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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 protects service quality for lesser-known sites

Without net neutrality, we would have sub-par internet service quality when visiting certain sites. If only a few well-established domains load at faster speeds, then only content from those sites is readily available. This lowers the overall quality of information and resources available on the internet.

The Argument

The internet gained and maintained popularity for one key reason: It provides people with information and resources in diverse fields at a promised speed and quality.[1] It is supposed to be the one stop-and-shop area to find anything that could perk one’s interest regardless of it being in the area of entertainment, music, personality shows, research, latest economic news, etc. However, if only certain popular websites are given the chance to be placed in “digital fast lanes” by internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon, then other more innovative or game-changing websites will never garner much attention from the public or the press. Service quality can only be protected when there are numerous competitors providing content and expressing their different points of view.[2] In other words, when there are multiple actors using the same ISP service, the providers are unable to short change individuals due to the ability to express the grievance. Service quality is at its highest when all unique consumers can find a unique place that meets their personal needs. Having the plethora of social media platforms at our fingertips, all with comparable quality standards, is a testament to this fact.[3] However, if net neutrality is removed, service quality would no longer be as standardized.[4] Newer or smaller actors could experience worse quality compared to more established counterparts, in turn, diminishing their returns and consumer attention. They will never be able to successfully climb the ladder.[5] Consumers will quickly become tired of this as the overall quality of service will significantly decline.

Counter arguments

Net neutrality hinders service quality instead of protecting it. Given any topic of interest, there are millions, if not billions of websites and domains readily available for access at one's fingertips. For example, if one were to look up net neutrality, they would find 30,300,000 results in .43 seconds. There is an excellent chance that most, if not the majority, of these websites have flawed or incorrect information. Net neutrality is what is causing that. If websites that are more highly regarded and have a better reputation are made to load faster, then the public can be more accurately informed on matters.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.itu.int/en/wcit-12/Documents/WCIT-background-brief11.pdf
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-30373-9_10
  3. https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=e59f1875-2369-4f95-8e67-e7fc3cfd0294
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228976962_Net_Neutrality_and_Quality_of_Service
  5. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8319209
This page was last edited on Thursday, 29 Oct 2020 at 18:49 UTC

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