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Net neutrality enforces internet service providers to enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission.
The rules forbids Internet providers from blocking, and paid prioritization “fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else. Without net neutrality, internet provider could control & tax the Internet, which is why they want it to end. Net Neutrality relates with our class theme, Freedom vs Order, because if we don’t stand up for what right our freedom will be taken away from us. We need to stop these vicious attacks against our freedoms-the freedom of information, freedom of speech, freedom of enterprise, and freedom to choose what products and services to use. If we let the government take away our right to a neutral internet, it will be rare for it to ever be returned back to the public. During times of national crisis is when government must ramp up order and decrease freedom, but where is the crisis with net neutrality? The crisis will come from the average American workers, students, and families if net neutrality is taken away as an equal right for all. Internet now can be pricey for some americans, imagine having to pay for more than one “package” from your internet provider to have access to your everyday necessities. Repealing it seems to only benefit the Internet service providers.
On December 14, the Federal Communication Commission will be voting on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order. This could be the “end of the Internet as we know it.” It has been occurring intermittently for many years. It rose in 2014, then again following the February 26, 2015 adoption of the Open Internet Order.“Open internet” is what everyone wants but hardly thinks about on a regular basis. Then-Federal Communication Commission Chairman Michael Powell provided four guiding principles of Internet freedom in 2004: the freedom to access lawful content on the Internet, to use applications, to attach personal devices to the network, and to obtain service plan information. In 2005, the Federal Communication Commission supported these principles in its Internet Policy Statement, and allowed a truly open Internet to flourish without burdensome government regulation or interference for 10 years.
The potential repeal, of what should be a civic right, should terrify Americans. When a country is deficient in an open internet, the government is able to do anything from simply blocking or banning apps entirely to more aggressive moves such as Egypt’s effective shutdown of their internet service providers.While we have freedom of speech, we also have billions of for-profit lobbyist dollars acting as a barrier against our interests. The top 10 lobbyist included AT&T, spending $16.3 million, and Comcast, spending $14.3 million. Verizon spent $10 million, and T-Mobile $8 million. AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, the NCTA spent over half a billion dollars looking to destroy net neutrality. Several cable companies rank as the most hated companies in America because of their high prices and poor service.
Now, they are persuading the Federal Communication Commission and Congress to end net neutrality because if they win the power to slow sites down, they can force any site into paying millions to avoid being in the “slow lane.” This would develop into a tax on every region of the American economy. Every site would cost more, since they’d all have to pay big cable. Which will lead to startups and independent voices to extinguish because they can’t afford to pay. If we lose net neutrality, the Internet will never be the same.These companies have a hunger for the destruction of your right to a neutral internet. If net neutrality is repealed, America will have an oligopoly.
Net neutrality exists so that Internet Service Providers cannot legally “give preferential treatment to services they directly profit from and block those they don’t, all the while charging internet companies like Netflix additional fees for speedier access to consumers.” There will be a legal argument back and forth, there will be petitions, but if that is how the Federal Communication Commission wishes for things to be, it will stay. This is what potentially could happen to America. First, Americans already pay more than most countries for slower internet. US internet providers, unlike recent changes made in the UK, don’t have to truthfully advertise their internet speeds. The classic argument is that service packages will split up gaming, streaming, and other things we’ll only be charged for what we use . The “unlimited” plan will definitely become part of our future, $20 more for “unlimited” access. What most don’t understand is that it’s likely not to be a blockage but a intentional slowdown of traffic to these services. In other words, just giving people a taste of what they’re missing, or technically what they had.Americans enjoy many services, but let’s not forget who owns them. We may not be able to access Netflix on our “basic” plan at full speed, but we can of course access Hulu. This is because Hulu is owned by a corporate king of Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Time Warner.
Charter, owners of Time Warner, also own the Internet Service Providers Cox, Spectrum, CenturyLink, Road Runner and Frontier Communications. AT&T owns DirectTV, and wants to buy Time Warner. Those Internet Service Providers account for almost every single part of the American internet. Netflix and Comcast may have a deal with set-top boxes, but that doesn’t mean that Comcast can’t start charging extra for it under an internet that they can rig in their favour. Second, an internet that costs more to do less is simply less pleasing to talent. By making it a hostile environment for those that don’t appease the internet’s overlords, we’re just rejecting the future geniuses of tomorrow, when the US already has restrictive immigration and a high cost of living. When Netflix, Spotify and Amazon came along, they were bold startups that large corporations didn’t think would bother them until it was too late. Now they border on utilities, and though even giant companies can be disrupted, smaller ones could easily be quashed immediately. It doesn’t take much for Comcast to say a competitive product, or one that in some way threatens them isn’t “safe” to have on their Internet Service Provider.
Any company that threatens an entertainment product owned by NBC, or the voice or data services of AT&T, or begins to drain talent from Time Warner’s HBO is at risk. Future startups that are especially hungry for data could find themselves having to pay the toll to Internet Service Providers. Consider what Comcast could learn from your cloud storage provider, they could simply decide that anything coming from most startups and companies have to pay an overage per gigabyte to simply use their network. If you don’t think they will, they’ve already begun. Comcast created their own Content Delivery Network to speed up delivery specifically to Comcast customers. They argued about it being “faster.” But of course they would. By creating preferential deals with cloud storage providers or simply creating their own that gets there faster, the startups of tomorrow will become potential revenue streams for Internet Service ProvidersMoreover, Internet Service Providers can now keep an eye out for breakthrough online services (the Amazons and Spotifies of tomorrow) and throttle them into oblivion while concurrently launching their own copycat versions of those services.
Net Neutrality relates with our class theme, Freedom vs Order, because if we don’t stand up for what right our freedom will be taken away from us. We need to stop these vicious attacks against our freedoms-the freedom of information, freedom of speech, freedom of enterprise, and freedom to choose what products and services to use. If we let the government take away our right to a neutral internet, it will be rare for it to ever be returned back to the public. During times of national crisis is when government must ramp up order and decrease freedom, but where is the crisis with net neutrality? The only benefiters are the Internet Service Providers.
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