XAT Essay Topic 5 : Advantages and Disadvantages of Net Neutrality

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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

  1. 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.
  2. No Throttling: Currently, Internet Service Providers  (ISPs) can not change the download or upload transfer rates depending on  what people are accessing.
  3. No Censorship: There are no restrictions on what or how much anyone can upload or download besides connection rates.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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DisAdvantages Against Net Neutrality

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.