Net neutrality is imperative, a good foundation for the internet which must be protected. It is the backbone of the internet and it promotes freedom of speech, social equality, and offers equal opportunities for business growth. Net neutrality is a guiding principle for the Internet, one which preserves the right for all individuals to communicate freely online. Net neutrality is in fact the definition of an open Internet. This means that the Internet not only enables free-speech but protects it. Internet service providers have to offer open networks and cannot block or discriminate against any content within those networks. Much the same way as a phone company is unable to determine who you are allowed to call him what you are allowed to say, your Internet connection should not dictate what you can view or post on the Internet (Pil Choi and Kim, 2010).
Freedom of speech is protected by net neutrality and without net neutrality that freedom would be taken away. Net neutrality may seem like a consumer issue, but really it is one about freedom of speech. Almost every person uses the internet daily, and it is imperative that free speech rights be protected both online and offline. Freedom of speech is not worth much if forums where individuals are able to utilize freedom of speech are not free themselves. It is imperative that competition and innovation be supported, so as to avoid allowing a single entity to block what content they choose. With net neutrality, people have the right to say whatever they want, to speak to whomever they want, and to engage in any forum they see fit so long as it does not include terrorism against the host country.
Regardless of who owns the cable and phone company providing the ISP number for the internet connection, individual users can say what they want, when they want it, and to whom. No internet provider can cut off access to sites they do not approve of. They cannot stop a customer from reviewing a site, commenting on a site, or making comments they do not like. No one is able to stop users from freedom of speech. Without net neutrality, individuals would be unable to speak freely on the internet. They would be unable to share openly in open forums because no such thing would exist. If they wanted to view a site that went against the values or the political party of the company who owned the internet cable, they would be rendered unable (Pil Choi and Kim, 2010).
Without net neutrality, there would be social injustice, and therefore it is imperative that it remain. Open communication along all avenues of the internet allows communities of different social and economic classes to tell their stories. It allows them to organize for social justice. Mainstream media allows people to speak only what the mainstream media approves, but the Internet allows anyone to fight against any form of injustice or discrimination. Open Internet provides marginalized voices and opportunity to be heard but without net neutrality unpopular speech from dissident voices of lower social classes could be blocked by the providers, removing a vital platform that allows for E quality along every person using the Internet. (Kourandi, 2014).
Without net neutrality companies would be able to carve out the Internet so to speak into fast lanes and slow lanes. A phone and cable company would be allowed to slow down the content from a competitor’s website or block political opinions with which they disagree. These same phone and cable companies would charge an extra fee to the companies who could afford it such that these companies receive preferential treatment. This would mean that companies with the highest amount of money would connect to Internet users faster while everyone else who was unable or unwilling to spend the extra fees would be subject to a slower tier of service. This naturally destroys the concept of open internet and the enterprise that it currently is. Without net neutrality small businesses which are owned by hard-working individuals would be unable to compete against the larger corporations. They would be unable to pay fees associated with higher service and as a result they would face economic decline, disappearing from the economic race one by one.
Net neutrality is critical for entrepreneurs and small-business owners who rely upon the use of the Internet to not only launch their business, but to create a market and to advertise their services and their products to customers. Open Internet is necessary in order to foster competition, innovation, and job growth. Net neutrality reduces the barriers that a startup or small-company my face by giving everyone a level playing field. New business owners and entrepreneurs can thrive on the Internet. They can use the Internet to reach new customers and to showcase what services and goods they have to offer. No company should be allowed to interfere with this type of open market and net neutrality currently protects this open market, but without it larger corporations could seize every opportunity to profit by cutting off startup companies from faster Internet and cutting off customers from access to smaller companies (Crowcroft, 2007).
With net neutrality, freedom of speech, social equality, and thriving entrepreneurship is sustainable and therefore it must be protected. It allows the internet to remain a place where open and free communication takes place. Net neutrality promotes social equality. Those who make less money, are not forced to enjoy a lesser version of internet access, or restricted access to information. Ending net neutrality would only allow big business will benefit and monopolize. With open internet, it encourages competition, and it promotes entrepreneurship.
- Crowcroft, J. (2007). Net neutrality: the technical side of the debate: a white paper. ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, 37(1), 49-56.
- Kourandi, F. (2014). Net Neutrality, Exclusivity Contracts and Internet Fragmentation. Social Science Research Network, 1-93.
- Pil Choi, J. and Kim, B.-C. (2010), Net neutrality and investment incentives. The RAND Journal of Economics, 41: 446–471