Question

The issue of net neutrality raises the question of whether regulation is either appropriate or necessary to restrict unwanted behavior. Would you favor imposing the same rules on wired and wireless ISPs? If so, which approach would you prefer? The 2010 FCC rules for wired providers? The rules for wireless providers? The post-Verizon v.FCC position? Or would you prefer to leave it to the market to determine which ISPs will be successful? Explain your responses.
In general, if someone in the United States wishes to connect to the Internet, they contract with a commercial Internet service provider (ISP) (such as AT&T, Comcast, or Verizon) and pay a fee for the type (such as dial-up or broadband) and level of service (such as speed, data volume, and length of term) they desire. They then have access to any content provider (such as Amazon, Craigslist, Google, and YouTube). This uniform access is referred to as net neutrality. It implies that ISPs will not discriminate against the traffic of any legal content provider. Some ISPs would like the right to change that—for example, by charging certain content providers for access or for enhanced transmission speeds to the ISP’s subscribers. Their argument is that bandwidth is not infinite and they need to be able to manage traffic during periods of congestion to prevent performance degradation over the entire system. Specifically, ISPs want to charge content providers with heavy traffic, such as sites where users download music and videos, for the substantial bandwidth used to access their sites, products, and services. The consequence of nonpayment would be either blocked access at certain times or degraded speed at which access is provided.


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  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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