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The Influence Of Net Neutrality On The Internet

The internet is a mysterious combination of codes working together to allow for infinite resources at the touch of a finger. Since the internet has become more popular, people are fighting over who is able to control what can be accessed on the internet. Some feel like the internet should be equally accessible for everyone, whereas others believe the service provider should be able to control everything. These two oppositions started what is called the Net Neutrality debate. Net Neutrality is the equal distribution of information to every person trying to access it.

This equal distribution restricts service providers from withholding information or charging extra for specific access. The Net Neutrality debate came into light in 2005 when the Supreme Court upheld the FFC (Federal Communication Commission) 2002 ruling that internet broadband will remain open to any U. S. citizen. People against Net Neutrality feel that the competition between service providers will keep providers from discriminating by offering different services according to specific payment plans.

Those people feel that providers won’t give the same services unless there is competition. They say that the government can still control what is accessed with or without net neutrality. Those against Net Neutrality think that without it, the internet will be less crowded and faster. They also predict that in the future, Net Neutrality will eventually have a tax on it. Therefore the internet won’t be neutral anyway, so it should go ahead and switch now where it’s owned by internet providers.

Although the arguments against it are reasonable, net Neutrality is a vital resource to everyone. Without net Neutrality students will not have the same learning opportunities, the economy will not compete and grow, and it will take away fundamental rights as human beings. The internet was created in order to provide and gain knowledge from other sources. Without equal internet, everyone would not be able to have equal opportunities.

All Americans have access to the World Wide Web as of right now. The only thing anyone has to pay for is Wi-Fi or broadband. Providers are in the business for profit. In order to make profit the providers will charge websites to be provided by them, along with charging the people they are providing to websites to. If internet providers are able to control what can or can’t be seen based on how much money the content costs, that takes away people’s ability to learn and access the same material.

For example, if all private and public schools were not forced to have the same service provider, there’s no guarantee that those students can access the same information. Therefore, the schools able to pay for more information have an academic advantage over the ones that cannot. Dian Schaffhauser states, “[Net neutrality] is an important principle for education, as we need freedom for students and institutions to access Internet services that are becoming more and more important without having broadband carriers decide on which services have priority over others” (2).

Not only does it affect student’s ability to acess information, but libraries ability to give out information as well. The Canadian Library Association said, “The ALA and others have recognized that a neutral internet is important in order for libraries to deliver access to information effectively” (56). Individuals against Net Neutrality believe stipulations can be set on an internet provider to not allow discrimination such as these.

Theodore Livingston and Christian Binning argue, “The nondiscrimination rule, as some have insisted, won’t force network providers to treat all data packets the same” (3) Binning adds, “The fact that network providers can change their subscribers different prices for different services, the existence and proliferation of CDNs, and the fact that ‘managed’ or ‘specialized’ services will be excluded from the nondiscrimination rule all clearly operate to incent investment in and deployment of broadband networks” (3). Net Neutrality is necessary to allow students the ability to have access to the same information.

Net Neutrality is needed to continue innovation and economic prosperity. With net neutrality, competitors are allowed to freely publish their products or services on the internet for everyone to try. Without this, service providers can decide whose products to allow and who’s not to allow. Marvin Ammori states, “In their own letter to the FCC, over 100 of the nation’s leading venture capital investors wrote that the proposal, if adopted as a law, would ‘stifle innovation,’ since many start-ups and entrepreneurs wouldn’t be able to afford to access a fast lane” (2).

Beginning businesses would not be able to afford the costs of advertising and growing their websites when they have to compete with higher financially stable companies. Livingston and Christian agree by saying, “This is critical. If a budding entrepreneur were forced to pay a fee for assured access to the network provider’s access service subscribers, that could disincent the very investment and innovation that has made the internet such a success”(3). The open internet allows minds to come together to create new theories that impact the world.

Ammori also says, “Allow the internet to remain an engine of innovation, a platform for speech in even the harshest tyrannies, and a unified connection for people across the globe” (8). The internet is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to communicate ideas and start up new businesses. Without these new developments, the world would become a standstill for progression. Along with slowing progression, getting rid of Net Neutrality gets rid of some of the fundamental rights as a human being. Losing Net Neutrality can take away the freedom of press.

Internet providers will supply only certain news media and websites they agree with, regardless of the buying likes those websites or not. George Anders says, “[Barbara Van Schewick] warns of the perils of letting internet providers promote their own versions of popular services while degrading or blocking customers’ ability to use independent services” (32). Losing Net Neutrality can take away freedom of free and fair elections. The provider can decide which candidate they want to supply information about and which ones to pretend don’t exist.

Freedom of Privacy will be lost because providers will be able to use ones search history in order to cover the internet with ads based on those searches. Adam Joch claims, “ISPs will be motivated by profit opportunities to analyze what content subscribers are viewing and then use that data for commercial gain” (15). Freedom of association and choice will also be a thing of the past. People won’t have the option of choosing what they want and don’t want to see. Everything that the internet grants will be dependent on the provider and the package bought.

Net Neutrality keeps human rights intact while still providing the best resources available. The results of the internet use will change drastically depending on if Net Neutrality remains. If the internet remains open, the economy will continue to grow, people will continue to have access and gain knowledge from around the world, and rights won’t be violated. Ammori states, “Despite the missteps so far, the administration still has a second chance to fix its Internet policy, just as it did with HealthCare. ov. Preferably working with policymakers of all stripes supportive of open markets, it should ensure that the FCC adopts rules that maintain the Internet as basic infrastructure that can be used by entrepreneurs, business, and average citizens alike—not a limited service controlled by a few large corporations” (2-3). If policies are implemented to protect the citizen then everything will be okay, but if not the world will turn its back on the internet.

After reviewing both sides of the Net Neutrality debate, the best choice is that the internet remains freely accessible to everyone. With equal internet, rights are not violated. The internet provides innovation and competition in the economy. The internet also allows everyone the same opportunity when it comes to gaining knowledge. The ideas against Net Neutrality are good, but they lack the ability to protect everyday citizens. The future of the internet is determined by what the people feel is the best option.

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