Net neutrality is the idea that internet providers must not treat websites differently. All websites, irrespective of their content, equipment, or location must be treated with the same priority and speed. For net neutrality’s proponents, it is essential for preserving the internet’s commitment to information sharing and the establishment of a level playing field for all participants, but what are the pros and cons of net neutrality?
Net neutrality is badShow moreShow less
Net neutrality regulation hinders innovation and development in our internet products, preventing the emergence of more effective practices and more practical business models.
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.
In the not too distant future, our appliances will all be connected to the internet of things (IoT). Our dishwasher, thermostat, television, vacuum cleaner and phones will all run on the same internet connection.
Now, imagine that someone is putting on a load of laundry, while another person is watching a cat video on YouTube on their phone. Presumably, we would want the signals from the washing machine to take priority over the cat video. Net neutrality forbids assigning any level of priority for internet signals.
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 prioritise internet traffic is impractical.
We need a way to assign different values to different internet processes. Net neutrality, as a concept, prevents internet providers from being able to assign different values to different processes.
[P1] Prioritising 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.