra costs incurred for premium service would be passed down to the consumer in fees for sites, applications and services. They point out that small, independent sites, such as personal blogs, are on an even playing field with large, corporately-owned sites in a Net-neutral environment but might be unable to compete in a tiered service model. Editors at the popular SaveTheInternet.com Web site explain, “The Internet has thrived because revolutionary ideas like blogs, Wikipedia or Google could be started on a shoestring and attract huge audiences simply because their users found the sites valuable. Without Net neutrality the pipeline owners will choose the winners and losers on the Web.”
Proponents of the two-tiered model point out that a tiered business model already exists: consumers have a choice of using a slower dial-up service or paying a premium price for faster speed over cable or DSL. Providers argue that if that two-tiered business model is applied to site owners as well as users, carriers will be able to offer more services like Internet-based cable TV programming and video at competitive rates. They maintain that legislation protecting Net neutrality would be a unnecessary barrier to the Internet tradition of innovation and free enterprise.
Organizations and individuals that support Net neutrality include Amazon.com, Earthlink, EBay, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Skype, Vonage and Yahoo, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Seattle Times, St. Petersburg Times and Christian Science Monitor, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee (creator of the World Wide Web), Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.”
As contentious as this issue is as well as complex, I’ll explain. The perception in Washington is the latter, which is regulations for any ISP regarding is harmful for their investment in their networks. There were and still are, beliefs and assumptions from some critics of net neutrality that also pertain to the belief that the FCC’s stance to be the ones who are overstepping their bounds both legally and as an agency. In other words, establishing rules that al telecom companies don’t like.
To be at the side for net neutrality is to be at the side for the consumer and his/her right to single access online. Therefore, the practical purposes, should the FCC establish new rules, would protect the interest of the public and for start-up companies that make business online.
Net neutrality means that the owner of the physical wires/cables/hotspots/etc. cannot block or treat traffic going over its equipment any differently just based on the source or destination of that traffic.
For example, Comcast is a large residential ISP. Comcast also provides cable TV service. Without net neutrality, Comcast would be allowed to decide that its customers cannot stream movies from Netflix, for instance. Or, they could restrict access to other sites and demand their users pay for access.
Without net neutrality, the internet as we know it would splinter into 1000s of small, fractured, isolated networks. Which services and sites you could access would be determined by the owner of the splinter-network you happened to be logged into. It would essentially be the end of the internet as we know it, and take us back some 30 years, to when private BBSes were an emerging technology.
The repercussions wouldn’t just affect internet and technology companies, but EVERY business that relies on the internet – which nowadays is just about everyone. Imagine a bakery suddenly not being able to access customers who happen to have a Yahoo email address, or can’t access their supplier’s website to order equipment because they aren’t on the same provider network.
If you think of the internet as a series of roads, imagine being told you can’t drive on certain streets to go to your bank because your bank didn’t pay its access fees. Or being unable to visit relatives without buying a separate car to drive on the only road that goes into their city because your car isn’t allowed on their streets.
You’d think this would be a no-brainer of a decision. Of course, who’s opposing it but Comcast, AT&T, AOL…basically anyone who could stand to benefit from a non-net neutrality world.
Everyone (unless you are the CEO of us telecom) should be 100% for net neutrality.
Net neutrality is what we all have right now. You pay your isp for an internet connection that has a maximum advertised speed, however, what you do with the connection is up to you. Net neutrality means your isp cannot discriminate against what web sites and content you can see and use. Your isp allows you to access all web sites at the same speed.
What people need to be worried about is what would happen if we lost net neutrality. There are a million different horrible things your isp could do. Let’s say there is a site it doesn’t like, and it could be for political reasons (i.e. a blogger that talks about consumer protection) or for monetary reasons (i.e. amazon gave your isp more $ than eBay).
You isp could then completely block you from visiting any given site or simply slow down the connection to that site so much that it is virtually impossible to visit it.
This also allows isp’s to do to the internet what they did to cable tv. They could give you an internet connection where you can only visit a few basic sites and then charge you increasingly higher rates if you want to access more sites, or in other words, upgrade to one of their “premiere” options (and we all know that is how they will word it).
Pros of Net Neutrality
The foremost advantage of net neutrality is that it is helpful in adding competitiveness to the market, as the users are given more options to choose from. The competition between service providers will make each of them come up with their best, and this will directly benefit the end user as he won’t just get options to choose from but also get quality service.
Those in support of net neutrality are of the opinion that government control of the Internet would eliminate monopoly, thus ensuring that the big websites do not dominate the market. It will also help in curbing the numerous illegal activities and frauds which can be attributed to the web. Interestingly, most of the websites out there are in support of the concept of net neutrality.
Cons on Net Neutrality
Those who oppose net neutrality argue that it is an absolutely futile exercise as none of the service providers would go about sabotaging their rivals by blocking their content or degrading network performance. They also cite the example of other networks that are functioning properly even with the major contributors being in charge of them. As far as government control of the Internet is concerned, these people argue that it would result in increased Internet censorship and invasion of privacy, both of which wouldn’t go down well with the users.
Those were some of the most prominent net neutrality pros and cons that have to be taken into consideration before passing any legislation about it. As the realms of the Internet continue to expand, Internet safety has become one of the major concerns for the users. That being said, the administration has to step in and implement measures such as net neutrality in order to address this concern.
It is only possible to implement such regulatory measures after all the pros and cons of Internet regulation are evaluated. While the United States is yet to come up with any such legislation, countries like Japan already have laws pertaining to Internet access in place. If stalwarts of the field are to be believed, the issue of net neutrality is going to take the whole world by storm in the next few years to come.
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