Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

Is net neutrality good or bad? Show more Show less

Net neutrality is the idea that internet providers must not treat websites differently. All websites, irrespective of their content, equipment, or location must be treated with the same priority and speed. For net neutrality’s proponents, it is essential for preserving the internet’s commitment to information sharing and the establishment of a level playing field for all participants, but what are the pros and cons of net neutrality?

Net neutrality is good Show more Show less

Net neutrality prevents internet providers from becoming the gatekeepers of competition, information, and morality in the digital space.
(1 of 2 Positions) Next >

Net neutrality helps the internet grow by being a launching pad for new web services

Net neutrality spurs innovation which helps the internet expand. If only a few established domains and services are favored by major internet providers, then it becomes very hard for emerging startups to become recognized and popular among the consumer base.
< Previous (4 of 4 Arguments) Next >

Context

The Argument

Youtube, Netflix, Skype, and many other popular sites have one key aspect in common: They were all given an equal playing field by internet providers and all given the same opportunity for growth. Net neutrality is the idea that all content on the internet is treated equally. Major internet providers such as Comcast and AT&T cannot favor some content over others and place them in the “digital fast lanes”. Protection of net neutrality ensures that certain websites, content, and streaming services are not made available more quickly to consumers over others. Net neutrality is crucial for the expansion and growth of the internet. If only established sites and streaming services are made available at faster speeds or are overwhelmingly "enforced" by internet providers, then most startup sites will never garner attention from viewers. If internet providers were given complete control over which data they can place in the fast lanes and which ones they can discriminate against by placing in the slow lanes, then it is entirely predictable that most startups will be placed in the slow lanes. In the long run, this is not only harmful to startups but to the internet itself. The internet relies entirely on innovation. Consumers are increasingly drawn to sites that provide them with something different than what they already have. However, if net neutrality is repealed, then only major, well-established sites would be favored. The internet would lose its star quality of innovation. As consumers become tired of these overly favored sites, it will also stop growing and lose many once faithful customers.

Counter arguments

The elimination of net neutrality does not mean that the internet will lose its innovation. The pace of loading at these so-called "slow digital lanes" are drastically overestimated. Information, web services, and streaming services placed here load at seconds or in some cases a minute or two slower than information placed in the fast lanes. Now, if these websites offered comparable or inferior quality services in relation to better, well-established websites offering the same content, then these websites won't succeed. However, if a completely innovative website is made available and it offers brand new content, then regardless of the slightly slower loading time, more people will use it. Eventually, such a website will be placed in the digital "fast lane". Eliminating net neutrality makes competition a little tougher but it does not eliminate innovation. Instead, it ensures that the most innovative and game-changing companies can succeed.

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

    Explore related arguments

    This page was last edited on Saturday, 27 Jun 2020 at 13:31 UTC