Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a rule proposed for users’ accessing the Internet.  All Internet content must be treated alike which implies the owners of the Internet’s connections can’t discriminate.  This is the Internet’s best feature because it is a powerful force for true free speech and economic good.  Without net neutrality, the Internet would become TV with a handful of companies distributing content.  They would decide what we get to see and the price we would pay for it.  The Internet would lose the “end-to-end” principle and its appeal to users.

The fact that people may use more bandwidth doesn’t matter, ISPs use optical cables anyways.  This means data is transferred near the speed of light, disregarding propagation, processing, and transmission delays.  Everyone shares bandwidth, but that is not the main problem with page loading times.  The problem lies within round trip transmission rates.  If we can decrease RTT rates, web pages would be loaded much faster regardless of bandwidth.  Reducing even RTT rates from 150 milliseconds to 100 milliseconds would have more effect on load times than increasing present bandwidth to even 1 Gbps.  However, I do not disagree with companies charging for access to their online services.  If you need a specific web service, the creator of that web service has a right to charge you for using the service, but no right to charge you for the bandwidth you share.  In my opinion, there is absolutely no problem with charging for a web service.  Depending on the web service, it might be better to have free access, such as Facebook.

In conclusion, net neutrality needs to remain intact because the Internet was created with this in mind and this is its prominent feature.  To rid the Internet of neutrality would be equivalent to ridding democracy from the United States of America.


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