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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 bad Show more Show less

Net neutrality regulation hinders innovation and development in our internet products, preventing the emergence of more effective practices and more practical business models.
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Net neutrality raises the cost of internet for consumers

Net neutrality limits internet providers to a user-based revenue model.
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Context

Net neutrality forces internet providers to pursue a business model that relies on consumers for revenue, rather than businesses.

The Argument

Under net neutrality laws, internet providers have no choice but to rely on consumers for the bulk of their revenue. A business model emerges where consumers pay a fixed monthly subscription rate for their internet services, and this makes up the lion’s share of the providers' revenues. Under a different regulatory model, telecommunications companies could charge companies for the internet services used to distribute their content online. This would ease the pressure on consumers for profits and bring the household cost of internet down.[1]

Counter arguments

Just because telecom providers could explore alternate revenue models doesn't mean consumers would pay less. They would probably pay more. As internet providers expanded their products to provide tiered services, they would likely charge businesses for the highest quality services. They would also charge consumers for their monthly internet subscription. The businesses would likely pass the internet charges onto their consumers through higher products. Therefore, consumers pay more for digital products, like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime etc. They also pay for their broadband services, thereby incurring higher monthly costs overall.

Framing

With other business models available, telecom companies might adopt one that doesn't put all the financial pressure on the user. Under net neutrality, there is no revenue model available that does not involve leveraging the internet user.

Premises

[P1] Without net neutrality, internet providers could charge businesses for the tier of internet services they provide. [P2] This would allow for alternate revenue models that do not put all the financial pressure on the consumer. [P3] Therefore, net neutrality forces the consumer to pay higher prices for their internet. [P4] Higher prices are bad. [P5] Therefore, net neutrality is bad.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] This is not guaranteed. The inverse could prove true.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://qz.com/1140466/all-the-best-arguments-for-repealing-the-federal-communication-commissions-net-neutrality-rules-proposed-by-ajit-pai/

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This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Mar 2020 at 11:38 UTC