What is network neutrality? Why has the internet operated under net neutrality up to this point in time?
Network neutrality is used to refer to the nature of equality internet service providers’ accord to the customers. Such services encompass equal access to content and applications, regardless of the source or nature of content. In such cases, all internet traffic is treated equally depending on first-come, first-served basis by Internet providers.
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According to the case study, network neutrality is based on already built phone lines subject to “common carriage” laws. Consequently, the laws enacted have ensured existence of such neutrality to-date, since the law requires phone companies to be considerate of all calls and, at the same time, treat customers on the equal basis. There should be no amounts of favors given to customers willing to pay higher premiums for the purposes of obtaining efficient services.
Who’s in favor of network neutrality? Who’s opposed? Why?
Proponents of network neutrality include MoveOn.org, the Christian coalition, the American Library Association, major consumer group, bloggers, low-usage consumers on small businesses as well as large internet companies such as Google and Amazon.
The proponents argue based on the fact that neutral internet acts as motivation to majority hence assisting in promotion of innovative minds without necessarily passing through intended authorities such as phone and cable companies. According to proponents, such moves have led to an increase and sprouting of new businesses, hence, leading to creation of employment opportunities.
At the same time, such freedom on flow of information has created some essentiality towards free markets and democracy since most operations on commerce and entire society are progressively embracing modern means of communication.
The proponents further argue that some carriers posses higher percentage of network power due to absence of potential competitors. Carriers capitalize on a lack of competition in the process of determining prices and policies hence taking advantage of the market. There are high possibilities of Carriers’ applying discriminatory rules on the network in favor of their own content.
This can also be attributed to a lack of sufficient services towards broadband users within crowded and busy places. There is a need for enough options on internet suppliers and access, since such existence would reduce the pressure currently experienced on network neutrality. On the same note, it would provide better options on unlimited use of internet.
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However, internet service providers are opposed to network neutrality. They base their argument on increase of the number of illegal activities such as copyrighted materials taking place over the internet. An example of such company opposed to network neutrality is Comcast which reported cases of high consumption based on the illegal file sharing of copyrighted material which, at one point, consumed half percentage of its total network capacity.
Opponent companies associate internet neutrality to high levels of piracy on materials including videos. Network owners believe that such incidences as regulation proposed by neutrality proponents will eventually lead to interference on level of competitiveness within international market.
This is since the process interferes with innovation, hence, causing damage to customers who might have benefited from discriminatory network practices. At the same time, it creates significant differences amongst nations heavily relying on internet for their major activities based on overall speed, cost, and quality of services.
What would be the impact on individual users, businesses, and government if Internet providers switched to a tiered service model?
Individual users would be negatively affected, since much attention will be on consumers capable of paying higher premiums. Individuals would be limited on their capability to access important applications and other internet services. Business would enjoy services of faster and clearer calls but will always be paying additional operational costs.
Charges based on differentiated prices on the amount of bandwidth consumed would enable the government to grant inefficient services to citizens hence breaching legislative laws which advocate for equality within governance. This is why network industry is regulated to ensure fair competition and provision efficient services.
Business companies like Time Warner Cable would enjoy the benefits of charging customers additional fee on a monthly basis for each gigabyte of content downloaded from the network.
Additionally, it would also place limits on the kinds of devices used in connecting to internet and, at the same time, limit a level of competition between services provided. This is since content providers would just be charging and supplying chosen few capable of paying higher premiums.
Consequently, some individuals take advantage of network neutrality to download heavy files including watching YouTube videos and downloading music files, hence, using high amount of bandwidth compared to others. This leads to lower efficiency in terms of speed which affects other users. Good example can be retrieved from the entire usage in the year 2007 which almost doubled bandwidth consumption on the previous years.
Such cases encourage the use of tiered service model where few customers are served at higher efficiencies. Due to higher demand on the use of internet, there are predictions championing for the fact that internet may come to immediate halt. The other option would be sluggish download speed as well as undesired performance on internet services such as YouTube, Facebook and other search engines.
Are you in favor of legislation enforcing network neutrality? Why or why not?
The kind of legislation enforcing network neutrality should remain in place for the purposes of ensuring equal services within every dimension within the society. This is since every sector of the economy has embraced use of internet. The world of business has been digitalized putting demand on every individual to use internet services for various applications. Such network neutrality would be of great benefit to students.
Educated university and college students rely heavily on books for the purposes of gathering information for their researches and projects. Unfortunately, most of the libraries have abandoned brick and mortar method embracing digital trend. This has since caused several barriers in an attempt for students to enrich their knowledge. Hence, enforcing network neutrality would ensure easy access to materials, technology and innovative ideas.
Network neutrality would ensure essential connections for businesses and education. This would enable careful planning required for building network connectivity to the Internet.
It would facilitate increase in use of individual personal computers on the Internet. At the same time, such legislations would promote the usage of computer resources which are considered for the Internet connection. Example of the devices include network interface card (NIC) or modem.
Education is the main key that helps countries and nations in building and developing their future. For that reason, many countries are emphasizing on the importance of education and reading based on internet. Some of the institutions also offer online courses which are beneficial to all students globally.
For the purposes of attaining such goals, it is necessary that network be regulated for the benefit of established public schools, universities, libraries and at the same time provide internal and external benefits to businesses. Many organizations use services of network to develop new products and services for the purposes of remaining competitive within the market.
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Network neutrality would ensure provision of new services and products at affordable prices and at the same time designed in away that they exceed customer expectations. This also ensures significant financial benefits towards organization. There will not be existence of big losers and benefactors. However, for such actions to be efficient, there is a need for much attention and emphasis on costs based on legislative regulations.
Management of risks and quality as well as all elements associated with network provision would easily be monitored in cases involving design of new services. Network neutrality enables organizations and individuals to strive towards achieving affordable security protection against data loss and damage on software and equipment.
In summary, all information and statistics that are provided in the case study assist in the process of initiating important changes in the style by which individuals and companies think and use internet. This includes government institutions as well as schools.
There should be enough regulations on use of network for the purposes of ensuring efficiency and continuity. Also, for the purposes of increasing the percentage of coverage and, at the same time, lower costs, providers and Carriers should consider the nature of population within various segments. This will not happen from only regulating bandwidth but also from monitoring nature of service and work provided.