Assignment: Search the Internet for the topic of Net Neutrality. Describe the issues
regarding Net Neutrality.Put yourself in the shoes of an ISP and discuss the negatives of
Net Neutrality. Put yourself in the shoes of an e-commerce site and discuss the positives
of Net Neutrality. From a societal perspective, weigh the arguments and discuss which
side (for or against) do you personally support and why?
Net neutrality refers to the aspect where governments and internet service providers treat all data and information on the internet equally not charging or discriminating differentially by platform, content, application, mode of communication, equipment attached, site or user. In this paper, we discuss some of the issues attached to the furore behind net neutrality. The main issue behind the principle of net neutrality is the ability of internet service providers or government to control that is throttle or increase internet speeds or at times completely deny access to the internet (Hazlett, 2011). The internet is now a global medium which no one can lay claim on in form of control, ownership or who is allowed access and at what speeds. However, leading internet services providers and telecommunication service providers who attribute their revenue growths to the internet through charging governments, companies and ordinary people vehemently oppose this principle as it threatens their very existence.
The negative aspects of net neutrality based on the ISPs reasoning is the fact that they cannot recover the billions of monies they have invested in setting up telecommunications infrastructures that facilitate the existence of the internet. ISPs spend a lot of money on telecommunication networks through installation of infrastructures such as the fibre optic cables. The only way they can recover their investments is through controlling and pricing the internet based on service and cost levels. An additional negative aspect is that by enforcing net neutrality future investments in telecommunication will be curtailed having a negative impact on user experience (Belli et al., 2016). Additionally net neutrality makes it more difficult for ISP’s to control or monitor controversial internet aspects such as piracy, copyright infringements and adult content.
To e-commerce, sites there are various advantages that can come with net neutrality. Firstly, net neutrality eradicate the discrimination of users based on any of their socio economic status. This will ensure equal access to information for all users promoting freedom of choice and ensuring increased traffic. Additionally, net neutrality provides a level playing field for all businesses and companies, ensuring that services are not only affordable to those businesses with a lot of revenue but also startups with little funds (Belli et al., 2016). Through net neutrality businesses will be able to host their websites equally and all users will have uncontrolled access to their sites.
In a societal perspective, net neutrality is advantageous in enhancing globalization and economic growth (The White House, 2016). The ability of all to access information on the web without discrimination enhances communication in the world and the freedom of speech and expression. However, on the case of curtailed telecommunication development, this may hinder advancements on the quality of services, as ISP’s will not heavily invest on telecommunication. In ecommerce, net neutrality will enhance the performance of businesses through additional exposure and visibility to all regardless of their socio-economic status.
Hazlett, T. W. (2011). The fallacy of net neutrality. New York: Encounter Books.
Belli, L., De, F. P., Cerf, V. G., & Pouzin, L. (2016). Net neutrality compendium: Human rights, free competition and the future of the Internet.
The White House. (2016) Net Neutrality: President Obama’s Plan for a Free and Open Internet. Retrieved from: https://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality
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