XAT Essay Topic 5 : Advantages and Disadvantages of Net Neutrality
There is wide discussion going on about Net Neutrality and its advantages and disadvantages but however many do not know in detail including me. What is Net Neutrality? Why there is a big discussion going on it? What are its disadvantages for the end users? Let us get in details of this.
So what is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the pursuit of an open access to the networks of the internet that is not restricted by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or government on the content, sites and platform available. However, it is mostly disadvantage for the ISPs thus getting it implemented is a problem.
Advantages For Net Neutrality
- No Restrictions: Currently, there are no restrictions on what parts of the Internet that people can access, except for what local governments decide. For example, there are no restrictions or preferences over emailing, file sharing, instant messaging (IM), Voice over IP (VoIP), Video Conferencing, Podcasts, blogs, RSS feeds, USENET, etc.
- No Throttling: Currently, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can not change the download or upload transfer rates depending on what people are accessing.
- No Censorship: There are no restrictions on what or how much anyone can upload or download besides connection rates.
- Capitalism: Net Neutrality promotes a level playing field for competing companies, and allows start-ups easier access to new potential customers. Net Neutrality is equated to a free market.
- Freedom of Speech and Expression: An advantage of net neutrality is preserving the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech. If a site has material that a person finds offensive then that person is free to not look at that site. Likewise, any group is free to express any level of distasteful outrage against another group.
DisAdvantages Against Net Neutrality
- Restrictions/Censorship: ISPs, in addition to governments, can decide what parts of the Internet that people can access and what parts are blocked. For instance, ISPs could block peer to peer file transfers. Additionally, ISPs could censor criticism against themselves, other companies, or politicians that they favor.
- Anti-Competition: Similar to the previous con, ISPs could block or prevent access to their competitors products, services, or web pages. Thus have restrictions against competition.
- Throttling: ISPs can decide what types of services have prefer transfer rates. For instance, Google’s Gmail could be fast why their competitors Microsoft’s Hotmail could be slower, depending on how much both companies pay the Internet Service Providers. Another common example would be high data transfers, such as peer to peer file transfers, could have slow rates than regular shorter data transfer, such as email.
- Money: ISPs could charge more money for more access to the Internet. ISPs believe that heavier users of the Internet should pay more. This extra money could be used to increase the bandwidth of the Internet for everyone and drive prices down. However, ISPs are already extremely profits and they can just as easily increase prices for everyone. Keep in mind, that Internet connection prices should be decreases why bandwidth increases. However in many parts of the world, this is not the case.
- Monitoring: There is already a lot of monitoring on the Internet, however without Net Neutrality, ISPs could literally monitor everything that their customers do on the Internet and sell or use that information as they choose.
- Increasing Governmental Influence: One of the more challenging and telling arguments for net neutrality is that phone companies and ISPs have a much greater influence on the Federal Government than individuals. This influence is primarily made manifest in the money large companies spend on lobbying the FCC and the campaign contributions these companies make to politicians that are on the committees that make the decisions about net neutrality.