ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE NET NEUTRALITY IS ABOUT ISP CONTROL AND NEW REVENUE STREAMS
Do you want to know what net neutrality is about? Net neutrality (also network neutrality, Internet neutrality, or net equality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. (Citation 1)
Here is an analogy in hopes to clarify what implications would arise if Net Neutrality was not enforced.
Imagine the taxi cab business. Let’s assume all people are required to travel by taxi everywhere. There are only a few companies to choose from but they do have an abundance of vehicles to get you where you need to be. Let’s also assume the taxi cab companies actually own the physical roads and are also required to keep them smooth and ensure the traffic flows without congestion.
If you want to go somewhere you are required to hire one of the taxi cab companies. There is no other method of travel.
Businesses, schools, communities all have buildings that are only accessible by these roads which are owned by the tax cab companies.
People really enjoy travelling on the roads and getting to their destinations on time and without congestion. People are happy to pay the fee in order to get where they need to go.
The taxi cab companies are public companies trading on the stock exchange and are required to provide their earning results to the public. Year after year after year they make great profits, often record breaking.
Now imagine as more and more people begin to use the roads and the taxi cabs, the roads become more and more congested and slow and bumpy. People are delayed, they don’t always get where they want to be on time, however the prices stay the same.
Now lets suppose the taxi cab companies begin to make upgrades to the roads. These are new roads but many of the roads are not yet open the the public. In fact they have plans to make major upgrades but there is one difference.
THEY PLAN TO ADD MORE REVENUE STREAMS TO THEIR BUSINESS MODEL
Now the taxi cab companies want to make fast lanes. (But we were already travelling at fast rates weren’t we? But that is not the case if they don’t continue to make upgrades) They continue to charge the customer to use the taxi service though they are not necessarily allowed to use the FAST lanes.
They begin to charge the owners of the business an extra fee. If they pay the extra fee then their customers who are traveling to their store get to travel in the fast lanes.
This is double dipping.
First they were charging people to gain access to businesses, now they want to also charge businesses to allow their customers access their store.
You own a business and then one day someone lays ice in front of your store and says pay me on a continual basis or I won’t remove the ice.
If the businesses wish to make their stores more easily accessible to their customers they would be required to pay a premium to the taxi cab companies just so the customer can ride in the cab, in the fast lane.
It seems dirty to me. A business starts, they get a great location right in the middle of town, easily accessible by everyone but then they find out that they will need to begin paying the taxi cab companies extra money to allow their customers to arrive in an acceptable time frame, when previously they were already doing this? Does this seem acceptable to you?
What if you are a major mall with lots traffic? Imagine the cost just so your customers can arrive in an acceptable time frame when before they were already doing that for no extra cost.
Imagine if you are Walmart. You might think, ya lets stick it to these big box stores, why not charge them more.
Let’s evaluate the implications of this.
1. It’s not just Walmart being charged, it’s everyone who wants to compete with Walmart for the business.
2. The businesses including Walmart don’t want to lose profit so immediately you will see an increase in the price of everything.
3. The bigger, more profitable business’s will most likely be able to buy taxi traffic in bulk, at a lower price, which will give yet another competitive advantage.
4. New businesses will immediately be at a disadvantage starting out trying to compete.
There would be much more implications, and I welcome your input to add more in the comment section.
Here is another interesting point. Imagine you are a big building company. You sell very large pieces of equipment to customers (Youtube, Netflix). As the industry changes and the Taxi service begins charging extra for fast roads your large pieces of equipment end up failing to reach the customers home on time. The customers are already paying the Taxi company for delivery. The customer gets one part one day and then the next part the next day and on and on. This is unacceptable to the customer because the thing they purchased is required to arrive all at the same time.
Suddenly your business no longer even works on the slow roads. You are forced simply because of the business you are in, to pay the fee.
What happens when you are forced to pay an extra fee to send your customer what they need in an acceptable way that the customer can use the product?
YOU RAISE YOUR PRICE TO OFFSET THE COST.
Who ends up paying more in the the end?
I hope my analogy helped to clarify what this Net Neutrality Debate Is About.
It is about Internet Service Providers, ISP’s trying to gain more control over Internet traffic which will create new revenue streams ultimately at the expense of the customer.
SOME OTHER POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND REGARDING WHAT NET NEUTRALITY IS ABOUT
You as a customer are required to pay monthly for access to websites and you pay for speed and a max data amount. The ISP is required to provide the speed and access you pay for. All website owners including Netflix and YouTube are also required to pay for bandwidth to upload that data to you. They are already paying internet fees to run their business.
A change in Net Neutrality would actually add another cost they and ultimately you would be required to pay and for no reason.
Even though we are currently in a state of Net Neutrality many ISPs are already playing games behind closed door with sites like Netflix. You pay for fast service so Netflix streams properly. All other sites work fast but the ISP actually slows the access specifically to the Netflix site because it costs a lot to send all that data (WHICH YOU AND NETFLIX ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR) so they can charge Netflix more for fast lanes.
For further reading about this topic please see this link about ISPs playing Chicken.
Here is a quote from Level3.com
“Chicken” | A Game Played as a Child and by some ISPs with the Internet – Beyond Bandwidth
Please leave a comment on your opinion of Net Neutrality. Did this post help you learn what net neutrality is about?