Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
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The Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality

Currently, the Internet is considered to be neutral, however there is a lot of confusion over what exactly is Net Neutrality. So, I've collected a list of both the advantages and disadvantages of Net Neutrality to help people, especially lawmakers, decide what is best for the Internet.

Pros For Net Neutrality
  1. No Restrictions: Currently, there are no restrictions on what parts of the Internet that people can access, except for what local governments decide. For example, there are no restrictions or preferences over emailing, file sharing, instant messaging (IM), Voice over IP (VoIP), Video Conferencing, Podcasts, blogs, RSS feeds, USENET, etc.
  2. No Throttling: Currently, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can not change the download or upload transfer rates depending on what people are accessing.
  3. No Censorship: There are no restrictions on what or how much anyone can upload or download besides connection rates.
  4. Capitalism: Net Neutrality promotes a level playing field for competing companies, and allows start-ups easier access to new potential customers. Net Neutrality is equated to a free market.
Cons Against Net Neutrality
  1. Restrictions/Censorship: ISPs, in addition to governments, can decide what parts of the Internet that people can access and what parts are blocked. For instance, ISPs could block peer to peer file transfers. Additionally, ISPs could censor criticism against themselves, other companies, or politicians that they favor.
  2. Anti-Competition: Similar to the previous con, ISPs could block or prevent access to their competitors products, services, or web pages. Thus have restrictions against competition.
  3. Throttling: ISPs can decide what types of services have prefer transfer rates. For instance, Google's Gmail could be fast why their competitors Microsoft’s Hotmail could be slower, depending on how much both companies pay the Internet Service Providers. Another common example would be high data transfers, such as peer to peer file transfers, could have slow rates than regular shorter data transfer, such as email.
  4. Money: ISPs could charge more money for more access to the Internet. ISPs believe that heavier users of the Internet should pay more. This extra money could be used to increase the bandwidth of the Internet for everyone and drive prices down. However, ISPs are already extremely profits and they can just as easily increase prices for everyone. Keep in mind, that Internet connection prices should be decreases why bandwidth increases. However in many parts of the world, this is not the case.
  5. Monitoring: There is already a lot of monitoring on the Internet, however without Net Neutrality, ISPs could literally monitor everything that their customers do on the Internet and sell or use that information as they choose.

In conclusion, I think it is obvious that Net Neutrality strongly favors people while the alternative favors corporations.

by Phil for Humanity
on 05/14/2011

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