Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Name

Institution

Date

To the Editor

RE: “F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules, 14th December 2017”

The net neutrality regulations prevented broadband suppliers from charging for higher quality service or from blocking some websites. According to FCC chairman Pai, the abolishment of the regulations would help customers since broadband providers such as Comcast and AT&T would offer various services. Mr Pai argues that the discarding of the rules would help consumers as it promotes competition in the market. It would be however important to include negative effects of discarding the net neutrality regulations in the era that many people rely on the internet for communication.

First without net neutrality internet service providers will have freedom in controlling what consumers access. This means that the service providers will have the ability to block access to certain websites that interact with the internet. Instead of helping consumers as Mr. Pai puts, it will be making it harder for consumers to access content they like. Just as Kang has stated some service providers such as AT&T blocked FaceTime preventing consumers from accessing it proving that discarding the regulations would bring negative impacts. Second, the internet service providers will be able to block people from accessing certain information that they prefer to remain secret. This includes useful information on news, events, or certain topics. While with the net neutrality regulations people are able to access and share almost all information, discarding the rules means that important information will be inaccessible.

Third, without net neutrality, ISPs will control how fast a consumer is served with webpages, how fast one can upload and download content, and in what situations one can access certain websites. The amount of money a consumer pays will determine the services they get. The ISPs will be free to charge more on accessing sites that are currently free. This is against what Mr. Pai says that plan is to help consumers. The consumers will have to pay more to access content they have been accessing for free. In addition to the charges, the ISPs will be able to redirect consumers from sites they are trying to access to sites they wish consumers accessed as Romano (2017) states in the article, “Net neutrality is now officially on life support. Here’s what happens next”. The providers will also be able to block consumers from accessing content offered by other service providers.

Fourth, apart from using the power on individual consumers, the ISPs will be able to use the power over companies. This means that the service providers will be free to demand more pay from companies in exchange for quick access. Large companies will be able to pay the large amount. However, start-ups will have challenges. This means that instead of promoting fair competition as Mr. Pai states, discarding of net neutrality will bring unfairness in the competition field. The larger companies will be able to pay to get an advantage, an unfair play for start-ups. The paid prioritization would also have remote workers including freelancers paying more to work from home. Fifth, without net neutrality, internet providers will be able to sell internet in bundles as Collins (2017) states in the article “why net neutrality was repealed and how it affects you”. This means that for consumers to access sites such as Twitter, they will have to pay for a premium social media package. This will cost consumers more.

As noted by Kang, the repeal of net neutrality regulations has faced opposition from various groups. Although Mr. Pai suggests that the repeal would help consumers and promote competition, it is clear that the potential damage to the internet world is higher than the benefits. It is thus important that the repeal be considered to ensure that consumers are able to access internet freely since it is used as a major means of communication.

References

Collins, K. (2017). Why Net Neutrality Was Repealed and How It Affects You. The New            York Times. Retrieved on 29th Jan 2018 from    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/14/technology/net-neutrality-rules.html

Romano, A. (2017). Net neutrality is now officially on life support. Here’s what happens   next. Vox. Retrieved on 29th Jan 2018 from             https://www.vox.com/2017/12/14/16774148/net-neutrality-repeal-explained