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Case Study: The Battle over Net


Neutrality
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Case Study: The RECENT POSTS

Battle over Net What’s a hostile


takeover? When is it a

Neutrality good idea to separate


ownership from

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1. What is network neutrality? Why has the management?

Internet operated under net neutrality


Under what
up to this point in time? circumstance is it a
good idea for a Krm to
Network neutrality signiKes the idea that all cooperate with other

customers must be allowed to access internet Krms?

equally with respect to the content and Does strategy matter?


applications. According to this idea, internet Why or why not?

service providers must not discriminated


Preteens Product
between different customers when in regards to Selling
the source or nature of the content they access.
The factors that leads
The present status of the net is neutral as we
to the variations in
can observe that the content of the internet is
prices
provided to each user on Krst come Krst serve
basis by the internet service providers and the
ARCHIVES
bandwidth backbone owners. Telephone lines
are subject to common “carriage laws” that is a
Select Month
traditional pillar of the telecommunications
(Noam, 1997). According to this law all phone
companies must treat all its customers equal.
Modern internet was built on these telephone
lines and hence the neutrality law was carried
forward to internet use as well. Internet service
providers cannot provide unequal services to
any one based on cost differences.

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2. Who’s in favor of net neutrality? Who’s
opposed? Why?

There are several groups who support net


neutrality. These groups include Christian
Coalition of America, American Civil Liberties
Union, Gun Owners of America, The American
Library Association, Google Inc. and Amazon
(Hart, 2011). There are many individual bloggers
who support net neutrality. There are some
American Senators who also support internet
neutrality. The point made by those who
support internet neutrality is that if the
companies who provide internet services are
given the power to discriminate between its
different customers and control access to some
content on the internet, they will easily be able
to enforce censorship. Being able to avoid
internet neutrality, small business might not be
able to offer speedy download service to their
customers as compared to bigger businesses
who can pay huge amount for it.

The biggest opponents of internet neutrality are


the internet service providers. They argue that
they should be able to charge their customers

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just like electricity and gas utilities companies
do, i.e. metered pricing. They want their
customers to pay for the amount of bandwidth
they consume with the content they use. Some
of these companies argue that illegal Kle
sharing of copyrighted online content consume
as much as 50% of the content bandwidth. They
want to be in control of differential prices for
different customers. Rob Hahn who is the co-
inventor on the Internet Protocol is also an
opponent of net neutrality as he believes that it
“removes incentives for network providers to
innovate”.

3. What would be the impact on individual


users, businesses, and government if
Internet providers switched to a tiered
service model?

Companies who own internet networks argue


that the laws and regulations that enforce net
neutrality is having a negative impact on the
competitiveness of the US economy as it limits
the innovation that can be guaranteed by
discriminatory network practices. These
companies are the ones who are the most

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beneKcial of the non-neutrality of net. These
companies can increase their proKts by
increasing costs for high bandwidth network
users. These companies argue that they would
utilize this extra proKt to innovate and make
advancements in the telecommunication sector.
They believe that they can design the future of
the massive internet tracc handling but one of
the factor that is stopping them from doing so
is the Knancial pressure caused by the low proKt
margins due to net neutrality.

Those who advocate net neutrality argue that it


is this neutrality that has allowed an equal
opportunity to everyone to innovate. Increased
prices of internet due to non-equality will limit
the innovation capacity of those who beneKt
from its equality. Small businesses also believe
that they won’t be able to compete with the “big
Kshes” if the net neutrality is replaced with tired
service model.

4. Are you in favor of legislation enforcing


network neutrality? Why or why not?

I personally believe in net neutrality. I think that


there should be legislation that enforce net

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neutrality. I say it from a perspective of an
ordinary internet user. If the neutrality is gone,
big companies will be in control of the
bandwidth prices and allocation. Only rich and
big companies will be able to buy huge
bandwidths. Ordinary users will be left with no
option but to use slow internet services. This
will deKnitely limit the access to information
from average ordinary users who are the
backbone of the country’s economy and who
get an opportunity to innovate due to net
equality. With tired internet model, the high
bidders will get their hands on fast internet.
Small businesses will be left behind in these
bids to high speed due to their limited Knancial
resources. New entrepreneurs will have a little
chance to stand in the presence of already
established huge corporates.

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Internet providers
switched to a
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model?

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