Can Internet Stay Neutral?{4}

by ChihWei H
This article is about Net Neutrality, a principle that’s for internet equality and freedom. The internet’s basic concept was an open medium for user to connect and exchange information.  However, that might change since there are two camps that’s fighting over the issue. The content providers, companies like Netflix, Google, and Yahoo, are advocating Net Neutrality. Internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are against it. As multimedia, content like video and music, becoming ever so popular on the net, network traffic becomes heavier every day. Yet the ISPs do not gain additional revenues for the growing traffic. That’s why they are advocating discrimination of network traffic. For example, if Netflix pays AT&T usage fees, AT&T will gives Netflix’s video streaming priority on their network. Content providers certainly don’t want that. They argue such idea will create a barrier for new internet startups who can’t afford to pay ISPs. Without net neutrality, ISPs could also slow down traffic of competing websites. Time Warner Cable could start video streaming services itself and throttle Amazon’s video service. However, with net neutrality, ISPs has little to no incentive to improve their network infrastructure.

I’ve been following this issue for a while and I would like to point out few things the article didn’t mention. US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia actually ruled that FCC doesn’t have the authority to impose Net Neutrality. But Google and Verizon came up a compromised solution and submit it to FCC. Their proposal was to leave the wired internet service at its current state and let wireless carriers have more wiggle room for its bandwidth.  After FCC released a full set of net neutrality rules, Verizon came back and filed an appeal in the federal court.

Although network operators seem to have a legit reason to go against net neutrality, I believe consumers should all in the support of it. Just think of it like 10 –FWY, would it be fair if only few of us can go on fast track and people who can’t pay will have to sit slowly in traffic? No, right? Same thing with the internet traffic. Besides, these network operators already begun to charge consumers extra for the internet usage. For example, AT&T will start charging their DSL customer overage if they go over 150GB per month, which I don’t like but I would say it’s fair.

Rafique, Khalid; Yuan, Chunhui; Saeed, Muhammad; , “Net Neutrality Paradox: Regulator’s Dilemma,” Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing (WiCOM), 2011 7th International Conference on , vol., no., pp.1-5, 23-25 Sept. 2011
doi: 10.1109/wicom.2011.6040472
Retrieved Oct 16, 2011, from URL: