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What are the positions on net neutrality? Show more Show less
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Net neutrality policy is the idea that all websites, irrespective of their content, equipment, or location, must be treated with the same priority and speeds, but can vary in the extent of regulation. What are the main stances on net neutrality?

Net neutrality is good Show more Show less

Net neutrality prevents internet providers from becoming the gatekeepers of competition, information, and morality in the digital space. It promotes innovation and quality service for lesser-known sites.
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Net neutrality promotes innovation as a launching pad for new web services

Net neutrality spurs innovation, which helps the internet expand. If major internet providers favor only a few established domains and services, then it becomes very hard for emerging startups to become recognized and popular among the consumer base.

The Argument

Youtube, Netflix, Skype, and many other popular sites have one key aspect in common: They were all given an equal playing field and the same opportunity for growth by internet providers.[1] Net neutrality is the idea that all content on the internet is treated equally. Net neutrality is crucial for the expansion and growth of the internet. Naturally, consumers are increasingly drawn to interesting cutting edge media in the market place of ideas. Net Neutrality plays a vital role and is "closely tied to technological innovation, economic development, and information access." [2] If net neutrality is repealed, only major, well-established sites would be accessible in the skewed marketplace. The lack of competition would result in the stunting of innovation and the newest bells and whistles, resulting in consumers becoming saturated with these larger, overly favored sites.[3] The internet would lose its star quality of being a hub for innovation. Suppose only established sites and streaming services are made available at faster speeds or are overwhelmingly "pushed" by internet providers. In that case, most startup sites will never perform well in the market place due to a lack of significant funds to afford better service quality, less consumer interest due to high traffic time, etc.[4] If internet providers were given complete control over which data they can place in the fast lanes and which ones they can discriminate against by placing in the slow lanes, then it is entirely predictable that most startups will be placed in the slow lanes. In the long run, this is not only harmful to startups but to the internet itself. The internet relies entirely on innovation. Consumers are increasingly drawn to sites that provide them with something different than what they already have. However, if net neutrality is repealed, then only major, well-established sites would be favored, stunting innovations in media and technology.

Counter arguments

The elimination of net neutrality does not mean that the internet will lose its innovation. The pace of loading at these so-called "slow digital lanes" are drastically overestimated. Information, web services, and streaming services placed here load at seconds or, in some cases, a minute or two slower than information placed in the fast lanes. Now, if these websites offered comparable or inferior quality services in relation to better, well-established websites offering the same content, then these websites won't succeed. However, if a completely innovative website is made available and offers brand new content, more people will use it regardless of the slightly slower loading time. Eventually, such a website will be placed in the digital "fast lane." Eliminating net neutrality makes competition a little tougher, but it does not eliminate innovation. Instead, it ensures that the most innovative and game-changing companies can succeed. Additionally, according to the AEI thinktank, evidence from 50 countries with net neutrality rules similar to the US Open Internet Order over the past decade showed no impact on creating more innovations.[5]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Cerf%20Testimony%20061406.pdf
  2. https://terpconnect.umd.edu/~pwang/Cheng+2012.pdf
  3. https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7521730924.pdf
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260309970_The_innovation-enhancing_effects_of_network_neutrality
  5. https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/does-net-neutrality-spur-internet-innovation/
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 18:38 UTC

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