The emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web brought upon a medium of communication with a range of opportunities to the world. However, this medium is, in due course, subject to the control of a few major companies. The enigma of expression and free speech on the internet is the central concern of the debated concept of network neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea of equal access to information for users and the concept pertaining ISP’s and their control over access to content (Weitzner 78). The packages provide a visualized concept of ISP content control in the debate of network neutrality. Tim-Berners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, states the definition of net neutrality, “If [person A] uses to pay to connect to the net with a given quality of service and [person B] pays to connect to the net with the same, or a higher quality, of service, then [persons A and B] can communicate across the internet with that quality of service” (Tim Berners-Lee). There are several fundamental issues that are debated which will be elucidated throughout this paper. The question of network neutrality legislation plays a major role on the matters relating to equality between websites, protection of competition, benefits for consumers and network owners (ISP), whether regulation is a good idea and the legal arguments that surround the concept. The relationships between these topics will clarify and distinguish between the opposing sides of network neutrality.
The internet came to be because of the user. Without the user, there is no World Wide Web. It is a set of links and words all created by a group of users, a forum or a community (Weinberger 96). The consumer has been the ultimate decision maker in the process. Does net neutrality benefit consumers? This is the principal question that surrounds net neutrality. The consumer is the user of the internet; the person behind the request for an IP address and/or the person who created those IP addresses. The beneficial aspect is whether the consumer will be provided the same level of access as another user who pays for the same subscription or will the consumer be delegated a slower tunnel of information depending on the prescribed subscription. This is entirely dependent on the network owner (ISP), it is related in the aspect that the consumer should receive the information at the speed that the ISP is willing to provide it at. If the ISP interferes with the flow of traffic it is disregarding the concept of net neutrality and is altering it for various reasons; benefitting its conglomerate partners (see “Image from YouTube – Net Neutrality) or any reason that would value its industrial presence (Singer 40).
Competition in this field refers to network owners (ISPs). Their differential in pricing and control of information alters the competition. This price and information discrimination can alter the state of the market in either a positive or negative way. The...