Net neutrality is basically drawn from the full title internet neutrality. Over the recent years, debates and arguments have taken the center stage on social media platform to different governments. There exists a rift between those who think that the internet should be made neutral and those who think it should not. The concept of net neutrality means that all internet data packages should be treated on equally with regard to whether it is fast or slow platform, the pay for accessing all websites should be the same.
There is a fairly large proportion of people against this concept of net neutrality, including some of my close friends. They argue that since the demand for internet is rising every day, then the supply should be regulated. They argue that the quality of standards and packages should be based upon the amount of money the consumer is willing to pay. We all live in a bureaucratic world but in this time and era, I am convinced that the internet is a basic need.
There are so many reasons why I think there should be neutrality. I make my claims on valid reasons which I believe hold ground against the divergent opinions. To make the reasons for my stand I view the internet from the point of a regular user of the service for quite a long time. As stated earlier I equate this commodity to a basic need with the likes of shelter and clothing I will illustrate how this comes to play.
When the net is neutral then it is the most level play field for starters in the world of technology and online businesses. This is in terms of having equal possibility to succeed while competing against established network users. I view this in terms of the capital required to subscribe to an expensive broadband. Anyone with a device that can access the internet can be able to market his or her goods and services online. The same person can be able to source for information he needs without having to incur a lot of expenses in the process. With that in mind, then it is evident that net neutrality is key to opening up markets for new innovations.
In this time and era then the internet is a very important aspect in every persons life. For instance the internet is a key link in business, e-commerce, mobile banking and other online transactions. This way, there is simplified customer outreach and contact between sellers and buyers. This only denotes the tip of an iceberg in trade, having not mentioned the branding and marketing processes intervened by the internet. This ensures there is an effective competition in terms of integration of new innovative business models.
Most of the readers of this essay including those whom I have engaged with for quite a while disagree with my position. Among the issues they raise are, net neutrality is the cause for internet backlog traffic. They state that this traffic can be eased by ensuring the network providers offer an avenue where they charge higher rates for faster services. This ensures that the pay determines the quality of service each of the internet subscriber enjoys.
My response to this point is that there are many alternative regulations that can be put in place by the broadband service providers. Suppose the tariffs they charge for the premium pack will still be affordable to majority of the subscribers, will the problem be solved? Of course not. This issue can only be addressed by the service providers ensuring they expand the infrastructure to accommodate the growing customer needs.
Another point of contention is that when the internet service providers are allowed to manage their networks actively, they will prevent online illegal activities. I admit there are so many online illegal activities ranging from illegal file swapping over networks due to similar bandwidth reasons. These issues stretch to petty cybercrime issues and the argument is that the source of all these is the free net phenomenon.
The reason I am against this caliber of an objection, is because they tend to overlook the perils of this active management. This means that the confidentiality of the information going through these platforms will be compromised. Otherwise how will the information meet the security or ethical standards without being revised? I bet no one is ready to have his or her online activities disclosed to a third party. This claim therefore is ethical but it contravenes the privacy standards of operation of any individual.
Having a network that is not neutral can compare to a situation where you get to buy a television set and taking it home. After a few days you choose to switch it on only to realize that you cannot watch it. The reason you cannot watch it is because you have to pay extra amount in your electricity bill for you to be supplied with the quality and amount of power you need to power it. This is unheard of regardless of where you choose to purchase your set. The power should be uniform. The only thing that can be regulated is the pricing of the set you choose to buy.
In a similar case regardless of the type of vehicle one is driving on the highways then there are no preferential treatments on some drivers. The vehicles depending on the driver take independent lanes and are driven at different speeds too. Then the internet here serves as a platform for exchange of data and information. The regulations should not be at this level of service consumption instead the consumer should choose the gadget that will make him get the greatest advantage of the service.
In 2007 the American government came out strongly in support of net neutrality. The American president Barrack Obama having listened to the republicans and the conservatives, in a white house report dated 11th November 2014 explained why the bill supporting net neutrality was upheld. He explained that the federal government had realized how important net neutrality had been in terms of unlocking the potentials of the young people in his country. He stated that an open internet is essential to the American economy and increasingly to our very own way of life.
In a statement that was written to the Federal Communication Commission, he asked the commission to create new rules which he clearly stated would aim at protecting net neutrality. The reason he put across for issuance of this statement was aimed at ensuring that cable and phone companies, do not act as gatekeepers by restricting what one can be able to do or see online.
Net neutrality is equivalent to a state of free speech in the internet age. Net neutrality can be evaluated as a right just as free speech is internationally (Nunziato paperback). It should not be debated upon because the internet is an essential commodity just as any other freedoms people enjoy.
The debate on net neutrality has been in place all across the globe in majority of the countries which have advanced technologically. This is due to the fact that with time people are beginning to see how important the internet is in terms of everyday activities. If the net neutrality is not upheld then consequences are inevitable. The big internet service providers companies will reap great profits at the expense of common internet users who will be cut out by high pricing.
The net neutrality came to the public lime light as a result of some of the internet service providers outcry. They claimed that they had invested a lot in terms of capital to set up network facilities and therefore needed to amass these costs from customer subscriptions. They were right and justified to do this just as in any business environment.
My point of contention however, is how this was going to be carried out. By charging different amounts to different consumers depending on the content one subscribes to was not anything less than discrimination. I would however propose the argument if these companies chose to increase the overall subscription tariffs not at different capacities.
I have used the paragraph by paragraph technique to argue my case and by the time I was making my final point then it is evident where my stand is. Net neutrality should however not be confused with censorship. This is because the concept of net neutrality involves the services from the original service providers. They provide the service to other website developers and application developers who in turn use the platform to reach the final market.
Until this point I still believe some individuals are not convinced about how important this subject is. Imagine getting up one morning and on trying to log into your social media account, you are asked to subscribe to a more expensive data package. Reason being your previous subscription based on the time you spent on the internet is outdated. that is whenthe importance of net neutrality will hit you.
Maniadaki, Katerina. EU Competition Law, Regulation And The Internet. Print. Nunziato, Dawn C. Virtual Freedom. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Law Books, 2009. Print.
"NET NEWS: Mars To Join The Net?". Science 283.5404 (1999): 899c-899. Web.
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