Net Neutrality Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Type: Essay Paper: #985383 Related Topics: Internet, Pornography, Mental Health, Time Warner
Excerpt from Essay :

Net Neutrality: Benefits, Drawbacks, Issues and Concerns

The Internet has been such an immense fixture in the lives of most Americans that it is impossible to imagine life without it. The Internet has become an invaluable tool to virtually everyone, and most people can’t imagine functioning without an open, free Internet that is available to everyone. In many ways, the Internet is a tremendous foundational pillar of society and of democracy: it is a virtual symbol of the equality of information for all people. As stated on the official websites of the American Civil Liberties Union, “We'd like to believe it will remain a place where you can always access any lawful content you want, and where the folks delivering that content can't play favorites because they disagree with the message being delivered or want to charge more money for faster delivery” (aclu.org, 2017). Currently, the way that the Internet is now—open, free, available to every man, woman and child regardless of background or tax bracket— refers to something that is known as net neutrality. 

In a nutshell, net neutrality is the notion that internet service providers such as major companies like Time Warner or Comcast, should deal with all data coursing through their cables and cell towers equally (Finley, 2018). “That means they shouldn't be able to slide some data into ‘fast lanes’ while blocking or otherwise discriminating against other material” (Finley, 2018). It doesn’t take a very close examination to see what the inherent problem with a lack of net neutrality orbits around: it would allow big corporations to manipulate citizens in ways that are more aggravated than they already are. For example, this would mean that big Internet providers could perhaps slow down your access to YouTube or Netflix, as a means of motivating you to keep your cable subscription (Finley, 2018). The end of net neutrality could mean a host of truly damaging scenarios for the individual and citizen (Finley, 2018). 

Benefits of Net Neutrality

The benefits of net neutrality are very lucid, as this is the way that Americans and all global citizens currently exist, so the advantages are right before us. One of the major benefits of net neutrality is that it fosters freedom of expression (Curtis, 2017). As long as something is legal, that means that it cannot be blocked, even if something is made by a rival or competes with an Internet provider’s own interests. “Net neutrality lets all the many, diverse people in the world have a voice online, for better or worse” (Curtis, 2017). America is a nation that was built on freedom of expression and Americans know how important this is, in order to allow the citizens to build their own future and to allow the country to develop in the direction it needs to go in. Freedom of expression is the soul’s right to breathe, and restricting this in any way is damaging to all of us. Furthermore, a neutral Internet helps to foster innovation and competition (Curtis, 2017). When the Internet is open and neutral, it ensures that the playing-field is as level as it can reasonably be between big corporations and small businesses. Big corporations already have enough advantages over tiny start-ups. A non-neutral net would give them too big of an advantage that it would immediately stifle all small businesses and too easily create monopolies. 

Moreover, unfettered access to the Internet means that there’s...

...

“Google can't pay for faster access to their websites, and a tiny video streaming service should in theory be as speedy and glitch-free as Netflix. Net neutrality squashes the potential for internet fast lanes, where Internet service providers can charge content creators for enough bandwidth to deliver their service properly” (Curtis, 2017). By committing to unfettered access everything is free for use: from pages online connected to entertainment to essential stuff like banking and paying one’s bills online. This means that users can’t be manipulated in their actions online or how they use their money and Internet time. 

Even though there’s freedom of expression on the Internet, illegal activities are still monitored and reported. The benefits of net neutrality do not mean that criminals and illegal activity are allowed to thrive online, as they are unfettered. With net neutrality, there are still pillars in place to stop and regulate illegal actions online. 

Finally one of the major benefits of net neutrality is that fact that it continues to categorize the Internet service providers as utility providers (vittana.org, 2018). “Public utilities have a role to play in our lives. They provide services that we use every day to maintain our quality of life. It could be argued that the Internet is just as essential to that lifestyle as having water or sewer access. Utilities provide everyone with the services they need unless a customer refuses to pay for them. It doesn’t matter how good their credit happens to be, how much money they have, or what kind of business they run” (Vittana.org, 2018). Many argue that it is simply unreasonable to expect citizens to reframe their perspective of the Internet in this manner. Having a free and open Internet has lone meant that it has been a pillar of society that we have all come to depend on, like water or electricity

Drawbacks of Net Neutrality

One of the major disadvantages of the Internet as it exists now, is that there’s no room for network innovation (Curtis, 2017). There are so many bandwidth heavy web services, such as video streaming and content downloads, that Internet providers often don’t have the cash flow to manage these services and upgrade their networks (Curtis, 2017). This is a disadvantage for all involved, as it means that technology probably isn’t going to advance any time soon. However, Internet providers argue, if they could charge companies like Google, Microsoft and others more money for hosting their very resource-heavy services, they would be in a better position to invest in upgrading their networks and developing them for the future (Curtis, 2017). Naturally, if Internet service providers start charging the web companies (like Google), the web companies are likely to start charging the customer, and the free and open Internet as we know it, will be over. On the other hand, some experts argue that “mandating net neutrality, like most other forms of price regulation, is poor policy; instead, the government should focus on creating competition in the broadband market by liberalizing more spectrum and reducing entry barriers created by certain local regulations” (Hahn & Wallsten, 2006).

However, more business minded people argue that certain companies consume massive amounts of data and bandwidth every single month, and that those numbers are just going to continue to skyrocket over time. If something like net neutrality didn’t exist, the entities out there who consume more would be asked to pay more for what they consume, which business-minded people argue is not only fair, but a concept which is at the bedrock of our society. If Internet providers were able to collect this additional revenue, it would mean that they could upgrade their services and bring this…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

ACLU.org. (2018, February 26). What Is Net Neutrality? Retrieved from https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/internet-speech/what-net-neutrality

Brenner, G. H. (2018, March 5). 4 Ways Porn Use Causes Problems. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/experimentations/201803/4-ways-porn-use-causes-problems

Curtis, J. (2017, February 13). The pros and cons of net neutrality. Retrieved from http://www.itpro.co.uk/strategy/28115/the-pros-and-cons-of-net-neutrality

Finley, K. (2018, March 1). Net Neutrality: Here's Everything You Need To Know. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/guide-net-neutrality/

Hahn, R. W., & Wallsten, S. (2006). The economics of net neutrality. The Economists' Voice, 3(6).

Vitanna.org. (2017, May 31). 13 Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality. Retrieved from https://vittana.org/13-pros-and-cons-of-net-neutrality



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