How the Repeal of Net Neutrality Impact Consumers

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Since the introducing of the first computer, internet usage has seen a large flux of users. While many of the population has little knowledge of how the internet works or how traffics flow, they understand that it’s a necessity in today’s modern age. Recently the FCC chairman Ajit Pai has successfully pushed for the repealed of the Title 2 of Communications Act which is known as Net Neutrality.Net Neutrality has been largely criticized by big telecommunications company for being too regulated.But if the future of Net Neutrality fails to exist, internet freedom will cease to exist.

The principle of Net Neutrality was established to protects consumers rights and to use the internet freely by assuring that all internet service providers cannot throttle and are supplying open networks that do not censor or discriminate against any applications to favor their own.According to Emily Sundberg from thecut, she expressed that with Net Neutrality repealed, there could be major consequences for how we consume the internet. Fast lane could be occupied by big internet and media companies, industry giants could pay to get an edge over competitors, and leave them in an unfair playing field (Sundberg).

The problem is that majority of Americans get their internet access with no choice in competition, without Net Neutrality large telecommunications companies can manipulate consumers data and manipulate how we send and receive data over the internet. In a recent poll by the Washington Post, about 83% of voters support Net Neutrality, but about 72% of consumers don’t know what Net Neutrality is. At its core, Net Neutrality it’s a useful tool for consumers because it balance the power of telecommunications companies and also prevent potential abuse, most consumers will not care until it affects them.

In order to solve big telecommunications companies involvement in the throttling and manipulating consumers choice, the government need to be more involved and make the internet a public utility. In this modern age, the internet is one the of the most necessity tool to survive,we rely on the internet to pay bills, to communicate with family and friends, and for much of us, we use it to work.Putting such an important tool entirely in the hands of companies that care only about profits above all else is a dangerous idea. If tap water and electricity is heavily regulated, the internet should be too.

In order to reclassify the internet as a public utility in the United States,it would had to go through many phases to pass as a utility. ,According to Ben Tarnoff from The Guardian, Publicly owned ISPs provide people things that private ISPs can’t, they provide better service at lower cost because they don’t have work for executives and investors. They empower communities to decide how the infrastructure is run. The internet is no longer a luxury thing but rather a necessity for many Americans.

To make the internet a public utility, it would first has to pass through the Public Utilities Commission of each state and brought on by local voters. According to the author of Power and Market:

Government and economy, Murray Roathboard stated that in order for the internet to become a utility, the government must control price, licenses, quality standards, safety precautions, eminent domain, wage taxes, corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, property taxes, progressive taxes, the single tax, government ownership of anything, and all forms of government spending.

In this industry, telecommunications company already control price in where they monopolize and monitor consumers traffic(Roathboard).Having more government regulations, innovators are at the hands of network owners and building new online entrepreneurships or businesses will require paying protection money to the top of the hierarchy. According to David Lane from Linux Journal, service providers nowaday already enforce a fee for faster internet or the cause would be a halt in innovation and end up giving larger companies the power to nudge aside the smaller start-ups from expanding (Lane).

Also, net neutrality saves the internet as an ideal marketplace. For the previous 10 years, the Internet has been a public marketplace where privatized companies are able to expand and grow with the help of consumers tax dollars. According to Adam Thierer, a senior technology research, he stated that “The layers model is an important analytical tool that could help lawmakers rethink and eventually eliminate the increasingly outmoded policy paradigms of the past, which pigeonholed technologies and providers into discrete industrial regulatory categories .”

Many companies argue that if a major regulators has too much power that would alter innovation , it could potentially cause companies to be to move to another cities thus leaving many cities without real innovation. The problem is that rolling out these plans will require an overhaul in how internet cable cable are rollout, insufficient broadband will affect the lives of many people.

Phase 2 will be the commissions of public utility to determine that if the internet is a basic essential service. According to Phillip Cross, a associate legal editor of public utilities, public companies disguise themselves as public utilities but in reality they do not meet the definition under state law and with government intervention they would have power to regulate the operations, local districts can ensure that service is safe, adequate and without unreasonable interruption or delay(Cross). While regulating financial and technical fitness requirements necessary to maintain public system reliability, the commission mention that local distribution utilities cannot impose leverage on consumers to impose market barrier to favor executives.

Once the law get passed all privately owned companies will then be heavily mandated by local city districts.To regulate the net means to apply a control which would prevent an ISP from raising prices to content providers and applications that require priority delivery. Firstly, net neutrality adds no new regulations; it only preserves Internet neutrality . This is simply stating that no new regulations are being promoted; it is the restoration of tried consumer protections and network operating principles.

It is an implementation of the Internet’s freedom. Moreover, net neutrality regulates service providers, not the internet. The regulation of network neutrality would propose a positive induction in the aspect of internet freedom (Brodkin). The main concept of regulation is the underlying basis of the net neutrality debate. It would provide a positive impact to all parties, if implemented,most ISPs will dodge bullets by setting out clear rules about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior. This assists network owners by avoiding getting in trouble with anti-competitive laws and as well as their customers who get angry with privilege issues.

According to Rani Molla there are about 62 million Americans in urban centers and 16 million in rural area who does not have access to the internet, either they don’t have access to it or cannot afford it(Rani). That’s about 39% of Americans who meet the internet requirement to meet the definition of broadband while half of Americans who makes under 30,000 a year have no internet at all, this hit especially hard on the black and hispanic communities.

Telecom companies often ignore these communities because they can make more money elsewhere. Rutkins quoted digital rights advocate, Bartees Cox, when she wrote that “The internet was supposed to be this great equalizer. It didn’t matter where you lived or how wealthy you are” (Rutkins). Until the recent win for Verizon, there was a democratic value to the internet that a lot of users do not necessarily think about.

The World Wide Web promoted freedom to be human, free of speech, where anyone can express their ideas and opinions freely. It also allowed the freedom to search and use the internet without any throttling. It served as platform for creativity, allowing what used to be ideas into reality and it paved the way to countless inventions. Lastly, it provided leisure through countless different ways for its users. According to Civil Rights activist, Edward Wyatt stated that capping internet speed for those who cannot pay will be infringing the rights of these individuals, the right to be treated equally, despite economic status, the right to speak and leisure.

As a result of the invalidation of the Open Internet Rules, Comcast sealed a deal with online movie streaming company, Netflix, for faster internet speed for their subscribers last February (Wyatt). This is proof that net neutrality is indeed gone. Netflix is a giant company who is able to pay Comcast’s rate. But what will happen to small businesses that will not be able to afford this fee? The connection for these companies will be slow which will frustrate customers and eventually will lead to loss of business. Once again, Aviva Rutkin quotes Bartees Cox, “If the internet is only available in high-priced bundles, then people will be restricted to what they can afford” (Rutkin).

But if making the internet a public utility isn’t effortless,America already has an infrastructure problem today, with gas lines and electricity’s aging because of no real competition has leave many consumers in the dust.According to Larry Downes from the Washington Post, Regulated utilities have no financial incentive to embrace change(Downes). However, this could be solved by local districts voters. If no change or innovation comes from internet provider, local voters can vote for the whoever is willing to put innovation in place and as reported by Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica, 78% of Americans lack internet providers who can provide 25 megabits per second , so the internet is already a monopoly provider with no real motive to change.

Before Net Neutrality, an open internet rules did not exist, big telecom companies would sealed deal with startup companies in order to get an advantage, for example in 2014 Comcast made an undisclosed deal with an online movie streaming company, Netflix, for faster internet speed for their subscribers, Netflix a large online corporation who is able to pay Comcast’s, but small businesses will not have the funding to compete.

Telecom companies will start slowing down the connection for these startup companies , which will frustrate customers and potentially lead to the loss of business. Aviva Rutkin stated that “If the internet is only available in high-priced bundles, then people will be restricted to what they can afford” (Rutkin).The deal between Comcast and Netflix is just the beginning of what is to come. Internet Service Provider sharks will continue to target smaller fish and in the end, the most vulnerable preys will be the individual users who are at the bottom of the internet food chain.

The Federal Communications Commission needs to take action against the broadband providers who are destroying the internet’s openness. Net Neutrality should be re-established to protect each user’s right to equality, the right to speech and to leisure and so that small businesses will continue to flourish. The internet is a powerful influence on the world today and it needs to be protected, in return, users will continue to enjoy its vast services.

Another problem that may be run into with public utilities is that in this net debate, those against the internet becoming a utility claims that this rule will stop the development of new services and if users pay more fees for faster connection, there will be more money to invest in new technologies. Internet Service Providers’ pockets will not reap the profit to spend on innovations that will benefit only those who can afford them. But on the other hand,only a handful will benefit from this move and the rest will have to settle for bad quality connection or opt to not use the internet at all.

This could potentially lead to a decline in internet usage that will lead to loss of business for broadband providers. Internet Service Providers need to understand long-term result and how impactful the internet may be. Debrorah Desouzah writes that “Investment in companies dependent on high speed internet is likely to drop if internet providers are free to discriminate between users, and MIT Technology Review has reported this has already begun” (Desouzah)

David Pogue, a tech business writer explained that court verdict stated that internet service providers is not define under the Federal Communications Commission, such as AT&T and Verizon, as common carriers but instead information service. Therefore telecom companies does not obey by the net neutrality principle, he further explained that FCC lost the rules on Net Neutrality on a technicality and the solution to this dilemma is in the verdict itself.In order for an open internet for consumers, the FCC would redefine Internet Service Providers as common carriers like phone companies or public transportation companies (Lohr Steve).

These carriers are not governed by strict regulations that will ensure that all customers are treated equally, so Federal Communications Commission must step in to re-define Internet Service Providers as public utilities and common carriers, thus restoring net neutrality .In 2007, some Comcast customers started to notice that something was causing an interference to their internet. At the time, Peer-to-Peer applications started to become popular and driving up increasing overall internet traffic. Consumers will soon discovered that it was Comcast causing the interference.

Thus, a 16 million dollar lawsuit was filed by Free Press and Public Knowledge which states that Comcast violated that FCC’s Internet Policy Statement that customers are entitled to the lawful internet content of their choice and to run applications and services of their choice. Comcast justified the decision by stating that the internet was a limited resource(Cheng Jacqui). Such companies can legally falsely claim of limited resource when the internet is an open infrastructure, this would later justified by the D.C court of circuit that the FCC did not have any power to enforce these laws, thus causing the FCC to roll out Net Neutrality.

In Conclusion, internet service providers should not have the power to change how the internet work. Since the invention of the internet, telecom companies started fighting to deregulated the internet so they can make a mere profits on their consumers. With the local and federal government intervention, internet service providers will no longer have the freedom to control the internet. 2013, Verizon stated that the only thing stopping them from favoring some content providers over other providers were the net neutrality rules in place(Karr Timothy).

With the increasing demand on the internet and the fast pace of how technology advances, the government should step in and do what’s right for the people and not large telecom companies that would only limit innovation of new technology, with the mind of profit driven. The internet market forces itself should govern the internet just as it has in the past (Athur Charles).

Work Cited Page

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Cite this paper

How the Repeal of Net Neutrality Impact Consumers. (2021, Jun 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/how-the-repeal-of-net-neutrality-impact-consumers/

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