Forthe semester, I have been focusing on net neutrality as my topic as we exploredthe components of creating an essay for the overall final project. The netneutrality debate involves the push and pull relationship between internetservice providers, content providers, and consumers.
From what I have gatheredon social media, internet service providers want to enforce two lanes ofservice, a fast or slow lane, where companies like Netflix will have to pay tobe in the faster lane which will generate them more money. However, supportersof net neutrality and how the internet is now, like myself, believe all contentshould be given at the same, equal rate. Without net neutrality, the internetseems to have a grave possibility of becoming unusable for the everyday user.
Even in the last week, net neutrality has reemerged on social media because itsremoval is being debated by politicians yet again. From the sources I selectedregarding the topic of net neutrality, they generally give their own summariesof net neutrality and whether or not they believe keeping net neutrality is agenerally good idea. In the article “Net neutrality with Competing InternetPlatforms”, one of the important points the authors discuss is the possibilityof sabotage from internet providers (Bourreau, Kourandi, Valletti).
One type ofsabotage mentioned is the idea that providers could “degrade the quality of thecontent providers that do not pay for priority” (Bourreau, Kourandi, Valletti).This is essentially stating that if a company would not pay for faster serviceas a consequence their content would be harder to see and smaller companieswould “get hurt more than large ones” (Bourreau, Kourandi, Valletti). When Ithink about this, it makes sense that larger companies would prevail becausethey have the funds, but the internet should not turn into a giant money racethat internet service providers are seemingly looking for. Without sabotagedlanes, like the internet now, everything is easily and quickly accessible as Ibelieve it should be. In the second source I looked intocalled “Law, social welfare, and net neutrality” the author makes it a point tosay that they believe net neutrality is a weak concept.
Hylton uses a bridgeanalogy that makes his concept of net neutrality more efficient to understand.He believes that by having large name companies that bring in a lot of trafficon the same level as other companies it causes too much congestion overall and that’swhy internet service providers want two lanes (Hylton). I disagree with thissolely because while there are a lot of websites currently the internet itselfis not completely dysfunctional. Additionally, the author mentions that becausewe have the first amendment that requires everyone has the right to free speech”it is not clear what a net neutrality norm could provide beyond the firstamendment” (Hylton). In other words, the author thinks net neutrality is notnecessary, but I believe its accessibility is.
I have heard of net neutrality for years in the form ofYouTube videos and from internet companies I closely follow and support.Personally, I find that the internet as it is now is working perfectly fine asit has for many, many years since I have begun to steadily use and becomecomfortable with various social media and streaming services. I do not feellike I am being over-flooded with an abundance of information and I appreciatethat everything is currently given at an equal rate. I would not want to seesites I enjoy online be run out of business for not being able to afford afaster lane and I would not want to see an increase in my personal expenses. Astime goes on, the internet and future technologies will continue to be a vitalpart of our lives, but the debate around net neutrality seems crucial in takingus there.