Net Neutrality

Topics: Internet, Internet service provider, Network neutrality, Broadband Internet access, Internet exchange point, Privacy / Pages: 7 (1506 words) / Published: Feb 20th, 2016
Net Neutrality is a legal concept that has recently been the focus of numerous media headlines. Let me make this clear. Net Neutrality is not simply another meandering piece of legislature, rather it is philosophical idea woven into law. Now that this philosophy has been written into law by the United States government the true nature of its framework coming to light ("What the heck is net neutrality? - The Washington Post," n.d.). Net Neutrality has been a leading topic of discussion in the field of technology for quite some time, yet few know exactly what the term means. This is very unfortunate because the subject matter has the potential to significantly impact us all. The following text will explain the ins and outs of Net Neutrality and …show more content…
Simply put it is the idea that current and future Internet service providers are not allowed to decide whose data gets transferred faster than others (Ganley & Allgrove, 2006). Whether it is a major corporation or a personal email, the speed at which the data is transferred would be the same ("Information Systems Research: INFORMS," n.d.). Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu first coined the term in 2003 based on an earlier concept and it has since come under great scrutiny because of several mainstream corporations that are involved ("Information Systems Research: INFORMS," n.d.). Advocates of Net Neutrality believe that Companies who provide Internet service, such as Verizon and Comcast should be required by law to offer the same services at the same prices to everyone in the attempt to maintain an even playing field ("What the heck is net neutrality? - The Washington Post," n.d.). They believe that Internet service providers should be treated like public utility companies (i.e. electricity, telephone service, water) and held to the same strict fairness regulations set by the FCC ("What the heck is net neutrality? - The Washington Post," n.d.). On the other hand Internet service providers insist this is unfair. They believe they should be able to charge companies like Amazon and Netflix higher service fees due to their enormous …show more content…
While the overall concept itself is rather easy to grasp, the rapidly evolving configuration of the Internet, composed of numerous identifiable and unidentifiable entities makes the enforcement of its laws both a legal and technological nightmare. As far as ethics are concerned the complexity is only exaggerated ("Net Neutrality, Exclusivity Contracts and Internet Fragmentation," 2014). The FCC maintains that Net Neutrality is a necessary law, vital to maintain a fair playing field. FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn explained their position that Net Neutrality is necessary to ensure internet freedoms. She continued, adding that “a free and open internet is vital to our democracy and competitive market. I am proud to stand up for the consumer to protect free speech and a free market” ("What the heck is net neutrality? - The Washington Post," n.d.). The United States Federal Court is currently in the process of deciding if Internet access should be considered a public utility ("Information Systems Research: INFORMS," n.d.). If the court decides that it is, the reach of Net Neutrality will become virtually limitless ("What the heck is net neutrality? - The Washington Post,"

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