I reviewed an article titled “Net Neutrality” that appeared in the New York Times on Dec. 22, 2010. The idea of net neutrality is that ISPs should treat all data equally. Some ISPs, such as AT&T and Comcast, favor a different stance that would restrict consumer’s access to content and charge a consumer more based on their level of usage. This issue has heated up in the past decade as the need for bandwidth has steadily increased due to more internet users and the advent of streaming video and audio.
Net neutrality has become threatened as in April 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, could not force ISPs to give equal treatment to all internet traffic passing over their networks. In December 2010, the FCC came up with a solution that ISPs can regulate usage based on whether the internet service provided was wired or wireless. For fixed broadband networks, ISPs cannot block any lawful content, services, or applications. Wireless providers, may not block any web sites, however they are allowed to block applications and services. Considering these new guidelines the author suggested that net neutrality was now net semi-neutrality.
Service Providers argue that the quality of service should be a tiered style, meaning you would pay more for higher level of service. Additionally, they say government regulations which enforce network neutrality limit their business models and diminish their incentive to create faster networks. The opposition reject this argument stating that faster internet doesn’t necessarily mean better for all, the utilitarian way. For instance, the wealthy will be pushed to the front and the average joe six pack could be limited due to lack of funds.
I was largely unaware of the controversy of Net Neutrality prior to this assignment and glad it was assigned. While I had some difficulty fully understanding the issues around net neutrality, I have to say from what I learned I am opposed to...
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