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Writing a Position Paper on Net Neutrality

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First of all, you will need to take a stance on this matter. I happen to support net neutrality, so, I am going to advocate for it in this article. However, regardless of what position you choose, make sure you have solid arguments in favor and can debunk some of the objections.

Before you delve deeper into the topic, first make sure you understand what net neutrality means. It is basically an idea that there should not be any preferential treatment for websites based on how much money they paid to the Internet Service Providers (like Comcast, Verizon and other guys). There are many arguments for and against this phenomenon and hopefully, I will help you decide which side to pick.

The First Amendment

The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech and expression which is what net neutrality is all about. Without the open Internet, the ISPs like Time Warner will be able to filter what data to speed up and what to block, thus, imposing restrictions on people’s right to communicate their ideas.

Currently information becomes popular based on how many people view and share it. Of course, marketers use money and subtle techniques which can make some content more readily available and relatable for the audience; however, you can view a sponsored ad from a huge corporation and a video of turtles making love at the exact same speed. It all depends on your personal preferences. Repealing net neutrality would make the turtles’ video much slower and even deleted if IPS guys find it troubling.

Moreover, with net neutrality repealed those companies can simply stifle any critique against them by slowing the websites which stand against them or simply deleting the users’ comments. The Internet will no longer be a place of open discussion and will instead turn into a biased enclosed community.

The American Dream

By limiting net neutrality, the US government would spit in the face of American dream. The US has always prided itself in being one of the most innovative countries on Earth. Nowadays most groundbreaking practices and businesses are introduced on the Internet, where they can receive valuable feedback and, of course, change the lifestyles of millions of people.

Net neutrality enables smaller companies to compete on an equal playfield. It is palpable that if bandwidth depends upon the amount you pay to the ISPs, you may not be able to compete with bigger more affluent companies for clients. Today’s world is very fast-paced, and a consumer is not likely to be willing to wait forever for your dubious website to load if they can just refer to time-tested, although imperfect services.

Therefore, individuals will not be inspired to search for business ideas which could potentially transform the world and increase the national GDP. If the system works to their disadvantage, what’s the point in even trying to break and improve the status quo?

The Increased Prices

If Netflix or any other online platform is forced to pay to the ISPs to have faster streaming, where do you think they are going to cover this loss? Right you are. They will take this money from the consumers.

Moreover, the ISPs may start making various bundles of certain websites to target individual preferences. It happened in Portugal and Spain already. There you can buy a package for social platforms or video or file sharing websites for a set sum of money. If you want to have it all, you will need to pay more. This system works now with cable channels and specifically targets frequent users. However, do you really want to choose between Facebook and Youtube?

This goes against the free market rules which the US government so vehemently supports. The net neutrality ban will not only undercut progressive start-ups, but also can make the Internet inaccessible to many poor people around the country.

The Technicality Controversy

It is worth looking into the history of net neutrality regulations. It goes all the way back to the federal Communications Act of 1934. The ISPs were classified under Title 1 as information providers and not under Title 2 as common carries.

However, in 2015 under the Obama administration this oversight has been amended. It seemed like net neutrality was set in stone, but with the current changes in the White House, it is again in danger. FCC now strives to rule back this decision, which frustrated many Internet fans.

Think about how you would feel if Amazon introduced faster delivery for brand products and blocked those more obscure. And now imagine how you would feel if a website you love so much suddenly got very slow or unavailable just because it does not have enough money to pay the ISPs. The Internet now is a basic necessity, a utility like water and in order to function it needs to be independent from the influence of interest groups.

Reviewing the Objections

The ISPs often promise to increase bandwidth if they get to annul net neutrality regulations. They claim that by getting more money out of companies and individual consumers, they will have funds to invest in fiber networks and ameliorate the infrastructure, thus, boosting the users’ experience.

However, such promises may turn out to be empty, as the goal of any company is to make profit. If they make speeds good for everyone, then there will be no point for firms to waste money on getting only a slightly higher loading time. Moreover, the ISPs, just like you and I, are not legally bound by their promises. I can say that I will go out with you Sunday, but if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can change my mind and won’t be punished for it legally.

Some argue that revoking 2015 FCC decision will enable service provides to monitor illicit activities and file sharing more effectively. However, it is already possible to report and block illegal content. Moreover, the payout for this increased safety is a violation of privacy. The companies will be able to obtain information about you more easily and then sell it to third parties for profit. Do you really think this kind of surveillance is justified by the alleged increase in security?

Conclusion

Whatever your position, make sure you do not oscillate and stick to your views throughout the paper. If you feel like you are not 100 % convinced, do more research. Position papers require you to know both sides of the issue and have enough knowledge to deflate your opponents’ arguments.

In the conclusion you would need to reiterate your point and most compelling evidence. It is recommended to finish on an inspiring note, suggesting a course of action. Do not just list the problems, but provide solutions. This will make your paper not just a mere critique, but a useful piece of advice. 

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