List of Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality

Politicians, individuals, and internet service providers are all divided about the benefits and deficits that net neutrality could provide. Recent laws that have been passed, and some that are being considered by the United States Legislature, appear to contradict themselves. The concept of net neutrality is simple; everyone should have the same level of speed and service from their ISP and ISPs should not charge different rates or change speed of data delivery depending on the mode of delivery of internet service, the type of ancillary equipment attached to a computer or phone, the content of a website or blog, the user, or the application.

Pros of Net Neutrality

1. Leverage Against ISP Providers
The pros of net neutrality seem simple enough at face value. One of the primary objectives is to maintain the fastest internet service possible. The movement toward net neutrality allows people to have some leverage against ISP providers and phone companies.

2. Freedom of Speech and Expression
A second advantage of net neutrality is preserving the freedom of expression and the freedom of speech. If a site has material that a person finds offensive then that person is free to not look at that site. Likewise, any group is free to express any level of distasteful outrage against another group.

3. Costs Consumers Less
The most frequently expressed views of ISPs and phone companies that oppose net neutrality are that the concept prevents technological development. Service providers maintain that they have a right to create tiers of service that charge more for faster service.

Cons of Net Neutrality

1. Higher Costs to Service Providers
Service providers maintain that they cannot afford the extreme high costs of the newest technology if the companies are not allowed to charge more for service that an individual is free to opt for or free to decide not to use.

2. Resistant to Development
Service companies also are resistant to the development of apps and equipment that can convert a slow delivery rate to a faster rate. The companies claim that these practices are tantamount to theft.

3. Increasing Governmental Influence
One of the more challenging and telling arguments for net neutrality is that phone companies and ISPs have a much greater influence on the Federal Government than individuals. This influence is primarily made manifest in the money large companies spend on lobbying the FCC and the campaign contributions these companies make to politicians that are on the committees that make the decisions about net neutrality.

4. Consumers Can Not Compete Against Large Corporations
The average person does not have the financial resources to compete with large corporations for influence in the U.S. Legislature.

5. Ease of Access to Certain Materials
Odd as it may seem, a majority of average people oppose net neutrality. The primary objection to net neutrality is their objection to pornography, hate sites, and a higher potential for children to be exposed to material that would be considered for adults only.

6. Price Fixing
One of the strongest objections to the control of the internet is the capacity for price fixing and information control that an internet that is not free from the control of service providers could create.

The idea of net neutrality might be simplified into the phrase “my electron stream is as important as anyone’s electron stream”. The idea that an individual has as much right to speed and data as a government agency in a time of emergency has been used as an argument against net neutrality.