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What are the positions on net neutrality?
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Net neutrality doesn’t allow for priority traffic regulation

Not all internet processes and functions have the same intrinsic importance. Net neutrality legislation does not allow for the differentiation of importance, which will ultimately lead to congested traffic, poor service quality, and high wait times.
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Net neutrality means that all internet traffic must be treated with the same level of priority. But not all internet traffic has the same level of importance.

The Argument

In the not too distant future, our appliances will all be connected to the internet of things (IoT).[1] Our dishwasher, thermostat, television, vacuum cleaner, and phones will all run on the same internet connection. [2] For example, let's pose a hypothetical: on a low capacity network, two individuals attempt to complete two separate processes. One is trying to load their smart laundry machine, while the other loading a silly cat video on some media platform. Presumably, the washing machine's signals should take priority over the cat video in a low capacity network. However, Net neutrality forbids assigning any level of priority for internet signals, which could significantly decrease a company's ability to expand capabilities and maintain a minimum standard of quality while staying competitive in the market.[3] PwC research reports indicate that "Wearables, delivery drones, and driverless cars are among the 'killer apps' that require a lot of real-time data and would benefit from preferential treatment in areas with strained network capacity." [4] On a national scale, where autonomous cars and life-saving medical devices are all assigned the same level of traffic importance on our broadband connections as our watches and personal entertainment devices, this inability to prioritize internet traffic is impractical.

Counter arguments

The discussion of IoT in the context of net neutrality is not one that can be determined at this moment. Harold Feld, Senior VP at Public Knowledge, a digital rights group, states that "Even if the IoT increases at the rate everybody’s expecting, it’s still going to be a fairly low percentage of traffic over the network, just because it’s low volume. Telling my house to raise the temperature from 65 to 72 because I’m about to come home is not something that drives network demand". [5] Additionally, with larger projects like cars connected to the grid, etc., and there is an increased demand on the network, it is the responsibility of the commercial companies to keep up and invest in their networks in order to remain competitive in the market. The removal of net neutrality policy could also result in IoT startups becoming dried out and pushed out of the market themselves, significantly reducing the possibility of pushing out innovations![6]



We need a way to assign different values to different internet processes. As a concept, net neutrality prevents internet providers from being able to assign different values to different processes.


[P1] Prioritizing some internet processes over others makes for a more efficient internet. [P2] Net neutrality prevents internet providers from prioritizing some processes over others. [P3] Therefore, net neutrality reduces efficiency.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 21:50 UTC

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