Opinion: Net Neutrality is Far From Neutral
Net neutrality is dissolving the economic model our country was founded upon. What seems like a fair way for each and every consumer to obtain information online is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing, impeding the economic growth of the most up-and-coming marketplace in the world: the internet.
Net neutrality refers to the principle that internet service providers (ISP) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. As much as this sounds like an enticing movement, deeper digs into this systematic freeing of internet shows great flaws.
For one, net neutrality does not benefit the consumer. The leveling of the playing field between all communications over the internet and all ISP alike eliminates competition, which is hugely important for the growth of the internet and its capabilities.
Competition is essential for our economy, and the elimination of it within the internet world will cease the expansion of it. If big ISP like Verizon or Comcast no longer were competing with each other for business from consumers, then they would not be obligated to improve their networks, thus limiting the true potential of what these IPS could provide. The point of competing enterprises is that they will do the best they can to be the most convenient and best working provider of goods, making their product more appealing than their competitors. This improves the quality of what they provide, which benefits consumers.
Treating all content with equal priority, as mandated under net neutrality regulations, decreases the speed of frequently visited sites, such as Netflix and YouTube, for example. Sites with a higher viewer base need a larger bandwidth to support said viewers. These sites then have to pay more money in order to support more usage, but without the ability to make necessary increases to the bandwidth, the site then lacks the resources to satisfy the consumer to their fullest ability.
To express this issue as an analogy, imagine a freight truck carrying thousands of pounds of material over the same road on a daily basis, and a passenger vehicle carrying two people over the same road once a week. Which party should pay more for the upkeep of the road? Clearly the freight truck. Now imagine the freight truck is Netflix and the passenger vehicle is MapQuest. Who should pay more now?
The Federal Communications Commission enacted network neutrality in 2015, and has since been working to rescind its own act. On Dec. 14, a vote will be held to see whether or not net neutrality should be repealed. As of now, it is looking likely that the repeal will be effective following the vote. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said on Nov. 21 that this repeal would “stop micromanaging the internet.” This repeal would bring the internet back to its fullest potential and purest form. The government does not belong in the internet, and should remain without its presence.
The internet is the greatest technological invention to date, and should remain free from government intervention, free to change and improve at its own pace and in its own direction.