Over the last decade or so, the net neutrality debate has got all the more intense, particularly with numerous countries contemplating the idea of introducing a legislation about the same. With certain regulations prohibiting practices like child pornography or gambling in place, people are pressing for even more severe regulations which would completely ban the unethical practices involved in Internet access and transmission of data on the Internet. The whole world has been divided into two groups over this issue â€“ one which defend s the concept of net neutrality and another which opposes it. Before we go to net neutrality pros and cons and join the ongoing debate on Internet regulation, letâ€™s try to understand what the concept of net neutrality actually means.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality, also referred to as Internet neutrality, is a regulatory concept which eradicate s any type of discrimination in transmission and access of content on the Internet. It is somewhat comparable to the concept of â€˜network neutralityâ€™, which regulates various telecommunication networks, including television and telephone. According to the main principle of net neutrality, the websites which provide content and the users who search for it are equal, and therefore nobody should be given preferential treatment at the cost of others. The concept prohibits Internet service providers from blocking or deregulating websites belonging to their competitors. Simply put, the concept of net neutrality ensures that the Internet service providers, search engines and other online service providers do not restrict or filter the traffic to competitor websites.
Net Neutrality Pros and Cons
As we mentioned earlier, the entire world is divided into two groups on the lines of Internet regulation pros and cons. With no concrete legislation in place, net neutrality is nothing more than a set of professional ethics with no compulsion of implementation. Given below are the details of various pros and cons of net neutrality, which are to be taken into consideration before trying to constitute any rules based on this concept.
Pros of Net Neutrality
The foremost advantage of net neutrality is that it is helpful in adding competitiveness to the market, as the users are given more options to choose from. The competition between service providers will make each of them come up with their best, and this will directly benefit the end user as he wonâ€™t just get options to choose from but also get quality service. Those in support of net neutrality are of the opinion that government control of the Internet would eliminate monopoly, thus ensuring that the big websites do not dominate the market. It will also help in curbing the numerous illegal activities and frauds which can be attributed to the web. Interestingly, most of the websites out there are in support of the concept of net neutrality.
Cons on Net Neutrality
Those who oppose net neutrality argue that it is a completely pointless exercise as none of the service providers would go about sabotaging their rivals by blocking their content or degrading network performance. They also cite the example of other networks which are functioning properly even with the major contributors being in charge of them. As far as government control of the Internet is concerned, these people argue that it would result in increased Internet censorship and invasion of privacy, both of which wouldnâ€™t go down well with the users.
Those were some of the most prominent net neutrality pros and cons which have to be taken into consideration before passing any legislation about it. As the realms of Internet continue to develop, Internet safety has become one of the main concern for the users. That being said, the administration has to step in and implement measures such as net neutrality in order to address this concern. It is only possible to implement such regulatory measures after all the pros and cons of Internet regulation are evaluated. While the United States is yet to come up with any such legislation, countries like Japan already have laws pertaining to Internet access in place. If stalwarts of the field are to be believed, the issue of net neutrality is going to take the whole world by storm in the next few years to come.
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