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Martin 1

English 102
November 20, 2014
Net Neutrality and the Open Internet
Net Neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic and data should be treated
equally. Internet traffic and data includes websites, content, and web platforms. Many believe
that Net Neutrality preserves the right to free speech online, and should be a main guiding
principle to the internet itself. This can also be translated as Open Internet, where the Internet
and its content are fully accessible by all individuals and companies. With Open Internet, the
service provider wouldn’t be allowed to discriminate your data, block specific websites, or
charge you extra for content that would, otherwise, be provided for free via the Internet (Ingram).
The Open Internet also ensures that the pathway for all Internet traffic flows in the same manner
with the same quality, and speed, to the delivered user (Cook).When the Federal courts made a
ruling against the FCC and Net Neutrality, they virtually abolished any remaining protections
that protected the Open Internet. The ruling now allows the Internet service providers to charge
extra for their data, block any websites, and filter any content they want. Internet service
providers are now taking the worst facets of cable TV systems/techniques, and forcing them onto
the internet; controlling every aspect of the market.
In 2010, the FCC created an Open Internet Order which prevented the Internet service
providers from interfering, or blocking specific traffic on the World Wide Web (Barron’s
Educational Series). The order was designed so that the Internet would be a level playing field
between the consumer and the Internet service providers. However, in January 2014, the federal
courts ruled against the Federal Communication Commission’s ability to enforce the standards of
Net Neutrality on the Internet service providers. The reasoning concluded that the FFC was

then it would restore Net Neutrality completely. whom provides goods.” A common carrier is legal classification for a person. the then chair of the FCC. and or company. If the FCC classified Internet service providers under common carriers. but specifically against the Federal Communication Commission’s authority to enforce rules on the Internet service providers. so they advised the FFC to . which ultimately provides a barrier of protection to the consumer. the court’s decision did not prohibit the FCC from reversing their earlier placed orders. in which Michael Powell. This decision was also reached because of the FCC’s mistake in 2002. Congress understood that Internet service providers could gain massive amounts of power by controlling the access networks and gateways. The courts did not rule against Net Neutrality itself. rather than common carriers (Ammori). The goal of the law was to allow anyone to start a communications business. which ultimately lead to their demise of authority over the Internet service providers. which provide water. Common carriers are often referred to as public utilities. but rather to determine whether the Commission has demonstrated that the regulations fall within the scope of its statutory grant of authority” (Tatel). On the bright side. The court specified that its “task as a reviewing court is not to assess the wisdom of the Open Internet Order regulations. In 1996. Congress enacted the Telecommunications Act. and public transportation. and can reclassify the Internet service providers as “common carriers.Martin 2 using questionable legal frameworks to create the Open Internet Order. but the latest FCC Chairmen have worked against Net Neutrality. the first major law passed for telecommunications companies in over 60 years. electricity. and permitted communications businesses to compete against each other in any market. classified Internet service providers as information services. These CCs are legally prohibited from refusing service or discriminating against their customers.

but it would also impact the majority of businesses. the Internet service providers couldn’t block content that flowed across their network to the consumer’s network devices. FCC Chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin defined broadband Internet service providers as “information services. and could dictate what websites and content they can connect to (Wu). This would force Comcast customers to use their provided streaming service only. If non-GM vehicles wanted access to the highway.” There was controversy and claims of conflict of interests due to Chairman Powell and Kevin Martin becoming top lobbyists for the Cable Telecommunications industry after their tenure (Oliver). Thanks to the lack of power within the FCC. Internet service providers can monitor and track their customer’s online activity with no legal repercussions. The companies could have complete control over the Internet and the devices used to connect users. if General Motors owned the Federal Highway System. Later. and the consumer’s information could also be sold. Not only would this provide a monopoly for Internet service providers. . The Internet service providers could require the Internet consumer to only use the network devices provided by the Internet service provider itself. unwanted advertising. by blocking their customer’s from accessing to the competing streaming service. Theoretically speaking. Their decisions stripped the FCC’s power to prohibit the Internet service provider’s ability to discriminate and block online content. A demonstration of this is the use of highways. GM could deny the other cars access.Martin 3 treat the Internet service providers as common carriers. This information could be used for many malicious purposes like blackmail. they could discriminate against any other brands of motor vehicles. During this time. Comcast could deploy this same practice onto Netflix. also limiting the FFC’s assurance on protecting the privacy of the consumer. not allowing them to use the highway.

and to take control of the consumer. Net Neutrality can preserve the freedom of the internet. the online presence of a business is crucial to their success. eliminating any sort of competition against their massive corporations (Driessen). Without Net Neutrality. In order to preserve the rights of the consumer. and inevitably destroyed. . Businesses use the Internet to advertise. consumers will be protected under Federal law.” With the lack of Net Neutrality. the FCC will have to intervene and reclassify the Internet service providers as common carriers. and to delivers goods and services to their customers. In today’s economy. Senator Ryan Wyden was quoted saying “Without rules to guarantee all web traffic travels on the same track the economic might of big corporations will shove out competition from start-ups and disruptive technologies. Without the intervention of the Federal Communications Committee.Martin 4 The Open Internet is imperative for businesses globally. the open market could be interfered with. depriving Americans of the next wave of innovative services and products. these businesses face incredible discrimination. breed innovation. In conclusion. Internet service providers are positioning themselves to gain obscene amounts of power. the Internet will be forever changed. Internet service providers could manipulate the market and control every possible aspect of online business. When the Internet service providers are classified as common carriers. create markets. promote competition.

com. Michael A. Federal Communications Comission. 2014.ebscohost. Web.butlercc.oregonlive. Print. Covington. Douglas. Downing. 2014. Ebsco Host. 2014.gov/telecom. Http://www.abstract>. Web. 2014. 2014.Telecommunications Act of 1996. Gary S. 13 Nov. Web.fcc. Web. 2006.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=7&sid=b8813a430240-4eaa-a992-d8931119374a %40sessionmgr198&hid=121&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=96688865>. Oxford: Oxford UP. Dennis W. 497-517." The Case for Net Neutrality.credoreference.ssf/2014/05/top_5_quotes_from_sen_ron_wyde. <http://butlerlib.com/. 17 Nov.com/politics/index.4 (2014): 6273. <http://jcle.butlerlib. Cook. NY: Barron's. Federal Communications Commission.org/content/6/3/497. 20 Nov. Oxford Journals.com/content/entry/barronscai/net_neutrality/0>.com. "Net Neutrality: What Is It and Why Should Educators Care?" Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin 80. Katherine.oregonlive.com. Becker. Marvin. Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms. <http://eds.oxfordjournals. 2014.butlercc.edu/login? url=http://search. "The Case for Net Neutrality. and Melody Mauldin." FCC Telecommunications Act of 1996.butlercc. 20 Nov. Summer 2014.Martin 5 Works Cited Ammori.html >. Driessen. . <http://eds.butlerlib. Ebsco." OregonLive.. Covington. 93. and Hal S. Ser. Web. Vickie S. 13 Mar. Carlton. Hauppauge.b. "Top 5 Quotes from Sen. Vol. "FCC . 31 May 2011.4 (2014): 46-49.b. NET NEUTRALITY AND CONSUMER WELFARE. 2010.html>. Sider. <http://transition. 3.ebscohost. Ron Wyden's Net Neutrality Chat on Reddit. <http://www.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=7297721d199e-4477-9d695b6c4e809da5%40sessionmgr114&hid=121&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d %3d#db=aph&AN=96522027>. 17 Nov. 6.

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