The an equal playing field for allThe an equal playing field for all

The concept of Net Neutrality provides a free internet and it’s too early to know the negative effects that might come from repealing it. Net neutrality allows for consumers to have access to all content on the internet at relatively good speeds after paying a provider that enables our computers and electronic devices to connect with the World Wide Web. Under the current principal of Net Neutrality, the internet is treated by the government as a utility similar to services like the water and the electrical companies. Under Net Neutrality free access is considered a right of the consumer. Net Neutrality provides the consumer with broad and efficient access to all that the internet has to offer after paying access to it by a provider. The FCC proposed a repeal of Net Neutrality because they feel that the government should not be involved in regulating the internet. Instead, they want what they call free enterprise to reign amongst the service providers. Those concerned with this change believe ultimately it would cost more for the consumer while benefiting business. Some say eliminating net neutrality will allow internet business to grow and end monopolies such as Google and Facebook. However, one fear is that along with this a greater cost may be passed on to the consumer by ISPs who may charge more to keep good speed highways to the internet for content that may not benefit the company.            When it comes to the issues surrounding Net Neutrality there are two sides of the debate. Some say keeping the status quo allows consumers to continue accessing all content on the internet at the same speed with the same efficiency. However, there are others who think it should be done away with. Advocates for NN say it provides an equal playing field for all internet services. Without NN, cable and phone companies can try to direct traffic to where they want and slow down access to their competitors. ISPs will also be able to charge extra fees to other companies that pose a threat. As a result, people’s choices will become more limited unless they are willing to pay extra. People also argue it will be harder for people to reach out across the internet, such as social movements and people trying to start businesses. It will be difficult for people to connect with each other as they used to. Likewise, many small businesses depend on having net neutrality to build their business. Without it, their efforts could be suppressed by ISPs.            On the other side of the debate there are people who want NN repealed, because it gives the government more control over the internet. They claim that with NN in effect, the government can monitor broadband connections. They argue instead that it should be in the  hands of entrepreneurs. In a Forbes article, writer Joshua Steimle cautions, “Don’t be surprised if that means the government needs to be able to install its own hardware and software at critical points to monitor Internet traffic. Once installed, can we trust this government, or any government, to use that access in a benign fashion?”  In a recent interview, Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC argues that  repealing NN will have some benefits. He argues that ending NN will spur more investment in the ISPs sector giving them the opportunity to create more services. That could open up more competition which could ultimately benefit Americans giving them more internet access. In a PUREVPN article, the writer Sheheryar Khan critiques the interview by mentioning, “it’s worth noting that with competition among ISPs poor in most locations in the US, it’s very likely consumers won’t have much choice in terms of the ISP they can use and hence they wouldn’t be the biggest beneficiaries of eliminating net neutrality.”            In light of all the governmental changes that are being proposed concerning net neutrality, this has led a lot of people to be in opposition to it. By repealing NN the government will no longer be able to regulate ISPs. According to the FCC, “Following detailed legal and economic analysis, as well as an extensive examination of comments from consumers and stakeholders, the Commission reversed the FCC’s 2015 heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband Internet access service, which imposed substantial costs on the entire Internet ecosystem.” The FCC claims that their framework will protect consumers with less cost than the prior rules which were more rigid. Their main point is that “restoring a favorable climate for network investment is key to closing the digital divide, spurring competition and innovation that benefits consumers.” The government will no longer treat internet company providers as utilities like they are some kind of human need.            The Federal Communications Commision is a governmental agency that is in control of communications like radio, television, satellite, and cable. They are responsible for the policy changes on Net Neutrality. When it comes to internet access the commission states, that “All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentives to develop and offer such products and services.”            The FCC will implement new rules and the vote will be on December 14, 2017, Under the leadership of Chairman Pai, the FCC has proposed bringing back the original regulatory framework that the internet once had and recovering the market-based policies which will help restore internet freedom for the future. Specifically, the FCC wants to, “Reinstate the ‘information service’ classification of broadband Internet access service first established on a bipartisan basis during the Clinton Administration. Restore the determination that mobile broadband is not a ‘commercial mobile service’ subject to heavy-handed regulation. Restore the authority of the nation’s most experienced cop on the privacy beat – the Federal Trade Commission – to police the privacy practices of ISPs.”            On December 14, 2017, chairman Pai will plan on repealing net neutrality which was passed by the Obama administration in 2015. Pai has stated that the purpose of this repeal is to stop the government from micromanaging the internet. The FCC has one chairman and four commissioners. The end vote will result in some of them voting for the repeal of NN and some dissenting to it.           There are concerns of losing free access to the overall internet by dismantling the current NN policy. With NN repealed, providers may start offering the service in bundles. As a result, consumers will have to pay extra if they chose something else.  Opponents to the change favor the governmental oversight as it now stands. They feel the consumer will ultimately have costs passed on to them due to any extra cost the ISPs will incur as a result. Also, they will pay more for any tailored services they would prefer to what is offered in a bundle. The hopeful proposition is that the competition will force ISPs to offer the best service at the best price, otherwise consumers will take their business elsewhere. Having a free market should sort out any potential problems. It could allow more businesses into the market and curb the dominance of the current giants. Overall, I think it’s too early to tell what negative effects might result from the decision if at all.