Net neutrality is dead.
On a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission effectively repealed net neutrality.
What Is Net Neutrality?
Today, net neutrality is the hottest issue on the Internet.
However, this isn’t a surprise.
Because net neutrality affects nearly everyone who uses the Internet.
In fact, that includes you.
How Does This Affect You?
In a nutshell, net neutrality is a principle.
Which states that people should have equal and free access.
To all contents and applications regardless of the source.
Therefore, your internet service provider (ISP) does not have control.
Over any of the websites, applications and content that you choose.
In conclusion, you will have control over your browsing experience.
What Happens Without Net Neutrality?
To demonstrate this, let’s take for example the country Portugal.
Uniquely, it has no net neutrality.
To explain, one of their carriers is Meo.
Hence, take a look at their offering.
In fact, for every category, you must pay to gain access.
So, you want messaging?
That’ll cost you €4.99 per month.
Additionally, if you want anything else there is a cost.
Besides paying data charges, you also need to pay extra for any packages you want.
Hence, you end up paying more.
So, Why Do People Want to Repeal Net Neutrality?
You’ve seen what a world without net neutrality looks like.
Why would anyone want to take away net neutrality?
To understand net neutrality better we need to go back in time.
On February 26th, 2015 the Open Internet Order was passed.
In fact, this is the strongest net neutrality rule in history.
Hence, the legal foundation of this order is named Title II.
What Does Title II Outline?
This legal guideline clearly states rules for internet service providers.
Here are the main rules.
Firstly, no blocking.
Secondly, no throttling.
Thirdly, no paid prioritization.
So, if ISPs slow down or speed up data they must explain why.
What Will Happen to the Internet Now?
Although the vote has been passed, this doesn’t immediately eliminate net neutrality.
Firstly, the new rules need to enter the federal register.
In fact, this won’t be until a few more months.
On the other hand, internet providers won’t do anything much.
Besides trying to explore subtle ways to test out the waters.
For example, they may offer paid data to use certain services for free.
Other than that, they won’t do much.
Also, this is because many people are watching them closely.
In the meantime, here are net neutrality pros and cons.
Net Neutrality Pros
- Makes Internet affordable
- Protects innovation
- Ensures freedom of expression
- ISPs are utility providers
With these in mind, let’s explore each of the points.
1) Makes Internet Affordable
So, when effects of repealed net neutrality hits.
The first thing that users will notice is a change in pricing.
In fact, net neutrality pros make Internet more affordable for everyone.
Without it, ISPs will charge more.
So, they will go after the network which costs them the most to provide.
For instance, here are big companies that ISPs will go after.
Lastly, online games.
In fact, any websites that attracts many users are obvious targets for ISPs.
So, people foresee that ISPs will execute different strategies.
To find out how to make the best out of net neutrality pros.
Firstly, ISPs can follow a cable-style method.
Using this, they will charge differently for variety of packages.
Secondly, ISPs can just block websites completely.
Thirdly, ISPs can threaten to decrease the speed for larger websites like YouTube.
Therefore, the network must pay ISPs to enjoy higher speed data transfers.
Unfortunately, this is already happening to some networks.
However, without net neutrality we’ll see this happening to more websites.
As a result, websites like Netflix will pass down the cost to their users.
Consequently, this creates a price increase.
Surely, websites like Netflix won’t suffer from paying extra.
But how about the smaller websites?
Hence, this is where the next net neutrality pros become relevant.
2) Protects Innovation
By allowing ISPs to charge extra or demand a premium this will create an exploitative business.
In fact, proponents of net neutrality pros believe this can slow down innovation.
Great innovators in history started out with a great idea.
In fact, most of them had little capital to begin with.
So, we can illustrate net neutrality pros by seeing how ISPs don’t have control over the network.
Therefore, large websites have the same access as small or medium enterprise and freelancers.
Hence, everyone has equal access to the Internet.
And are free to distribute content.
However, without net neutrality newer companies will struggle to innovate.
Therefore, there are a few industries which must pay to gain high-quality data speeds.
A few examples of the industries include health care, finance and retailing.
Moreover, these industries consume large amount of bandwidth.
So, they may be subject to high fees.
Therefore, net neutrality pros are important here because everyone has equal footing.
Therefore, this encourages innovation because companies can focus on a few important things.
Such as improving their services and upgrading website quality.
Instead of having to worry about ISPs slowing down website speed or blocking their website.
On the other hand, no net neutrality will discourage small businesses.
Instead, large companies will grow bigger.
So, these large companies can monopolize different segments of the market.
3) Ensures Freedom of Expression
Today, we live in a time where injustice often happens.
So, for the average person the best way to deal with it is by going online.
Therefore, people often turn to social media platforms.
The use of social media is highly effective because it can garner attention in a short time.
Furthermore, individuals can bring attention to issues that may not be covered in the media due to unethical reporting.
So, net neutrality pros are seen when an average person can bring awareness to an issue.
Moreover, net neutrality pros ensure that important issues are brought to light.
These issues includes racism, climate change, child abuse and LGBT rights.
Therefore, by taking away net neutrality this gives ISPs a large amount of power.
In fact, they can stifle people’s rights to freedom of speech.
However, people often think that this freedom also allows illegal content to grow freely.
In fact, this is not true.
Under net neutrality any illegal content is under the monitoring of authorities.
So, activities such as child pornography or illegal file sharing are strictly not allowed.
Today, there are many centralized media outlets that do not practice ethical reporting.
So, many people turn to the Internet to uncover the truth.
In other words, net neutrality pros strive to ensure that the Internet remains as an open technology.
Furthermore, this encourages honest and critical conversations.
4) ISPs as Utility Providers
Previously, under net neutrality verdict in 2015, the law classified ISPs as utility providers.
Because high-speed internet is a necessity instead of a luxury.
In fact, having access to the internet has helped people around the world in many ways.
Firstly, it helps people to make better choices such as choosing better world leaders.
Secondly, it also helps to build a career.
Thirdly, the use of Uber and any ride-hailing services helps people improve transportation alternatives.
Lastly, people can book movie tickets online.
Hence, people will find difficulties to function properly in their personal and work lives without the Internet.
Moreover, the ruling in 2015 also proves that ISPs have a moral responsibility.
To consumers because they are public utilities.
In fact, having access to high-speed Internet is as important as owning a phone.
So, ISPs are obliged to provide these services unless someone refuses to pay for them.
However, carriers tried to argue that wireless broadband services are not public utilities.
Also, they want to create harmful business models that can harm consumers.
For example, these providers can reduce the quality of downloads and streams of online services.
Additionally, ISPs can profit from unfair promoting by increasing the speed of their services and their partners.
Fortunately, the law prevailed.
So, smaller firms who depend on the open Internet.
To reach millions of consumers can enjoy net neutrality pros.
In fact, without net neutrality these smaller businesses need to pay a large amount of money.
Even worse, they are probably already lacking in funds to pay the ISPs.
Net Neutrality Cons
- No compensation for ISPs
- Slow infrastructure improvements
- Unnecessary regulation
- Questionable content may thrive
Today, when discussing net neutrality pros and cons, it is highly subjective.
So, keep in mind that different stakeholders are involved.
So, since you have read about net neutrality pros.
Now, let’s have a look at net neutrality cons.
1) No Compensation for ISPs
Today, if there is a party that believes they deserve more, they are the ISPs.
Back in the 1990s, it can take up to 20 minutes for a website to load.
Also, people were content with the use of chat rooms.
Today, we don’t have to rely on bulky phones to stay in touch.
Additionally, distance is no longer an issue for communication.
In fact, if you want to have a meeting with someone in a different country just use Skype.
Furthermore, people no longer depend on their televisions to catch up with their favorite shows.
Now, simply subscribe to Netflix.
With this, you can access a large database of entertainment anytime and anywhere.
However, while all of this sounds good net neutrality allows networks like Netflix.
To use ISPs infrastructure for free.
Therefore, Netflix does not pay for this data.
Additionally, ISPs also need to pay more when users consume more data.
However, ISPs cannot charge proportionately for data usage.
So, by taking away net neutrality they can regain profit which was lost from the usage of bandwidth.
Hence, ISPs see the need for equitable charging to occur.
In fact, ISPs believe that consumers need to pay more.
To compensate for illegal streaming that takes a toll on ISPs infrastructure.
2) Slow Infrastructure Improvements
When Title II was approved in 2015 many ISPs and ISP suppliers protested.
This includes 60 major ISP suppliers such as IBM, Intel and Cisco.
In fact, this opposition is because they believe the new rules will attract less investors in the industry.
In addition, they believe that Title II will create a slowdown for broadband infrastructure.
Also, their rational is simple.
If investors don’t know if they will get returns from their investment, they won’t make the investment.
So, they asked the government to deliberate on net neutrality pros and cons to see how it affects ISPs.
By removing net neutrality, carriers can provide tiered pricing services.
In short, companies that pay more can transfer data packets faster than the others.
So, this revenue will be used by the ISP to increase broadband access for consumers.
Moreover, with net neutrality carriers will have no incentives to build better infrastructure.
In fact, this is mainly due to of lack of revenue from tiered pricing.
Therefore, net neutrality cons manifests in the form of slow infrastructure improvements.
Also, ISPs cannot regain their investment in broadband networks.
Therefore, without proper deliberation of net neutrality pros and cons.
The internet speed we have in 10 years from now will be the same as it is today.
So, we need to ask ourselves.
Are we willing to deal with slow growth simply because we refuse to pay more?
3) Unnecessary Regulation
Today, while we may have been led to believe that net neutrality is essential.
Furthermore, net neutrality is said to preserve the internet.
However, the opposite may be true.
In fact, net neutrality may not be necessary.
In the years before, the Internet functioned very well without it.
Additionally, government’s efforts to regulate the Internet has always been counterproductive.
Furthermore, net neutrality cons point out how the Internet came to life without government regulation.
Also, it was probably created because of the lack of government regulation.
In fact, the success of the Internet proves that new regulations are unnecessary.
Moreover, the ability of ISPs and consumers to negotiate any disputes among themselves is essential.
Also, this has been key to the rapid success that the Internet is enjoying today.
Additionally, regulation from the government can halt development and innovation.
Furthermore, the fears that consumers have are hypothetical.
Specifically, this is about ISPs lying to consumers or degrading content.
In fact, Comcast blocked Bittorent’s traffic eight years ago.
In addition, Apple introduced Facetime over wireless networks before cellular networks.
So, this new regulation is unnecessary because consumers were not impacted by the blocking.
And selective introduction of product offerings.
Therefore, there is no reason to believe that consumers will be affected by tiered pricing.
Because it has already been implemented by major brands.
Why fix something that isn’t broken?
4) Questionable Content May Thrive
Under net neutrality people may use freedom of speech to post anything they want.
However, this can prove to be harmful.
Certainly, parents have different options.
To help ensure that harmful content does not reach their children.
Although so, how effective is this?
For example, there are kids who watch YouTube every day.
In fact, videos on the platform which are educational can have sexual references or harmful content.
For example, on YouTube there are a lot of toy review channels.
However, there are some toy review channels that promotes violence and insolent behavior.
Also, these channels grow rapidly.
Hence, this proves that parents are still overlooking some harmful content.
Therefore, by taking away net neutrality.
Contents which are critical of several things such as religious beliefs, graphic videos.
And any content which are unsuitable for children can be removed.
In fact, they can be filtered out even before it reaches Internet users.
Hence, by taking away net neutrality regulation.
ISPs can ensure that the Internet has less obscene.
And insensitive content that are harmful to others.
Also, the issue of illegal streaming can be countered.
As a result, ISPs won’t have to pay more for illegal streaming.
Instead, the money which went towards paying the data for illegal streaming can be invested in building better infrastructure.
And improving product offerings to customers.
After Reading About Net Neutrality Pros and Cons, Which Side Are You On?
The conflict is mainly between consumers and ISPs.
Also, each side has their own argument to back up their reasoning.
With this in mind, the year 2018 will be quite a spectacle for net neutrality.
There will be heated debates and arguments.
Supporters of net neutrality will try to overturn the verdict.
At the end, who’s interest will prevail?
Let’s wait and see.