Net Neutrality | Teen Ink

Net Neutrality

December 11, 2019
By brandon-longuet BRONZE, Missouri City, Texas
brandon-longuet BRONZE, Missouri City, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The internet is a massive tool that many people all around the world use in their daily lives, however in early 2019 the United States government repealed a vital component of the internet. The United States government should re-bill net neutrality into the government’s laws because it will preserve the first amendment, prevent Internet Service Providers from raising the prices of streaming websites, and will allow for smaller companies be able to grow.

For a brief background and definition, net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers(ISPs), like Comcast, AT&T, and Sprint, should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Net neutrality was a huge issue and was repealed in order to give more power to ISP’s control over their consumers. In the past few months a new organization has revealed themselves so they can spread awareness for net neutrality. The American Library Association(ALA) wrote a few peer-reviewed articles explaining the repercussions of a country that does not have strong  net neutrality. According to future predictions from many sources, a country with weak net neutrality will suffer and create a dystopian society.

Net neutrality should be restored in the United States because it prevents internet companies from exploiting free speech. Without net neutrality, any service provider can prevent access to who/whatever the company deems as horrible for the company. For example, imagine you are an AT&T user. AT&T would be able to block all access to Verizon, like advertisements and companies that Verizon might possibly own. This prevents any AT&T customer from seeing any new deals that Verizon might be providing, which in turn will cause Verizon to earn less profits than AT&T. The effect that a country with no net neutrality laws will have would be gigantic, because it will cause the internet to become less open to the people who use it. Weak net neutrality will destroy the first right of the Bill of Rights which everyone deserves to have.

Net neutrality will protect customers who use the internet because net neutrality stops ISPs from raising the prices of anything online. A country with weak net neutrality will allow for ISPs to have the ability of increasing or decreasing the cost of clicking on a website. For example, imagine that there is a person who gains their internet access from DirectTV. The customer has the possibility to be charged extra to visit Amazon or Netflix, companies DirectTV does not have stock in; however, DirectTV will not increase the cost of viewing Hulu or NBC, two streaming platforms that DirectTV partially has stock in. Streaming is a method of transmitting or receiving data, usually audio or video, over a computer network as a steady, continuous flow, allowing playback to start while the rest of the data is still being received. This definition means that any website that requires an internet connection, almost all websites do,  can have an ISP raise the price of viewing. The effect that this change in a website’s cost of viewing is massive, because without net neutrality any ISP can force their customers to any changes that the ISP believes is necessary. 

Net neutrality is important to all people because it will create competition between all companies, large and small. An ISP will have the power to put money into internet towers increase the speed of their content, which will make smaller companies have less people buy their service. Similarly, the speed of the connection can also increase or decrease by allowing the customers, like businesses, to spend more on their internet connection, not just the company themselves. The increase in the internet conncetions’s speed will cause the company to gain more customers, which in turn can cause other companies to pay more and create competition between them. With this competition between companies, they could increase the prices of competing company’s websites, which will cause consumer unrest and unhappiness.

The total effect that strong net neutrality will have on any country is enormous. In the long term costs will increase and internet service providers will become more influential than the government, because many studies show that the future will be technology and the internet. In conclusion, the government of the United States should return net neutrality back to its previous years of the 21st century because it preserves free speech, stops internet service providers from slowing down or speeding up the internet service, and it will make an equal foundation for companies to compete with one another.

 

Works Cited


Adams, Helen R., and Christopher Harris. "Net Neutrality: Why It Matters to School Librarians." Teacher Librarian, vol. 45, no. 4, 2018, p. 8+. Gale OneFile: High School Edition, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A537982243/STOM?u=j079907016&sid=STOM&xid=0f935401. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Strong copyright + DRM + weak net neutrality = digital dystopia?" Information Technology and Libraries, Sept. 2006, p. 116+. Gale OneFile: High School Edition, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A152373991/STOM?u=j079907016&sid=STOM&xid=9781c4ab. Accessed 4 Nov. 2019.

Mack, Zachary. “Net Neutrality Was Repealed a Year Ago. The Vergecast Explains What's Happened since.” The Verge, The Verge, 9 July 2019, www.theverge.com/2019/7/9/20687903/net-neutrality-was-repealed-a-year-ago-whats-happened-since.


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