Network Neutrality

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This case study from the beginning wanted to know the kind of internet use the reader is and how their usage is affecting the bandwidth making it slow down the entire internet. It went further to discuss reports which indicated that use demand for the internet could outspace network capacity by 2011 which would result in slow performance on websites such as youtube and facebook with other services. The debate about metering internet use centres was also raised. Network neutrality which is the idea of internet service providers allowing customers equal access to content and applications regardless of the source or nature of the content was the key issue discussed in this case study. It brought to the fore the fact that presently the internet is indeed neutral because it was built on phone lines, which are subject to common carriage laws. These laws require phone companies to treat all calls and customers equally. Which means that they cannot offer extra benefits to customers willing to pay higher premiums for faster or clearer calls. Due to bandwidth consumed by content being delivered over the internet, Telecom and cable companies want to be able to charge differentiated prices. Advocates of net neutrality are pushing congress to regulate the industry which would require network providers to refrain from these types of practices. Some companies report that 5 percent of their customers use about half the capacity on local lines without paying any more than low-usage customers. They state that metered pricing is “the fairest way” to finance necessary investments in its network infrastructure. Internet service providers point to the upsurge in piracy of copyrighted materials over the Internet as a reason to oppose network neutrality. Comcast reported that illegal file sharing of copyrighted material was consuming 50 percent of its network capacity. The company posits that if network transmission rates were slower...
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