Net neutrality is the concept that all data on an online network should be treated equally, where internet service providers (ISP’s) would be prohibited from blocking, slowing down, or speeding up the delivery of online data as they choose. (The Debate Over Net Neutrality) In the U.S. however, ISP’s want to remove this pre-existing concept in order to make more money for their companies. How would they do this? one might ask. The American Civil Liberties Union states, New Technologies now allow telecom companies (also known as ISP’s) to scrutinize every piece of information we send or receive online – websites, email, videos, internet phone calls, or data generated by games or social networks. And they can program the computers that route information to interfere with data flow by slowing down or blocking traffic and communications that they don’t like, and speeding up those that they do, or that pay extra. (What is Net Neutrality?) This means that companies can look at your private data and determine whether they want slow down your data or not. Net neutrality would prevent this infringement of privacy from happening in the first place.
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Many questions may arise on why a company would want to repeal net neutrality. Money is a big reason. ISP’s could force developers to pay a large sum to avoid their data being blocked or slowed down. Another could be private corporate interests, or a dislike for certain political viewpoints. Companies might want to block out speech that makes them look bad or apps that compare to their own. They also may want to block access to union sites during a labor conflict. (What is Net Neutrality?) All of these reasons have a very large effect on one thing in particular. The consumer. Consumers would lose their ability to view news that doesn’t politically align with their ISP, or lose out on the ability to access some of their favorite sites because they aren’t big enough to pay the fee that the ISP’s would require. This could mean hundreds of secondary shopping sites gone, or local news providers not being able to provide for the area around them. Competition or just switching to another provider won’t stop ISP’s either. The American Civil Liberties Union also states, Most Americans don’t have more than a handful of legitimate high-speed broadband options at home. It costs many billions to build a big high-speed broadband service so the barriers to entry to the marketplace are high and there isn’t very many opportunities. That means customers can’t switch services if providers start messing with their service. (What is Net Neutrality) When ISP’s take away one of America’s founding principles, the freedom of speech, it shows how much the concept of net neutrality would align with America’s views.
The argument for Net neutrality began in the May of 2014, when the then chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, proposed the idea of net neutrality rules and regulations for ISP’s. The proposal of net neutrality was supported by a record four million comments calling for enactment. Then, on February 26th of 2015, the FCC voted to pass the, Open Internet Order which were the strongest net neutrality laws in the world. Tom Wheeler and the FCC were now recognized as, Defenders of The Open Internet by the public. (Net Neutrality) With all this public support, and in a society thats based on the views and votes of the people, there should not be an argument to repeal net neutrality. A large majority of the public is for net neutrality, and virtually the only people against it are those in the higher up of ISP’s. With America being based in the votes of the people, and the freedom of speech, net neutrality seems like an obvious thing to keep. But in January of 2017, a new chairman of the FCC arose, Ajit Pai. Pai is an ex-member of the Verizon Associates Council, so it is easy to see the possible bias he may hold. Regardless, Pai proposed the repeal to the open internet order in November of 2017. But due to public support, the U.S. senate passed a CRA of disapproval in May of 2018. (Net Neutrality) This action by the senate helped slow the momentum of the repeal, and hopefully it will eventually stop it. The public support to pass the CRA shows that the public still is for net neutrality, and that the repeal of net neutrality still is against public interest and the morals the U.S. was built upon.
Thanks to public support throughout the history of the fight for net neutrality, twenty one states and the District of Columbia, attorney general’s filed a protective petition for review against the FCC’s ruling on net neutrality. Governors in Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Montana, and Vermont have all put out executive orders limiting state contracts to ISP’s that don’t align with net neutrality principles. (The Debate Over Net Neutrality) In other places in the world, net neutrality is a common principle. According to the Global Net Neutrality Coalition, all European countries, except for Ukraine, have some from of protections for net neutrality. In a world where the United States is fighting to be the most technologically advanced, not aligning with net neutrality puts the U.S. severely behind other European countries. This does not go with the objective of the United States to be the best nation in the world.
One of the main arguments against net neutrality is that the removal of it will not actually change how the internet is, and that internet service providers doing this is completely theoretical. However, there are multiple instances before the original thought of net neutrality where ISP’s have infringed on rights that would be protected by net neutrality today.
General Concept Of Net Neutrality. (2019, Apr 11).
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