Posted by: maclua | September 26, 2010

The End Of the Internet as We Know it

This is an essay that i wrote in school and since it was relevant I thought I would post it.

Do you enjoy surfing the web and being able to access any website you wanted to? Well if a few large corporations like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Goole have their way that will all change. A concept called Net-Neutrality that was been around since the invention of the internet states that an ISP(internet service provider) can not place restriction on what type of access an individual can have to the internet. Net-Neutrality guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites. The nations largest Telephone and cable providers want to illuminate net-neutrality so that they can monopolize the internet and have control over which web sites load faster which load slower and which won’t  load at all. We as Americans have to pursue Congress to pass a bill ensuring that net-neutrality is enforced because abandoning it would come at a disadvantage to consumers, owners of small websites, and at a greater cost then we are currently paying.

To begin a move to get rid of net-neutrality would come at a great disadvantage to consumers because ISPs could force them to revert to other services that the ISP provides. For example, many Americans have canceled their traditional home phone service and replaced them with Voice over Internet protocol services such as Vonage and Skype, but what if one day your ISP decided block or slow down these services making them unusable. In this case the ISP would not only have the power to control what internet services a person can use but they can also very easily completely wipe out the competition. Another way consumers would be shorthanded by this is that they might be cohorts into using certain websites were your ISP would profit from sending you. For instance a search company like Google could pay your ISP for making their website load quicker while slowing down the sites of Google’s competitors like Yahoo and Bing. This would cause many people to stop using Yahoo or Bing and move over to Google because of the faster load time. The ISPs would somewhat dictate that users use their partners service over the individuals choice of preference.

The owners of small websites would also be trouble if Congress failed to pass a bill protecting net-neutrality. Such websites would be handicapped because the traffic to their site would go down and therefor their  revenue would also plunge causing the sites to go under. The web traffic to web sites would go down because users would be deterred from using the site because of the sluggish download speed. ISPs could effectively destroy an up-and-coming website before it even had a fair chance. Promising new websites wouldn’t even have an opportunity to compete with existing sites that offer similar services because the new sites wouldn’t be able to pay the large sums of money the ISPs would require them to pay for sending their site through the “fast lane” of the internet. Many Bloggers are left asking the question “what about websites like CommonCause.org or your favorite blog that can’t afford to pay up?  They might be left in the slow lane of the information superhighway”(CommonCause.org). Furthermore, allowing ISPs to charge websites for faster service would be an immense discrimination to websites that don’t have the financial power of large sites like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

With the end of net neutrality consumers would end up paying more for the same internet connection they get today. ISPs could create a  two tiered internet service model where consumers would have to choose between a commercial section of the internet and the “public internet” which is the one we know and love today. For instance, Eliot Van Brusker recently wrote an article about a proposal by Google and Verizon that would “allow ISPs to offer premium content bundles”(wired.com) where he stated that, “Google and Verizon have proposed creating a second, paid-access-only internet.” The “new” commercial internet would only allow users access to a hand full of popular websites. Some opponents of net neutrality argue that the  internet would become cheaper for consumers this is simply not true. Although the switch to a “commercial internet” may save the consumer a few dollars at most those of us that want to continue to use the same internet we have for years would have to pay a lot more for access to the “public internet”. Basically if a two tier internet was allowed it would reduce the number of websites to a fraction of those available today.

If want to continue to use the internet in its current, free and open form we need insist our politicians to pass a bill preventing our internet service providers form implementing such actions. Like President Obama said during his campaign “A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way”(BarackObama.com). Americans need to demand that politicians pass a bill protecting net neutrality by signing a petition such as the one located on savetheinternet.com and by calling your local and state representatives and tell them you want a bill protecting net neutrality.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: