Net Neutrality in United States

It’s hard to overestimate how much broadband changed the internet. Back when people had to connect to the internet using dial-up, information traveled slowly, pages took forever to load and watching YouTube videos, for instance, would have been impossible.

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Today’s internet has been radically changed into a completely different creature. However, it has been more than twenty years, in 1996 (Telecommunications Act of 1996), since Congress passed a major legislation for regulating the internet. Nowadays, five unelected bureaucrats, the Federal Communications Commission, take the responsibility of regulating the Internet, deciding what kinds of rules the companies that provide tools that we use to access the Internet, such as broadband, should have to follow. And now under a new commissioner appointed by President Trump, the FCC has altered those rules, in a way that could fundamentally change how we use the Internet, denying net neutrality.

Net Neutrality is a principle that has been followed for decades. It asks Internet Service Providers treat all traffic more or less the same on their network, which means the companies whose wires and towers we use to access the Internet, can’t block or slow down data from certain sites or apps. They can’t make special deals to move certain data along faster than everybody else’s.

Internet content providers, like Facebook, Google, and Netflix love Net Neutrality because it means that even if some of their products, like streaming videos, take up a lot more bandwidth than others like email, Internet Service Providers can’t charge them extra for getting all that data to our phones and computers. This is the reason why ISPs, Internet Service Providers, including Verizon and AT&T, hate it.

If ISPs could charge Netflix and YouTube extra for those big packets of data, they could make a lot of money. Now the FCC has scrapped the net neutrality rules, they almost certainly will. posted by an Reddit user. With the regulation of Net Neutrality being abandoned, ISPs will also be able to charge customers more to access sites or apps that take up more bandwidth, while some argue this will mean more choices for consumers.

My sense is this will be fantastic. My daughter uses my Verizon data every month, in which she uses only for Instagram. If I could pay 20 dollars and get her a phone that I can text with her and talk with her, but would allow her to use Instagram and get her off my standard data plan, that would be great, said by a father who lived in California.

But by privileging established tools like Instagram, these plans could make it a lot harder for new companies to break through. The new pricing strategy of ISPs will encourage people to use less of apps which requires great bandwidth consumption, preventing the innovation of new apps with bandwidth. Besides that, this also empowers the ISP to make their monopoly or oligopoly on the market.

On the other hand, it will probably make some positive changes. For example, it will make the competition between ISPs stronger. When non-discriminative principle is abandoned, providers with better services and lower prices will finally win.

According to Corner McSherry, CEO of Electronic Frontier Foundation, It’s a time when more than ever we want to encourage and keep open a playing field for new services, new platforms, to be able to get in the game and provide a real alternative. I mean imagine a world in which we were all still stuck with MySpace. I don’t think, you know, that’s what we want, but Net Neutrality is part of why that’s not what we have.

Until 2005, Internet Service Providers were classified as common carriers, which meant the FCC could regulate them like phone companies. In the Internet’s early days, these regulations kept phone companies from charging customers extra for using dial-up services. When phone companies started offering broadband service over their lines, common carrier rules force them to let their competitors use those lines too, which meant consumers had tons of choices when it came to picking an Internet Service Provider. A 2003 page from the Washington Post lists 18 different options for the Washington, D.C. region.

Today, residents have less than half as many choices. FCC claimed in 2017 that ISPs weren’t common carriers, and stopped regulating them like phone companies. Without regulations, ISPs became virtual monopolies. Today, two-thirds of Americans live in areas with just one choice for high-speed Internet. And if ISPs start blocking, slowing down, or charging more as a result of this rule change, the societal consequences would make the internet degenerate in speed and availability.

The intent of net neutrality is to protect internet content providers and limit the internet service providers. However, it has been gradually changed into a rule that protect ISPs’ monopoly. The benefit of amending net neutrality, bringing changes to the internet industry and everyone who uses internet, is undeniable. But what we should do now is to amend net neutrality as soon as possible to eliminate monopolies, since the aging principles is the major reason why net neutrality principle went bad.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that majorities of both Republican and Democratic voters support Net Neutrality, it doesn’t look like Congress or the FCC will be bringing it back anytime soon. The future of internet is still unpredictable, on FCC’s hand.

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Net Neutrality In United States. (2019, Apr 10). Retrieved May 17, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/net-neutrality-in-united-states/

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