Week 4 Team Analysis Group 3: The Battle Over Net Neutrality 1
Week 4 – Team Analysis: Group 3
The Battle Over Net Neutrality
Christopher Carter, Ishtar Chalabi, Cameron Feldmann
Ashlee Lanham, Reata Nerow, Lakisha Riddick
Hang Stanford, Diane Urbano
September 24, 2017
Table of Contents Summary 3 Support 4 Evaluation 5 Questions 6-9 Sources 10
The internet started in the 1960 as a way for government researchers to share information and represent one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research. Today in the United State most of service on the internet compete with what networks provide already; As an example, Google Voice competes with telephone services and AT&T and Netflix competes with online streaming services. The internet has become a critical communication infrastructure the ability for network operate to decide what information is allowed to pass freely and quickly.
Since 1990a Net neutrality has been a major issue of disagreement among network users and access providers in the United State. Net neutrality is the principle of the internet that service providers must allow customers and government equal access to content, applications and site platform regardless of the source or nature of the content. The term net neutrality has come to express the idea that internet providers such as Comcast or Verizon should treat all web traffic equally and fairly. Consumers competition and network owners would benefit directly from the regulation of net neutrality because it would provide a positive impact on those parties as well as provides equality. According to textbook “Network owners believe regulation to enforce net neutrality will impede U.S. competitiveness by discouraging capital expenditure for new networks and curbing their networks ability to cope with expending demand for internet and wireless traffic.” Kenneth C Laudon). Today in the United State network owners are arguing that Net Neutrality is the basic idea that all internet should be treated equally and ISPs networks should not block content or charge other network companies for faster internet speed.
To start with, we need to understand what “Net Neutrality” means. “Net neutrality is a term many use when discussing what, if any, control internet service providers should have on consumers’ experience online” (Hamblin). In this day and age, people of all ages have come to rely on the internet and the vast amount of services. We are also generally a society of wanting what we want when we want it. Net neutrality provides equal access to everyone for internet activity.
It does not matter what type of internet user you are, without net neutrality, you could find yourself waiting for your game, video, show to take longer to load and play. The truth is that there are extremely high users of the internet. Video streaming on Netflix accounts for more than 1/3 of all bandwidth in the United States, with You Tube accounting for another almost 20%. If the demand of users exceeds the bandwidth available, the response is slow, sluggish, or non-existent. So, the question is, should internet service providers (ISP’s) be able to have tiered pricing, data maximums, and have the ability to meter usage.
Some of the supporters of net neutrality are companies that are well known to us, Netflix, Amazon, Google argue that differentiated pricing would impose heavy costs on those extensive bandwidth users such as You Tube and Skype. The counter to this is the concern that network owners have which is with net neutrality, U.S. competitiveness not be able to keep up with the demand for internet services. However, at the end of the day, Net Neutrality appears to be the best approach to the internet and access that is consistent for everyone.
Using the internet is vital in todays world. You use the internet to pay bills, attend class, shop, research, video stream, and essentially so much more. When it comes to video steaming, Netflix accounts for 32 percent of all bandwidth in the United States, and Google’s YouTube for 19 percent of Web traffic at peak hours. If the user demands overwhelm network capacity, the internet gets a little sluggish. Heavy uses of iPhones in urban areas such as New York and San Francisco has degraded AR&T wireless network service.
Internet service providers (ISP) assert that network congestion is a serious problem and if chose to expand networks, would cost more for the customers. They believe that differential pricing method – charging based on the amount of bandwidth used – is the best way to go.
Net neutrality is when the ISP allows customers to gain equal access to content and applications. The internet traffic is on a first-come, first-served basis. The network owners believe that this enforced regulation will discourage capital expenditure for new networks and help curb their networks ability to cope with the demand for Internet and wireless traffic. The wireless industry isn’t essentially part of the net neutrality rules because the government didn’t deem it necessary.
On January 14, 2014, the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said no to FCC’s “Open Internet” rules that required equal treatment of internet traffic. On April 24, 2014, FCC announced that companies such as Netflix, Google and Disney would pay service providers for faster lanes to send video and content to customers. On April 30, 2014, FCC announced the lack of competition had essentially hurt the customers, and that they were going to write new rules to enforce net neutrality.
Question 1: What is net neutrality? Why has the Internet operated under net neutrality up to this point in time?
Net neutrality is a policy adopted by those who hold ownership over backbone functions of the Internet for a first-come, first-serve policy on bandwidth and data usage. It also states that all users connected to the internet are not to have any restrictions on what they can access, based off of which provider they have. This neutrality allows users to view all the same content around the world. All for the same general price point without any differences based off of overall data used. The major players of the net neutrality advocacy include major industrial leaders such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google. Net neutrality keeps all pricing the same for customers, which is why it has been maintained at this point. Customers are not charged based off their data usage, however overall customer service and the performance of devices connected does change based off the overall usage in an area, affecting overall quality rather than causing increased fees.
Question 2: Who’s in favor of net neutrality? Who’s opposed? Why?
The Federal Communications Commission is for the idea of “Open Internet”, a form of net neutrality with more rules for the way the service is provided. It is, in a sense, allowing corporations and big businesses to pay for better, faster internet utility for their customers to allow for better video streaming quality and other features. Many internet providers want to follow the same method of wireless broadband, where customers who use more data pay a higher price for it. The major opposition to this is the New America Foundation, or NAF. The NAF wants to ensure that net neutrality is kept as it is, arguing that due to no competition in providers, Internet services can soon match that of mobile carriers with different tiers of paid plans allowing access to more data and processing power. This would make the internet no longer neutral as it would cater to those who could afford the easily manipulated prices of a tiered internet system.
Question 3: What would be the impact on individual users, businesses, and government if Internet providers switched to a tiered service model for transmission over land lines as well as wireless?
The impact on individual users if Internet providers switched to a tiered service model for transmission would be costly. Internet providers can charge a great amount depending on how much bandwidth you use with the provider. For businesses, they could potentially lose customers on their websites because of how much customers are being charged for the heavy use of bandwidth. The government’s impact will be for them to reanalyze some of laws with internet providers, businesses, and fees. They will need to determine how much the capital expenditures will need to be between businesses and internet provider companies.
Question 4: It has been said that net neutrality is the most important issue facing the Internet since the advent of the Internet. Discuss the implications of this statement.
Since net neutrality is basically allowing customers to have equal access, it also prevents internet service providers for charging the consumers on the bandwidth that they use. Without net neutrality, ISPs can prevent online streaming videos from companies like Netflix or Hulu and force customers to use their cable on-demand movie rental services. Net neutrality allows customers to freely use the internet based on their interest versus being controlled with limited options from ISPs.
Question 5: Are you in favor of legislation enforcing network neutrality? Why or why not?
In today’s world, accessing and using the internet is something that people are almost depending on daily. There are many uses of the internet ranges from; many types of entertainment, business related tasks, government use, news/media outlet, and even some household chores just to name a few. At the current time, there are no laws that require service providers to put a limit on the type and amount of bandwidth used. With the exponential increase of web usage, many providers are wanting to control online traffic by metering and limiting use to ensure quality of web surfing experience. I believe that net neutrality, the idea of allowing customers equal access to content regardless of the source or nature of the content, should be enforced (Laudon & Laudon).
The current television climate is experiencing a change towards more streaming options. These options require a lot of bandwidth, that if charged based on the amount of data used, would be very costly. If Internet Service Providers began setting limits on usage, companies who are currently thriving from the new innovations would suffer greatly. Net neutrality also protects certain types of web usage from being discriminated against. A company such as Netflix, whose business is centered around customers paying a subscription fee to watch content that uses large amounts of bandwidth, would basically be derailed. Individual web consumers will continue to be effected greatly by the rising costs of data. There are already many mobile users who are depending on Wi-Fi access because their service provider data packages are small and expensive. Innovation in many companies would also suffer with net neutrality not being enforced. If the demand for internet access continues to grow at its current rate, ISP’s would be able to charge very high prices for service, causing many smaller companies to shy away from installing avenues that depend on customer consumption of the internet.
Although web traffic would be less congested without net neutrality being enforced, data speeds would most likely not be fast enough to justify caps on data usage. I believe that service providers will continue to evolve and create more efficient ways to transport data. This will satisfy the congestion that will continue to grow, without causing harm to individual consumers, and innovative companies looking to create customer consumption of the web for the success of their business.
Hamblin, A. (2017); The San Diego Union-Tribune; What is Net Neutrality? Why are Google, Amazon and others Defending It; retrieved from, http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/
Laudon, K. C., Laudon, J. P., . (2016). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 15th Edition. [Bookshelf Online], Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323187944/