Net neutrality was introduced in 2015 by the Obama administration. This is basically the belief that Internet service providers should not block or favor certain products, websites, or content, regardless of the source. Back in December, the FCC voted to repeal the net neutrality rules. Then, in early January, the issued the ‘Restoring Internet Freedom’ order. Since then, net neutrality has become somewhat of a controversial topic. Although the vote has already been cast to remove it, it remains a relevant issue, especially among youth. Should Net Neutrality remain in place, or should it be repealed?
A First-Year Legislator
“The owners of Internet service providers paid to serve their customers. It is their right to earn whatever profit they want back. The companies are simply trying to make their own business. By implementing net neutrality restrictions, the government is taking away the company’s rights to earn it’s own. If one website pays more than the other, I think that they should get something in return, i.e. their consumers being able to access them faster.”
“The FCC got rid of [net neutrality] to make the internet faster, cheaper, and safer to use, yet they are going to start charging companies… This isn’t making the internet safer, cheaper or faster. It is just making Internet service providers richer than they already are. Smaller websites are going to get demolished with the repeal of net neutrality. Bigger websites like Facebook or Twitter are going to be able to buy faster delivery speeds for their websites, in turn making their site faster and Internet service providers richer, while on the other hand, smaller websites won’t be able to pay for those delivery speeds, basically making their site irrelevant. So, for example, say a startup website was made for online shopping, but they can’t afford the delivery speeds, so because of this, it runs a lot slower than websites like Amazon or Ebay. Those websites probably won’t get as much popularity, in turn, making the online shopping business have less competition. Net neutrality is the thing that keeps small startups alive. Net neutrality was the thing that kept the internet equal, now the FCC, in my opinion, has killed it.”
“Critics worry that getting rid of neutrality regulation will lead to a ‘two-tier’ internet: Internet service providers will start charging fees to websites and apps, and slow down or block sites that don’t pay up. Those fears are vastly overblown. It’s true that in the past, some service providers have threatened to charge websites. First, [those] are rare… for a reason: the public blow-back was fierce, scaring other providers from the following suit. Second, blocking competitors to protect your own services is anti-competitive conduct that might well be stopped by antitrust laws, without any need for network neutrality regulations. Net-neutrality defenders also worry that some service providers could slow down high-data peer-to-peer traffic, like BitTorrent. But even [when net neutrality was operative], service providers can and do throttle peer-to-peer sites, as a necessary network management technique- something explicitly allowed by the rules. Neutral broadband access is a cash cow; why would they kill it?”