Net neutrality has been something that has recently been in the news and on official’s radars. The big question is should the Internet be regulated? As of now, little to none regulation has been placed on the Internet. One court case that recently passed is allowing Internet servers to make streaming deals that allow websites to pay extra money for a faster connection. For example, Comcast could charge Netflix extra in order to allow viewers and subscribers to view things in the “express lane”. While this is a good money making deal, I disagree with it.
This new regulation solely benefits Internet providers and it hurts websites. What is supposed to be a free roaming area is becoming restrained by money incentives. Just like the conglomerates harming the integrity of the media with their drive to make it a business, money-making monster, implementing regulation and allowing laws like these ruins the purpose of the free Internet.
If the Internet were to keep net neutrality, websites would continue to benefit, but the way Internet providers make money currently would be the only way they continue to make money. In our world today everyone has money as their end goal and they will do anything to increase revenue for their companies. In order to keep the Internet user friendly, net neutrality needs to be allowed.
In my opinion, Internet regulations shouldn’t be even be a question, we have survived quite well on the free, deregulated Internet thus far so why do we need to change it? The Internet is for the people and should not have government implemented regulations that allow companies to make a profit off of it. Net neutrality needs to be enforced and kept in order for the Internet to play the important role it does within the community. I am all for a free Internet, a people’s Internet!
In order to regulate the constant flow of information, the government created the Federal Communications Commission. While the FCC pretty successfully regulates media such as radio, television, and music, the Internet is such a recent and evolving invention that the FCC has had trouble keeping up. The issue of net neutrality is a perfect example. Net neutrality is the idea that broadband providers should treat all data on the Internet equally and so should not be able to discriminate by user or content. The courts ruled that broadband companies do not have to honor net neutrality, although the FCC has a lot of legislation regarding “fairness” within media outlets. The holding was based off a technicality because the Internet is not currently mentioned in the FCC’s regulation. This means that, theoretically, leading broadband providers such as Comcast could charge consumers extra for certain programs such as Netflix or else slow the connection down to a minuscule speed.
Many people are highly invested in this issue because it has the potential to affect almost everyone. The Internet service providers are concerned about the issue because they could make a lot of money off of charging people to use certain channels or programs. Additionally, companies such as Netflix have the potential to make less money because companies such as Comcast could charge them to provide their services to consumers. These extra prices could also be passed down to consumers, giving them a large stake in the matter. The court case makes it very clear that the Internet service providers think that they should not have to honor net neutrality. They believe that they should be able to control the speed and access of any type of contact. The FCC, on the other hand, was on the other side so obviously believes the content should be regulated. While the proper regulations, as ruled by the court, are not currently in the legislation, the FCC could potentially add to it in order to include the Internet.
Overall, I think if Internet service providers are allowed to ignore the concept of net neutrality, then prices for consumers would be outrageous. I think the FCC should and will add an amendment to include the Internet in their legislation. I think it is unfair to allow broadband providers to regulate their content and that people should be able to access most content without discrimination.
Net Neutrality can be defined as the principle that Internet service providers have to treat all the data that is on the Internet the same. So this basically this means companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast (Internet Service Providers; ISP’s) are not allowed discriminate on any site based on content, its users, etc. Until recently Net Neutrality is a rule that the ISP’s in the United States had to abide by thanks to the FCC. However, a judge recently struck down what little control over Net Neutrality the FCC had. Thus making big companies like Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast the new gatekeepers of the Internet.
Advocates for Net Neutrality are worried that without it these large companies will block or even slow down the content that they don’t own or whatever they would choose. While opponents of Net Neutrality claim that these ISP’s have no plans block content or lower network performance. However, there have been signs that the ISP’s will start doing that seeing as Comcast has already slowed peer-to-peer (P2P) communications with other companies beginning to do the same. Opponents also say that with the FCC controlling Net Neutrality there are many privacy concerns. With the FCC controlling the Internet it makes it easier for the government to view what you are doing on the Internet. Unfortunately, these big companies will also be able to monitor what you’re doing on the Internet and use it for their financial advantage.
With Net Neutrality controlled by the FCC the people that benefited were the creators and the users. But with it now controlled by the ISP’s, the ISP’s are who benefit because they are the ones that can and may make a profit.
These ISP’s are not only in the Internet Service Provider business but they are also in the media business, so there is nothing stopping them from picking favorites when it comes to you accessing the web. This cut of Net Neutrality also hurts creators, if these ISP’s decide to block sites and have people pay more or even the creators pay more to view them, that money doesn’t go to the website it goes straight to the company. Its technically cutting off the audience of these sites thus cutting the income these sites receive. Granted none of this has actually started yet and may not, but without Net Neutrality it does give them that power.
Take this for example if we pay for electricity in our house why should the electricity companies decide what we do with our electricity. Same with paying for water and gas, they can’t take away your right to do with it as you please as long as you pay. So, why should paying for Internet be any different?