The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

The Award Winning News Publication of Mercy College

The Impact

Net Neutrality

Debate: Should the FCC force the Internet providers to deliver the Internet equality and openly to all (its current form), or should those companies have the right to sell Web access in different packages?

“Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet Equality, not discriminating or changing differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.”[1] Supporter of net neutrality (what is used in the current system) claim that it allows free access to all information. The FCC has required that all Internet providers allow everybody to be able to access all the information on the Internet already and what will be out there in the future for free. “Creativity, innovation and a free and open marketplace are all at stake in this fight”[2] However, critics of Net neutrality claim that the Internet is not an unlimited resource and because the airwave signals are limited the Internet needs to be regulated or else eventually there will be information overload, leading to slowness and possibly a crash. “This principle implies that the Internet is more efficient and useful to the public when it is less focused on a particular audience and instead made for everyone to understand and enjoy.”[3] If net neutrality was taken away and instead a tried service model (with premium packages that would allowed access to more websites) was put into place the Internet would not be the place that we know it to be today. Websites would not be free to get information from like they are now. People would only get a certain number of websites for free and the rest they would have to pay an extra free for in a tiered service system. How would your service provider (Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Optimum, Time Warner and Clear Channel) decide what websites to give for free and which ones would cost extra money?

If the Internet stays like it is now then someday nobody is going to be able to get through because the Internet waves will be jammed. Just like with Radio, if too many people have their own station than no one will be able to have a station because the signal will be blocked. That is why there are not as many radio stations as television stations and websites. The amount of space able to hold the number of television stations that most have people these days is larger then the amount of space available through the air waves and that is why there are not as many radio stations as television stations. The amount of space on the Internet seems endless but it is not and eventually your Internet service provider, whatever company that might be, will have to put premium packages in to effect for people to get the information that they get now for free.

Today the Internet is an information super-highway where everybody has equal access to the same websites. But the phone and cable monopolies want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lines and whose information gets seen first and the fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block access for people who cannot pay a fee that they might put into place. Having hundreds of television stations is normal these days but remember when people only had the basic channels and no one had a premium package. Why is it that people are willing to pay for more television stations but the thought of paying for the Internet sounds ridiculous? This is probably because people could always access everything that they wanted on the Internet and it was always free and people never knew of it to be any other way. But everything on the Internet is not free. You cannot download other people’s copyrighted music without paying for the music or paying a heavy fine if you are caught stealing your favorite artist’s music. Nothing comes without a price in this world so why is the Internet different? The Internet is different because without Net neutrality the Internet would start to look like cable television. It is as if your Internet providers put up ‘toll booths’ and put a price on what you can access on the information superhighway. Right now people do pay for a faster more efficient Internet with higher speeds but they are not paying for the amount of information they are getting.

People want their information to stay free but in the future that is probably going to change. How can the amount of space on the Internet be endless? There cannot possibly be enough room to store and transmit all of the information that people want to receive. I am arguing for the side that our Internet providers should charge a fee to get and transmit information over the Internet. If you want faster more reliable Internet service, you pay more; so why is it so bad to have to pay to be able to get more information sent to us on our computers? “Currently, the FCC obeys what is known as the “Open Internet rules,” an extension of the analog-era 1934 Communications Act.  They require all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to maintain “Net neutrality” standards, therefore treating all data equally and excluding them from slowing down or blocking websites.”[4] If the FCC does away with Net neutrality people will only be able to get a hand full of websites for free and all the other websites that we go on now will cost money. “Once upon a time, AT&T, the old Ma Bell, was a regulated monopoly.  In 1984, it was broken up into seven regional monopolies and two long-distance providers.”[5] That has to do with conglomeration, which means that big companies can buy up smaller companies so that no one company is the only company that provides a certain service. With conglomeration there would be a take over and a lot of the same would be out there in the world and there would not be any diversity and the world needs diversity to be able to survive in a healthy manner. There should not be one large company that takes over an entire industry because that block diversity from growing. That is the theory behind the Telecommunication Act of 1996. As a result, there are many service providers now (as listed above) and these services providers can charge whatever they want for their service.

The Internet is expanding at a rapid rate, and without regulations put into place there could be an overload of the system because there is only a limited amount of airwave signals that can transport digital information. There need to be a premium package cost in order to get more information. Everything is not going to be at your fingertips like it is now. Having these packages put into place will help to regulate the amount of information that is traveling over the Internet and this will help not to cause a major crash in the end. Some people argue that doing without Net neutrality could hurt “Internet freedom,” (having everything at your fingertips as it is now) but it is necessary to regulate the amount of space taken up with information or there will be an overload on the Internet and therefore I am against the implementation of Net neutrality.






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About the Contributor
Kelly Sisco
Kelly Sisco, Impact Staff
I am a Junior transfer student and my major is Public Relations. My love for writing started when I was only 7 years old and would read my stories and poems at local bookstores. Writing for me has been a major part of my life and an excellent way for me to express myself. From 2009-2012  I owned and managed my own gift and consignment shop in Tuckahoe, New York. I had around 150 people who brought in many different types of items to consign in my store. This job taught me how to get along with all different types of people, how to market and promote myself using event marketing and the internet, stay on top of things with the times and how to sell during this bad economy. Even though my shop closed, at the age of 28, owning this business was the best experience I could have ever had. Everyday was a growing and learning process and the hardest part was having to learn everything basically by myself. While running my shop I wrote a monthly column for a local paper about being a store owner and the ups, down and fun times I experienced along the way and the great stories that came along with all of that. I hope to take all of my business and writing skills to the next level and become someone that people can say they know in a positive way. I want to inspire to do bigger things with my life and continue to grow with the skills I already have and the skills I will gain at Mercy College. She can be reached at [email protected]

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