Net neutrality: Understanding its advantages and disadvantages

net neutralityThe net neutrality debate is not only waging in one country, as it is an issue that concerns the entire world. While most have heard it on various radios, TVs, online, etc., most do not really understand what it is all about. But why is there so much controversy surrounding it? How does it affect every individual across the globe?

By essence, treating all internet traffic equally is all about net neutrality. Those who support it believe that internet service providers do not have the right to restrict content and/or other forms of the said traffic on their respective networks. As always, there are two sides to every argument. So, without further ado, here are the advantages and disadvantages of net neutrality. Perhaps, by having a better understanding of it, you can decide which side you must be on.

Advantages

  • The big telecom companies will not have the ability to provide the ways, though they do not necessarily have the right to direct how users should walk or use them. More importantly, they will be unable to differentiate between the various groups.
  • Net neutrality, in its most organic form, has managed to remain a core democratizing principle of the thing that people love: the internet. This has been the way it works since it first came into existence.
  • It can serve as a means to protect innovation. If huge tech companies like Google have the resources to pay in order to get exceptional treatment (i.e. faster speeds and more bandwidth), the ones that will be in great disadvantage are new start-up firms.
  • It negatively affects freedom of speech in one way or another. In its absence, the bigger companies will be able to prioritize TV networks instead of videos they own. As a result, signals from its peers are greatly reduced.
  • Since it fully supports competitive marketplace, every firm – be it small or big – will have the opportunity to be part of the latter.
  • Net neutrality blocks the possibility of providers trying to charge consumers with extra fees just so they can access vital services. This includes, but not limited to, email, online banking, and support. The same thing can be said for all forms of entertainment platforms, with gaming networks being one of the most popular ones. Basically, companies who own or provide these services will be affected in a way that they could not pass costs onto end users.
  • If the internet was not neutral, the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter, would not reach the status that they have today. Keep in mind that curbing netizens’ right so it points to a neutral net will only become a huge blow for the up and coming entrepreneurs.

Disadvantages

  • It is no secret that times have greatly changed. Nowadays, YouTube and Netflix are usually the culprits in clogging pipes thanks to huge amounts of data being used. Users, on the other hand, are fond of downloading insane amount of stuff illegally. This could be anything from music to movies to software. Interestingly, the changes will put a restriction.
  • Most, if not all companies, were successful in creating services that allow users to make calls without paying any money, which is something that telecom businesses have spent billions just to build their own. Net neutrality can be a form of injustice to these firms.
  • Although it protects innovation, it also stifles the latter. For instance, a telecom company will have the ability to charge higher fees, particularly to prime bandwidth hogs. On the other hand, they will have the much-needed resources in developing advanced fiber networks, so they can efficiently support all types of new Internet services.
  • In order to support – and more importantly secure – the best interest of people, there must be some sort of prioritization and restriction. Either way is essential, though.
  • There is no doubt that bandwidth will become a limited commodity; hence, regulation will play a huge role in restricting the illegal use of a platform.

Conclusion

It is no secret the Internet has grown exponentially, and it continues do so at an incredible pace. Since its inception in the early 1990s, its usage has greatly improved. Interestingly, its extraordinary growth is largely due to net neutrality, as it simply promotes freedom and protection. As a matter of fact, without net neutrality, tech giants such as eBay, Google, and even torrents will not be as successful as it is today. Neither of them would be able to cultivate groundbreaking ideas and products if net neutrality ceases to exist. Since it spearheads the promotion of creative expression, thousands more of new ecommerce sites, online stores, and start-ups will become huge in the near future. All of these are made possible thanks to net neutrality.

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