The internet, ah, the internet. What a fantastic place to discover new skills, keep up with current events, Streaming service, play video games, shop online, and binge-watch popular television shows.
But do you understand why you have access to so many services?
Net neutrality is a contentious issue that has sparked heated debate in the telecommunications and political sectors. As a result of this event, it has the potential to impact internet user lives significantly.
Net neutrality is practically synonymous with a “free, open internet.” It is the idea that Internet providers should recognize all internet traffic fairly.
Besides, the sentiment is that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should not be biased against data sent over internet access.
They should treat all information fairly and independently with the same internet speed or faster speed, regardless of its type, content, or origin.
The battle for net neutrality is critical because it guarantees that the internet remains a modest playing field where everybody can launch a website or online business without fear of discrimination from broadband providers.
Like most things in this world, net neutrality has advantages and disadvantages. The truth of whether this is good or bad depends on who is impacted by net neutrality: consumers or Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
But, one thing is almost certain: net neutrality proponents has numerous pros and cons.
Table of Contents
- Pros of net neutrality
- Cons of Net Neutrality
- Summary table for pros and cons of net neutrality
Pros of net neutrality
There are two facets to the net neutrality debate, but let’s begin with some of the proponents of net neutrality:
1. Unfettered Access
There is no denying that if net neutrality were permitted under existing regulations, the affluent online businesses would spend to have their websites accessible on so-called internet fast lanes.
Net neutrality prohibits ISPs from billing inclined businesses to have their users connect to their services faster than competitors in the market.
For instance, withdrawing net neutrality could allow Netflix to outcompete Amazon Prime Video and have its shows forwarded to users faster and possibly with less latency than its competitors.
Because of net neutrality, end users now have free access to essential services such as internet banking and messaging.
Nevertheless, if the rules change, Broadband internet access providers may charge extra to users who want to access such services through their network.
2. Fights Censorship
Permitting ISPs to limit site access, whether by restricting and increasing the cost, splitting it up into cable-style bundles, or plainly obstructing it, entirely open up a bag of worms.
The less unbiased the internet regulation, the more authority ISPs have to penalize specific websites, and while we have discussed big boys like Netflix, this will hurt smaller companies.
But also, if ISPs attain the authority to act as typical internet custodians, will they be compelled to restrict propaganda sites and inappropriate content?
An impartial internet eschews these concerns; leaving the internet as an essentially new form of liberal expression is vital.
A far less neutral internet would give major big businesses unsettling authority over what we see on the online platform.
3. Level Playing Field
Because of network neutrality regulations, ones with sound finances do not receive preferential privileges.
If there is no regulation on net neutrality, ISPs can hinder small businesses’ websites or services because they cannot manage to pay for fast lanes.
The same is true for small inventors whose primary source of revenue is their YouTube channel.
They would not be good enough to compete with huge companies. Hence, absolute neutrality levels the playground for all.
4. Freedom Of Expression And Protection
One of the most compelling arguments favoring net neutrality regulation is that it fosters freedom of Speech.
In essence, people can say or do whatever they want on the online platform as long as it is not criminal.
Correspondingly, brands can endorse a subjective view to their spectators without fear of discrimination as long as it does not violate any laws.
On the downside, the internet freedom has resulted in the spread of false information.
However, it also circumvents fake news and questionable content by providing people with access to all reasoning systems, not just those that align with a specified ISP’s political stance.
5. Promotes Healthy Competition
A quick question, how many various streaming applications do you have on your smartphone?
Neutrality supporters have a preferred streaming platform and have the right to access them all and pick the ones that satisfy the customer. A further goal of net neutrality regulations was to promote competitive balance.
If an internet provider could charge all businesses fees to connect with their subscribers, it would be unjustified because it would drive up the costs for a startup company, which customarily has limited cash.
This would also permit internet companies to promote companies with a personal stake, institutional racism.
Cons of Net Neutrality
Even though net neutrality has many upsides, it also has some drawbacks. Most of the disadvantages are for internet service providers, but there are a few more disadvantages that few net neutrality advocates discuss.
1. Overpowering And Overreaching Regulations
Skeptics frequently assert that net neutrality sets up stupid internet usage regulations.
The absence of Neutrality laws for decades has permitted many businesses to survive and expand, proving that any new neutrality legislation would be strenuous and utterly pointless.
These skeptics also claim that net neutrality rules impose additional expenses on internet service providers to comply with such legislation.
2. Porn And Disagreeable Content Thrives
Net neutrality opponents have also claimed that the regulations make things simpler for underage internet users to access lawful but age-restricted pornographic material.
Although many software providers offer built-in tools for blocking access to specific services or websites, critics of net neutrality assert that these are unproductive.
Many younger users will essentially use their smartphones for online services, which they can use without parental supervision.
Providers opine that the issue would be resolved if they could block these sites and illegal content on a network-wide scale.
This is a requirement of the UK’s Digital Economy Act, which requires websites to host identification confirmation when users access their data and requires ISPs to block sites that do not conform.
There is also a case that repealing net neutrality laws would enable ISPs to clamp down on peer-to-peer internet content sharing sites, which are a dominant contributor to inappropriate content and online piracy.
3. Undesirable Data Mining
Without control, all the information gathered is ready to be misused. This could benefit large businesses and organizations relying on user information — behavioral statistics, search engine priorities, etc.
However, this may appear to be a massive breach of privacy and undesired information theft for the average consumer.
Companies could supervise calls and conversations, and file-sharing could be investigated. Online actions and behaviors would be more readily available than ever before.
This is disappointing news for companies reimbursed for acquiring this data or retrieving it with consumer permission and distributing it to other portals or services, as they will no longer be required.
4. Challenging On Internet Service Providers
Numerous stakeholders are involved in net neutrality, and it is easy to see why many of them are upset.
Consider internet service providers, who interact with the majority of the drawbacks. Large Internet service providers and corporations own the infrastructure required to deliver internet service to your home.
They charge to keep it running and want to profit from it. And using more bandwidth costs service providers more money, though they can’t invariably charge commensurately.
They have tried to extort money from Video Streaming services like Netflix and other bandwidth-hogging sites, but the stiffer net neutrality becomes, the lesser the likelihood.
5. Lagging Broadband Infrastructure Development
ISPs oppose net neutrality for a straightforward reason: it costs them money. And this factor along carries plenty of disadvantages along.
But, many customers believe the opposite. So, why should customers be concerned about ISP profits?
According to the ISPs, this is because profits drive innovation. ISPs argue that net neutrality limits their ability to invest in better broadband infrastructure.
Many supporters of net neutrality also support government investment in broad bandwidth usage infrastructure.
In other words, the top player crowd believes losing profits due to net neutrality will harm the country’s broadband services infrastructure.
In contrast, the pro-neutrality crowd includes many individuals who would respond by directing taxpayer funds toward this matter.
Summary table for pros and cons of net neutrality
|Level Playing Field|
|Freedom Of Expression And Protection|
|Promotes Healthy Competition|
|Overpowering And Overreaching Regulations|
|Porn And Disagreeable Content Thrives|
|Undesirable Data Mining|
|Challenging On Internet Service Providers|
|Undesirable Data Mining|
Whether you promote net neutrality or not, it is critical to understand the neutrality pros and cons before taking a hardline position.
The internet connection is a global venue and one of the few spots where consumers emphasize things rather than profits, as everything is designed to satisfy the average internet user’s intent.
However, while net neutrality protection appears to be the only reasonable option, there are some issues with it being both practical and fair. The truth lies somewhere in between.
(Last Updated on August 23, 2022)