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End to Net Neutrality Signals Beginning of Accelerated, Innovative Internet

Political+Cartoon+by+Kevin+Zhang.
Political Cartoon by Kevin Zhang.

Political Cartoon by Kevin Zhang.

Photo Illustration by: Kevin Zhang

Photo Illustration by: Kevin Zhang

Political Cartoon by Kevin Zhang.

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Fear surrounding the repeal of Net Neutrality is the result of mostly baseless hype. People in favor of Net Neutrality are voicing their support without first realizing the effects it has on the internet.

Net Neutrality, officially called the Open Internet Order, is a set of rules that dictates how an internet service provider (ISP) can serve content to its users. Under Net Neutrality, all data is treated equally, regardless of the type being served. Additionally, an ISP cannot throttle or block websites and other content, nor can it work with content providers, such as Netflix, to curb costs of service and prioritize user data.

Taken at face value, Net Neutrality appears to be a good thing, leveling the playing field and protecting consumer freedom online. Though in reality, it’s nothing short of crippling regulation that stifles competition and smothers internet freedom.

Today’s ISPs are monopolies that gouge consumers for mediocre at best internet service, and the exorbitant prices ISPs charge users will only continue to climb. Lacking competition, monopolies churn the internet into a cesspool of stagnation, struggling to find the motivation to improve internet speeds and infrastructure.

Barriers of entry set forth by Net Neutrality serve to further insulate the already large and established ISPs. The cost of operating infrastructure is higher under Net Neutrality because ISPs are barred from working out deals with content providers, they are forced to absorb the added costs and foot the expensive bill to its consumers. This discourages new business and forces old business out.

True, the problems Net Neutrality tries to solve are real, but the solutions lie in America’s best engine, the free market, and not in additional government regulation. The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) vote to repeal the strenuous regulations means more room for small business.

ISPs are once again free to explore creative internet solutions, without the restrictions imposed by Net Neutrality. ISPs can offset the cost of service to their users by billing the content providers for the data they serve. They can serve high-in-demand content faster and charge only the users who consume it.

An increase in competition will bring with it an increase in innovation–something the internet desperately needs. By restoring regulatory power to the people, consumers will ensure that the fastest and cheapest internet service wins out. ISPs that focus on innovation and reducing consumer prices are bound to perform better than businesses that refuse to change.

Worries of website blocking ought to be far and few. ISPs bold enough to attempt such maneuvers face hefty opposition in the court of public opinion, and it’s this behavior that opens the door for competitors to steal paying customers away–it’s just business.

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