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Net Neutrality and How it Affects the Average Person

Net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be free and open. The internet is

provided by internet service providers as well as the government. The tenets of net neutrality

arose after the emergence of the world wide web and the internet as the main medium of

communication with a diverse number of opportunities in the globe. Proponents of net neutrality

argue that all individual such as entrepreneurs should be accorded the same opportunities and

chances to succeed just like established corporations. The principle of net neutrality requires that

established corporations providing internet to not restrict the access towards any website, should

not block and or otherwise unfairly discriminate against any online services or websites.

Nonetheless, the internet is subjected to control and regulation by a few major organizations and

companies. The central concern that is raised is the enigma of flow of information in network

neutrality. There are challenges and issues raised by network neutrality as being the most

commonly used medium of communication. The challenges of network neutrality include issues

of phishing, out of band description and deep packet inspection. These challenges can be solved

by solutions such as transparency, enabling reasonable network management, prevention of

degradation and prohibiting paid prioritization and blocking.

Challenges of Net Neutrality

Access of internet is regarded as the driving force for innovation, growth and

sustainability in the current global economy. There are however challenges met in the pursuit of
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network neutrality. The most common challenge that is in network neutrality is the practice of

phishing. this practice involves unsuspecting individuals being sent messages like emails which

on the face look as sent by the original sender only to later be observed that the message has

been sent by individuals who have intentions of harming someone. These kind of mails and

messages sent to unsuspecting individuals are mostly means which individuals are scammed of

their money and other personal belonging. The issue of phishing scam is also practiced through

having URLs that are either misspelt or web addresses that skip some simple addresses such as

periods and other letters missing from it (Downes, 3). There are moments when the URL of

particular websites are shortened or redirect individuals from the site to one that is malicious. It

is through these attempts that individuals are shortchanged during their online experience and

thereafter defrauded by these fraudulent agents.

A consideration of the challenges met in network neutrality further exposes the existing

mechanisms that are supposed to allow users to express their own preferences and requirements

in online activities yet, this activity is considered as being a huge limitation to be achieved. There

are three common mechanisms which lead towards these limitations. The first limitation is

created by the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) element. This is widely regarded as being a subset

of traffic that is coming from a specific provider, there is a special service that is applied to it

such as zero rating or higher bandwidth. The DPI is responsible of matching traffic at the line

rate as well as examining of the IP addresses that are used by gadgets. This typically involves

TCP ports, packet contents and SSL’s that have typically new rules being added towards it for its

application (Starr 90). The limitation observed from DPI is the high rates of transaction cost

incurred by individuals. This involves the addition of new preference such as new set of rules.

This in turn makes it challenging to use the network service like in instances where the http link
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is hidden or when the preference is hosted by a third party. This ultimately causes the DPI to

only support popular applications. Another instances which causes significant challenges for the

average person of using network neutrality is in instances such as when the DPI system

recognizes a few applications which may not be among the preference list that users may be

ready or willing to use. The DPI is observed as working closely with applications which after

being detected have different views from the ones that are viewed by both the user and the

administrator (Guo & Robert 1263). An example of this can be observed such as in instances

where a user is loading websites and the packets that are picked for this query will generate a

huge number of flows with only a few being the ones that have the content being sought by the

user. It is evidenced that DPI use only works that are considered as user prepared and that these

services often reveal ISP services which they are using.

The other challenge observed is in the area of DiffServ which serve as the endpoints of

marking the kind of packets being observed as well as being used towards mapping of specific

classes of network. Even though there may be a wide implementation of the operating systems as

well as modern routers, there are still challenges that are observed in DiffServ not being

practically able to use express preferences towards a certain network. The network operators are

seen as ignoring or resetting the DSCP, by having bits across the network boundaries as well as

popular platforms such as chrome browser or android SDK being not followed due to not

allowing the developers or the websites a chance of marking their own traffic (Yoo 1411).

The last limitation encountered in network neutrality is having an out of band flow

description. This involves the latest attempts that are undertaken as an approach of leveraging

and creating a flexible control planes in software defined networks. By undertaking this

approach, it is observed that applications are centralized from a control plane which in turn does
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lead towards having users express their preferences. This kind of approach does however have

two main limitations; the first limitation is the signaling of the user preference through having a

relatively slow control plane which at the end will end up being expensive. Secondly, by giving a

static flow description which does not work whenever the flow changes, only leads towards

traversing a NAT or having encapsulation.

Solutions towards Network Neutrality.

A ruling that was made by the U.S Federal Communications Commission in the year

2015 ruled in a favor of network neutrality. The ruling required a reclassification of the

broadband access as being solely a telecommunication service. By passing these amendments,

the resultant effects were that the nation achieved a free election, conducted in an open online

forum that was transparent. There was also sustained quality infrastructure, privacy, development

and traffic management in a number of key markets where network neutrality law was being

applied (Hong et al., 355). Another solution that should be routed so as to favor network

neutrality for all members in society is by having the packets of data being distributed in a first-

in-first basis. This kind of system entails treating all the packets as being all equal regardless of

the size, content or source of the data. There is a need of also having the best effort of the

network which makes it easier to deliver the packets in a more efficient, faster and quick manner

in the order they are received. The only worry that may arise may be that the packets of data may

be reordered or rather be dropped basing on the decisions of the internet service providers. This

kind of challenge has been solved by the FCC filing a motion of stopping Comcast from

obtaining as well as setting its own routers so as to slow down the transfer of data packets from

programs of peer-to-peer for its customers.
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There is a need of upholding network neutrality principles so as to ensure all individuals

especially the average person benefits from this service. This can be achieved through having

neutrality in all the public networks. Network neutrality is a significant characteristic in the

public broadband access, to this end, the principle of having all broadband providers as well as

internet service providers are required to provide these services to the general public regardless

of the underlying issues such as the transmission technology and the local market conditions that

may be available at the moment (Downes 4).

As part of the solutions towards network neutrality, there is a need of protecting the

public from unreasonable discrimination as well as prohibiting blocking. Public broadband

providers as well as the internet service providers are required not to permit the blocking of

access of legal websites, applications, resources as well as internet based providers. There is

need of also having each individual in the nation being able to access legal content, services,

applications and other services that are offered in the internet. This should be achieved without

necessarily having any reasonable discrimination being practiced by the operators and owners on

the public broadband networks as well as the internet service providers (Starr 93). This can be

achieved by ensuring that the internet service providers should not give favorable transmission of

their affiliated content providers or rather discriminate towards a particular internet based

services based on the merit of the identity of the user, the content being provided and or the

service that is being provided.

The other solution towards this challenge is by prohibiting paid prioritization. This entails

having the public broadband providers as well as the internet service providers being not

permitted to sell any prioritized transmission towards any certain applications, content and or

service providers over other internet traffic sharing that are using the same network facilities.
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There is a need of prioritizing specific internet traffic chiefly due to the disadvantages that are

inherent in having applications, content as well as service providers inclusive those from libraries

and higher education serving the interests of the public.

There is a need of allowing reasonable network management as well as providing

transparency. The public broadband network operators as well as the internet service providers

are required to engage in a reasonable manner network management so as to address issues such

as spam, congestion and viruses by having consistent procedures and policies which ensure that

the legal network is one that is managed through a content neutral manner (Guo & Robert 1265).

Additionally, there is a need of ensuring that the public broadband network operators as well as

the internet service providers are able to disclose the kind of network management practices to

the public in a manner which allows the users of the services, content and applications be able to

make informed decisions. Lastly, there is need of a policy which should determine the practices

that are being carried out are consistent with the principles of network neutrality.
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Works Cited

Hong, Guo, et al. "Effects of Competition among Internet Service Providers and Content

Providers on the Net Neutrality Debate." MIS Quarterly, vol. 41, no. 2, June 2017, pp.

353-A29. EBSCOhost

Yoo, Christopher S. "Wireless Network Neutrality: Technological Challenges and Policy

Implications." Berkeley Technology Law Journal, vol. 31, no. 2, Jan. 2017, pp. 1409-

1458. EBSCOhost, doi:10.15779/Z38HQ3RZ0S.

Guo, Hong and Robert F. Easley. "Network Neutrality Versus Paid Prioritization: Analyzing the

Impact on Content Innovation." Production & Operations Management, vol. 25, no. 7,

July 2016, pp. 1261-1273. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/poms.12560.

STARR, RICHARD A. "Net Neutrality: On Mobile Broadband Carriers and the Open Internet,

the Commercially Reasonable Network Management Standard, and the Need for Greater

Protection of the Open Internet." Journal of Business & Technology Law, vol. 11, no. 1,

Jan. 2016, pp. 89-107. EBSCOhost

Downes, Larry. "The Tangled Web of Net Neutrality and Regulation." Harvard Business Review

Digital Articles, 31 Mar. 2017, pp. 2-7. EBSCOhost