Net Neutrality In The US: Keeping Or Removing

Background Information

According to Harper Neidig, “More than 80 percent of voters oppose the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to repeal its net neutrality rules, according to a new poll from the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation. ” This analysis shows that the people want to keep the rules. The internet is one of the most powerful tools available to humans, it is used as a source to do business, as entertainment and to gain knowledge. Most people use the internet as a part of life, yet not everyone understands how it works. Some may ask what the term Network Neutrality actually means. Net Neutrality or sometimes called internet freedom, is the principle that enables all internet providers around the world to allow access to all content available in the internet. Net Neutrality denies Internet Service Providers from blocking or favoring the contents from one company to another. The rules states that companies should not discriminate data, information and should treat all data equally, regardless of its source or data type. Providers are also not allowed to throttle one’s internet connection. According to Robert Lugo, a NUSD technology educator, “Net Neutrality means privacy, but there is no privacy in network, even though you may think you have yourself private, there’s always somebody with your username and password that could get your information. ” The United States government did not have any regulations put in place, many attempts were made to pass these regulations, unfortunately all failed. None of this happened until recently in 2015 when the Federal Communication Commission decided to pass and uphold new Net Neutrality rules. According to Bill Chappell, “The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure 'that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet. ” This topic and recent events has brought up the argument of keeping or removing these rules. There have been debates and a lot of controversy. Without people supporting Network Neutrality, the internet would be destroyed. The fall of Network Neutrality will cause online users, or anyone who uses the internet to lose access to a free and open-world internet and privacy.

How Does This Affect The Users?

In what ways will the current actions on Net Neutrality affect users and why is it a concern? Currently the majority of humans in the world are connected and are able to communicate with each other with the help of the internet. In the past humans were not able to do such thing because technology was not as advanced as it is now. This does not mean that everyone understands the events happening in the background throughout the day, these users just use the services available and hope that it works. Future actions by the FCC could be a considerable issue that could affect the users. There are others who are also affected if the removal of Net Neutrality rules passes, some examples include competitors and businesses. The removal of these rules will also affect people’s privacy because internet service providers would have the authority to research and spy on what type of websites, how often it is accessed, what day of the week and what time customers are visiting these sites. There are many ways in which Net Neutrality can affect users. One of these ways would be controlling the ability to access the internet, for example, streaming services, gaming, websites, etc. Why should users learn about what happens in the internet? Learning about anything is a major advantage, having knowledge on something could help make better and smarter decisions. It helps users to understand how Net Neutrality supports the internet and give a reason to fight for and keep these rules in place.

How Does It Affect The Open Internet And Personal Devices?

The removal of these laws will allow the government, internet service providers and companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, who are against Net Neutrality, to have control over the internet. What is there to control or regulate in the internet? All content in the internet can be regulated; another includes what type of devices consumers can use to connect to the internet. These providers will gain more power, new plans for internet will made to adjust to new rules. All this means that consumers will have to pay even more money for extra services. There could be newer internet packages and plans that include internet lanes. Internet lanes are like highways, fast lanes and slow lanes. Creating two separate lanes for internet will change the internet and add more workload for companies checking bandwidth usage in every website available. According to an article written by Klint Finley, “With people connecting more and more devices, from voice-controlled personal assistants like Apple's forthcoming Home Pod to thermostats to cars, net neutrality becomes that much more important, even as the federal government moves to drop its own protections. ” All this makes Net Neutrality much more important to the world’s future technology. Companies having the ability to control laptops, smartphones and routers is the same as taking away all the devices consumers own. What is the point of spending money on all these electronic devices that requires an internet connection if internet service providers deny the customer’s ability to access the internet? The current open internet world provides many wonderful things that could be taken away. Competition is one of the most important subjects in the internet industry. According to an article written by Jacob Kastrenakes, “Small ISPs also say that Net Neutrality protects competition, which keeps them in business” Net Neutrality helps stimulate the current competition in the economy. Monopolizing the open internet would overthrow the diversity of news sources and refuse any new innovations for the future.

Why Is The Current System More Effective?

The current system is more effective due to the fact that it offers more benefits and helps users. According Fran Berkman from dailydot, “Title II of the Communications Act concerns something called “common carriers,” which also covers utilities like landline phones and electricity. The 2015 Open Internet Order reclassified broadband internet service under Title II (it was previously classified under Title I as an “information service), which provided the legal basis for the FCC to enforce net neutrality rules. ” As stated before, the current system provides balanced competition between businesses. It gives consumers the ability to have free speech on the internet. It also promotes new ideas and innovation. The removal of the current Net Neutrality system will have an impact on how many people will keep using the internet. This amount of users will likely go down because of the circumstances. Creating fast lanes that cost more money or a way to unblock websites will affect how people use the internet. Not every person can afford to pay for a faster internet to one specific website, or to unblock one. Some can barely afford to have internet service. Imagine the outcome of the world with less and less internet users, innovation will most likely go down. People’s inventions get recognized by others around the world because of the internet. How can people reach out to each other if the internet is not available as a form of communication? This generation of human beings rely on the internet to buy food, find people, jobs, etc. Everything can be found in the internet but not when Net Neutrality is dead. Robert Lugo stated, “The disadvantages are the government watching us, we give them all our information. No net neutrality means no privacy, you have companies like Facebook, Instagram Snapchat, and Google that are selling your information to whoever that wants to buy it. ” That is one of the disadvantages that could lead to loss of privacy. All the information people provide are stored by social media services and internet providers could be sold. That is true to some extent, some websites could be selling private information and its users would not know about it.

According to Harper Neidig, “The organization found that of the 21. 7 million comments submitted to the FCC on the Obama-era rules this year, just 6 percent were unique. The other 94 percent were duplicate comments. And in some cases thousands of identical messages were submitted simultaneously, suggesting campaigns used “bots” to influence the agency’s public record. The study also found that 57 percent of the comments were submitted by users with duplicate or temporary email addresses, making it difficult to determine their authenticity in many cases. ” Current events happening in the United States has caused a lot of controversy, information from many sources has released an analysis on people’s votes and submitted emails, the information provided by these sources announced that the majority of the anti-Net Neutrality comments submitted were fake. This event leads to a reschedule of the repeal of Net Neutrality vote to December 14th, 2017.

Why would all these well-known businesses and companies such as AT&T, Comcast and others want these Net Neutrality rules to be removed if it is so valuable to users? What is the main objective for this? The main objective for all this is competition. This process allows major businesses to have an advantage over others which is a good concept, it generates more profit as the business moves forward because of the creation of fast and slow internet plans, this gives the options to customers to buy a more expensive faster video streaming plan, faster website access and eliminating more competition. It could be compared to a satellite TV plan, customers have the option choose individual services and are not required to pay one price for the rest of the services that are not being used. Removing the rules will allow providers to have the power to regulate all content available. For example, Providers can allow its customers to restrict access to articles written by social movement groups or anything that feels inappropriate.

In conclusion, after all Network Neutrality is the main thing that kept the internet safe from creating monopolized companies, having fair internet access, and privacy. People that are in favor of Net Neutrality should show support by joining groups on the internet. The FCC needs to make sure Network Neutrality rights are upheld.

10 October 2020
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