Net Neutrality is a thought which says all internet traffic should be treated alike where no internet service providers should have the authority to favour one source over another by blocking, prioritizing traffic from a specific domain or publisher or a means of paid prioritization.
In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) head Ajit Pai, appointed by President Trump, reinstated laws related to net Neutrality.
This would no longer categorize ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. They would be able to charge more for certain content, slow down the services of their competitors and even block internet access.
The House of Representatives tried to reinstate net neutrality, but that effort is yet to be fruitful. Since there are both pros and cons to any topic of debate, here is a list of good and bad of net Neutrality.
Pros of Net Neutrality
Freedom of Expression
Net Neutrality permits the user to access any website until the time it has been legally authorized to stay up. Else the internet service provider can easily block your access to a specific site or content.
For instance, they would block a website that they think is competition to them. Net Neutrality gives the users the freedom of choice so they can choose for themselves what is right and what is not.
With Net Neutrality in place, internet service providers cannot charge content creators for adequate bandwidth to deliver their service appropriately. For instance, any small video streaming service should be able to run as correctly.
As it would run on a bigger streaming service provider such as Amazon Prime or Netflix. It also stops the providers and owner of some services from charging extra fees to the users to access services like gaming networks or entertainment platforms.
Cons of Net Neutrality
Porn and Objectionable Content Thrive on the Internet Along with Piracy
Those that oppose net Neutrality feel that age-sensitive content such as porn would be easily accessible to the users. Although there are different ways in which the viewing of such objectionable sites can be barred.
Still, the children nowadays have access to smartphones and tablets over which they can easily access the Internet. Smartphones are portable, and they can take them anywhere to access such content.
The solution to such an issue will be if internet service providers block such services at a network-wide level. For instance, the Digital Economy Act of UK states that people will have to verify their identity if they wish to access porn sites and all non-compliant sites that have been blocked at the ISP level.
If providers can put a check on peer-to-peer file-sharing, they can prevent a lot of piracy as it is through this that illegal downloads happen.
Vast Amounts of Data is Consumed Without Compensation
The perks of having Internet around you was least expected by people initially who could patiently wait for 15 minutes for one website to load completely or sit in a chat room and wait for someone to ping.
Currently, there are video calls, streaming services, both legal and illegal and all these services are for free without any compensation, which the internet service provider has to bear.
No Free Internet
When it comes to profit, then the thought of offering free Internet to those who don’t have the means to pay for it goes away- thinking budgeted would no longer exist.
The providers would charge what they want and could restrict any site as they wished to. Prioritization of content to those who would pay would become a trend. There would exist socio-economic and demographic discrimination.
Net Neutrality has its advantages and disadvantages. A reasonable solution that would benefit everyone should be thought of.