The Necessity of Free Speech: Net Neutrality as a Voice for the Voiceless

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Source of Photo: TechFrag.com

Although it has appeared in the news as a topic of main concern, Net Neutrality still exists as an anomalous concept for some individuals. For those of you completely unaware of what exactly Net Neutrality is, SaveTheInternet.com defines it as “the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.” This framework is what allows for open networks to exist across the internet, giving us the ability to freely search and access any pieces of information we so choose without the fear of being blocked or prohibited.

Current rule changes have been in discussion for quite some time now, with the possible results being disastrous for internet users. While the rules themselves are extensive in scope, one of the major points made rests in the ability for ISPs to offer new speeds of service and rates for charging. Marguerite Reardon’s article for Cnet.com entitled 13 Things You Need to Know About the FCC’s Net Neutrality Regulation outlines this issue as follows: “Broadband providers will still be able to offer new services and rates, which means they can add a faster tier of service, at a new price, without permission from the FCC.” In turn, this would allow the controlling ISPs to grant access to fast and reliable internet at a much higher cost, while creating a slower, cheaper alternative to accompany it.

As a result of this, it is possible that internet providers will slow down speeds in hopes of making a greater profit from specific websites. This form of “throttling” is clearly depicted during John Oliver’s rant on Net Neutrality during his June 1st, 2014 episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, in which he discusses Comcast and Netflix’s negotiations, during which Comcast throttled the connection speeds for Netflix and sent them plummeting until a resolve was made between the companies. Oliver equates this incident with that of a “mob shakedown,” making the big-money corporations the bullies with complete control over their business.

This is Why We Need Net Neutrality

Source of Photo: The Washington Post

This control gives the major companies immense power over their product, limiting the freedom of those who have access to it. On top of this, it silences the voices of those reaching out for a specific cause, unable to communicate in a timely manner on important topics within the world. In  Zeynep Tufecki’s post on the importance of Twitter on the situations of Ferguson, Missouri, titled What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: Net Neutrality, Algorithmic Filtering, and Ferguson, she outlines the ways in which Twitter proved to be the most useful tool in communicating the shooting of Michael Brown in early August of 2014.

While the incident itself is categorized as world news by now, it did not begin as such. Tufecki acknowledges that the freedom and speed that Twitter gives its users allowed for first-hand accounts of the oppression as well as visual aids to support the evidence, the first coverage to be seen en mass from this series of events. Without the speed and freedom of speech that Net Neutrality gave the people of Ferguson, Missouri — not to mention the inability to block any information from being posted — the community outreach may never have reached others.

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Source of Photos: The Latino Post

Net Neutrality gives us our voice across the internet. It not only protects us from the towering control of the indomitable ISPs, but also from violations to our constitutional freedom of speech. From your own experience with Net Neutrality, what other possible changes do you foresee coming as a result from a new ruling that allow greater control for the ISPs? What could this mean to the future of our own personal right to free speech and the internet’s unwritten rules concerning a freedom from governmental and corporate control? Do you consider the possible negatives of a diminished Net Neutrality to be egregious enough to merit community protest and change, or do you consider it a perpetuation and public showcasing of already-standing procedures (such as the Comcast-Netflix fiasco)?

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26 thoughts on “The Necessity of Free Speech: Net Neutrality as a Voice for the Voiceless

  1. Carly Hernandez April 8, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    A possible change that could result from giving greater control to ISPs is that every time we would go on a website it would either result in the slowest internet connection ever or not allow us to go to that website at all without permission. They would also be able to charge us to gain more access to different services. It would be hard if net neutrality wasn’t there and the control was in the hands of the ISPs. We should be able to have our right to free speech and there are very little things that we don’t have to pay for or that aren’t already governed by other large corporations and companies. If we were to give this up then that means in the future it will be that much easier for these corporations, companies and even the government to gain even more power and control. When Netflix agreed that they would pay the money to Comcast in exchange for a faster speed, that basically showed how much power Comcast and other big businesses could have. It is definitely something that should be changed in a way that benefits the smaller businesses and not just the big ones. Everything is about making money, and if there are any ways that companies can make more money they will do so. Even at the expense of our freedom. Even though we way get faster speeds on the internet, it just gives the monopolizing power to the ISPs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • adrianhormsby April 11, 2015 / 10:06 am

      Yes, scary how money makes the American world go round, don’t see that as much in Europe for example. We may need to reflect as a society here in the US on the whole premise that sacrificing our individual freedoms, polluting our environment, marginalizing the poor at home, eroding the middle class and jeopardizing our national credibility abroad all for the sake of shoring up a buoyant economy through corporate protection and U.S. Consumer spending is really the best future for our kids. We all know it’s not sustainable with undesirable consequences in the long term so why do we insist on and support this dogma. The voting public eats it up like Big Macs when the politicians perpetuate the mythology. So sad to see it unfolding in front of our eyes. There are better alternatives to this obsession with a capital and profit driven generation of wealth at all costs, wealth that increasingly being horded at the top never trickling down to Citizens who both need it and can use it to really improve America. The Happinenss Manifesto by Nic Marks is abs superb essay on this issue.

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    • Brandon Coulter April 11, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      Excellent points. The major issue that comes with attempting to change things to reduce the power of the large ISPs comes from the lack of power displacement. Reducing their power could technically mean distributing it across more ISPs. The problem with this arises from the lack of competition within the U.S. market for internet. This is the reason the Comcasts are able to basically do whatever they want without any major drawback to them. Without them, we have no feasible internet. Until the competition market changes, the larger companies are able to do whatever they want in order to make more money knowing that the public will pay regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. adrianhormsby April 9, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Hi Brandon, great discussion on this issue. The readings clearly highlight the need for net neutrality to ensure freedom of both the press and free speech. The Ferguson experience as well as the use of social media during the Arab Spring shows how pivotal it is for disseminating important and sensitive information that citizens should be aware of. For these reasons alone we should be concerned as citizens about the trend toward a monopoly by ISP’s here in the US. As you saw in the readings the Europeans are very aware of this problem hence the major political efforts by their governments to ensure that an ISP monopoly does not develop. What’s the result? Their citizens already experience high speed ubiquitous Internet access at much less cost than what we users launchers in the US. And what do we get for our money, downtime, slow time and excuses from tech assistance that we live in high use areas with dismal service. I just don’t see them changing or wanting to improve service any time soon, because they know they can get away with it due to the woefully limited competition. Everybody knows that when you’re up north for the weekend you take your Verizon cell phone and leave the Sprint phone at home due to lack of coverage in rural MI. Do the ISP’s care, heck no, that’s just the way it is. So much for Corporate America meeting the needs of the ordinary citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mvzang April 11, 2015 / 3:32 am

    I like your points on the topic. I agree the internet gives us a certain level of free speech, but it doesn’t come free. We have to pay for the internet. For those people in Ferguson, the internet was a great way for their voices to be heard, but what we have to remember is the internet isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. In order for us to get out voices heard, we have to pay for the service that gives us that power. I agree that the companies shouldn’t be able to monopolize and charge outrages prices for something that seems so easy to provide, but there needs to be something in place to protect all parties involved.

    I would certainly hope that our government, if it were to take over the internet and regulate it, wouldn’t regulate speech and material on the internet. That is what makes this county great, we’re able to speak our minds without being beaten or killed. The whole Comcast and Netflix situation does raise some concern and to me it does seem as sort of a shakedown. But the problem for me lies in this; If Netflix is using a lot of bandwidth without having to compensate for it, they should be held accountable. It’s almost seems as the more bandwidth, or data you use, the more you should pay, just like most other things in our life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cseejay April 11, 2015 / 7:07 am

      There are a lot of times I’d hope our government would do something that would benefit the overwhelming majority of individuals, but I’ve been disappointed quite a bit. Paying for the Internet is fine, but this tier system that would cause for corporations to charge ridiculous amounts of money is concerning. For a lot of people in this country that system has already been implemented. Internet throttling (which is a bit different) has also been a big thing with Comcast, despite them saying for a long time they don’t throttle Internet. We clearly haven’t gotten to the point where corporations have run wild with policies and regulation, but more recent practices clearly indicate the direction Net Neutrality is going. There isn’t a system in place that equates the amount of bandwidth a company uses to how much you should charge them or your consumer. I think in most cases you literally have Comcast and other companies looking for more way’s they can change this system and make more money. Bandwidth is not like food or water. How much you pay is based completely off some arbitrary number (for the most part). I don’t think it’s as simple as you use more bandwidth you pay more money. There are a ton of videos on this that, that might help explain why Net neutrality is such a big deal. I think this is one of those cases were a majority of the problems surround the company and not the consumer. Once you start implementing products like wearables and household items that all have to constantly connect to the Internet, Internet companies will take advantage of this. This is speculation purely based off the top companies track record.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brandon Coulter April 12, 2015 / 11:21 am

      At the base of the issue, connection speeds should not be so abysmal to the point where the biggest and most important services need to pay extra in order for their content to be distributed. Another thing, however, is that you mention internet use as a privilege. What would you do if I told you it is actually guaranteed as a basic human right? There are many countries across the globe that recognize internet access as a groundwork for human rights. With this in mind, does it seem fair to discriminate against citizens by charging an arm and a leg for good service and normal prices for poor or useless connections?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. bjuhasz10 April 11, 2015 / 10:42 am

    To answer your last question, I believe if diminishing Net Neutrality continues harming the average user, it will indeed “merit community protest and change”. I think we as a society have shown the willingness and resilience to attack social issues, and in this increasingly online world, I think big changes could be had with a large social movement of some kind. I think most people can see that technology has gotten so much faster and better over the past decade, but these improvements seem to be absent from the internet providers. We have the technology to watch Netflix on our phones, but internet is still slow in large cities and areas with large populations. I don’t think the ISP’s are doing everything they could to provide us with the best possible service, but at the same time, they continue increasing internet costs at a rapidly alarming rate.

    All in all, I think it will take one big thing to really make people outraged. They are slowly paying more and more for internet, but I think the ISP’s will make 1 big mistake, whether it be some stupid new policy, a ridiculous price increase, or proof that there was something corrupt going on behind the scenes. This is what will spark change in my opinion.

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  5. galaradi April 11, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    I can see this completely ruining freedom of speech on the Internet. With greater control from money-seeking companies such as Comcast and Verizon, they can control the Internet based on their own benefits. They can allow faster access to companies that pay them more and slower access to others. This can eventually lead to Internet censorship, which is blocking certain websites. This gives other websites more competition and makes it extremely difficult for them to be recognized over Google and Yahoo.

    I think it’s worth it to go protest against the diminishing of net neutrality, because it completely damages our freedom on the Internet. We cannot allow big companies to profit most by diminishing net neutrality. The whole basis of the Internet is the freedom of anyone to search anything they want and find all kinds of websites. Diminishing net neutrality will completely ruin that ideology and limit our experience on the Internet. It would change everything, and the Internet would not be the same. Therefore, I think people should go out and stand for the freedom on the Internet.

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    • eakoonter April 12, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      I agree. It seems like companies keep charging higher prices for Internet access and we keep giving into them. Some things need censorship on the Internet (i.e.: child pornography), but the Internet was made for easy access to information. We need to stop big corporations from taking this freedom away from us. We deserve net neutrality and we need to stand up for it.

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  6. bubbastinx April 11, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    I like some of the points that this poster has made.

    I’m an advocate for Net Neutrality. It’s all to easy to control opposing perspective through hegemonic discourse.

    The internet has given humans another channel to communicate, and share our common experiences. We all aren’t as different as we like to think that we are.

    I believe that any advancement with privation of the internet will only further the master to whip the world slaves back into line, and continue the divide and conquer.

    Too strong of an example?

    Really?

    How do you think that we are still fighting racial problems over a hundred years after reconstruction?

    But, I digress.

    The internet is for the people, and the advancement of the world in positive non destructive ways. I’d gladly lower my standard of leavings in America so that a family within the slums of Bangladesh can have access to basic human things such as clean running water, food, and internet.

    Heck, we don’t have to go to Bangladesh. I’d gladly adjust my living so that kids in Urban and Rural America can have access to proper education that isn’t defunded by political pimps that pit the two extremes against each other.

    But how will the home prices stay up, if no one is scared of the big black or brown boogie man, or white trash wiley?

    Anyhow, I went on a tangent.

    Let’s keep the net open. The corporations are flushed with cash. They can figure out new ways to keep making money hand over fist. This isn’t always a bad thing.

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  7. blcarr April 12, 2015 / 9:52 am

    Coming up, I’ve heard “money makes the world go world.” I also heard and seen “money is the rule of all evil.” We all talk about how the major companies dominate the market place by setting the standards for success. This is caused by the lack of competition. When you are the only one on top, you hold the power. Meaning you can charge what you want when you want. The game according to the reading is (slower speeds cause for a major profit.) since comcast (xfinity) is basically the only internet service provider, they can do what they want without any major backlash. Kind of like the wrestling industry. WWE can do whatever they want in the wrestling industry due to the simple fact that the competition is scarce. If we want change, we need to build many competitors to go at xfinity, taking the control away and giving the power back to the public, giving us choices which would bring down cost and profit.

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    • Brandon Coulter April 12, 2015 / 11:29 am

      The major problem is this: Comcast exists and so does Time Warner. They both operate without direct interference with each other, with Comcast distributing service to A and B and Time Warner to C and D. These are the two major players in service distribution. Comcast wants to purchase Time Warner, causing them to control A, B, C, and D. This is a prime example of a monopoly, one that will disallow competition from generating just from sheer power. Comcast would have no problem throwing millions at a start-up company just to get them to shut up and stop their business. They have too much money, and money=power in capitalist America. Regulations on wealth and power may seem extreme, but not when a monopoly on a basic human right exists in the “land of the free.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. seananthony3 April 12, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    I remember the Comcast bringing down Netflix very clearly. Back then, it was infuriating to watch Netflix because of it constantly having to stop to rebuffer. At one point, I was tempted to unsubscribed due to unsatisfactory service. For whatever reason, I decided to stay. A few months ago when Net Neutrality was a hot topic on the internet, I learned why Netflix was slow for me. Comcast did, as you said, nothing short of bullying. With the power Comcast has, it almost seems like throttling their connection is a monopoly practice to make them listen to their commands. Brandon in a comment above mine points out very well that if another company were to compete with Comcast (and Time Warner), they would be thrown back down.

    In order for us to stay “free” on the internet, we have to consider regulations against those that would limit our abilities. Net Neutrality is for us.

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  9. rmpaulk April 12, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    I honestly don’t ever think our true freedom of speech will be taken off the internet. It is a right, not a privilege, and that can’t just silence us. I know for a fact the U.S. will not stand for that. I think it could definitely be more censored on certain sites or with certain providers, but you could always sue. I know that can be messy and expensive, but at the same time people won’t stand for it. The Comcast-Netflix situation seriously sickens me. I think it is disgusting when people try to force others to pay more for the same service they were already getting. People are getting way too money hungry these days and it needs to stop. When gas prices and cost of living went up in the U.S. people were furious. It had to happen, but people didn’t like it. Can you imagine what will happen when prices go up for no reason? I can guarantee people will be outraged and protest against it. I definitely think I would. Anything can happen in the U.S. if we lay down and take it. You can be stripped of every one of your rights if you allow it. We cannot allow it. That is what it boils down to. People have to stand up for what is right and what they believe it.

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  10. akuelbs April 12, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    If we want to look at changing net neutrality, it will be the case of a give and take situation. With the way net neutrality is nowadays, we are able to browse and explore the internet freely as we would like. But while this happens, there are no rules or laws against acts such as “throttling,” Comcast is guilty of throttling netflix and because of that incident, people believe that we need to change the rules and guidelines so this doesnt happen again. But if we look at changing the rules and guidelines about certain topics, we would have to look at changing rules for many different aspects. This would lead to more restricted browsing and even make it where companies wouldn’t be able to speed up their networks. So if you look at it this way, if we want to change the guidelines, we would have to give up some of the freedom we enjoy currently. So then you have to look at what people are willing to give up, if anything as to whether we should have more strict rules.

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  11. spgregor April 12, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    While I support NN, my main concern is having the government control it. I agree with the concept that “big providers” shouldn’t control bandwidth allocation, speed and content across their network. However, I can’t help but wonder if the FCC is making a huge power grab and no one seems to notice. We have already seen what happens to things like the nation’s healthcare system when government gets involved. Imagine what happens when the same folks who couldn’t get one single web site up and running properly try to take on the job of regulating the entire internet.

    The communications act of 1932, which the NN act is fashioned around, regulated the phone and utility systems that cut out innovation for over 50 years. It wasn’t until telecom de-regulated that price and competition came down and services became better. Almost every time we have seen de-regulation of a major industry, we have seen real competition and competitive pricing.
    What made the internet great is that government couldn’t curtail any of its content, good or bad. That is up to each of us to do. There are great limits on what can be broadcast on network television and radio and NN is just another means to allow the federal government to control the internet in much the same way it controls the airwaves. The ramifications could be ominous. History teaches us that when government takes control, it stifles competition, hampers growth and ends up costing consumers a lot more in the end.

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  12. asibo April 12, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    One of the things that I enjoyed about Tufecki’s article is that it focused on an aspect of net neutrality that the other articles did not: actual neutrality. As Robert McMillan states, “We shouldn’t waste so much breath on the idea of keeping the network completely neutral. It isn’t neutral now.” Most talk about ISPs and what the majority people think of as net neutrality have nothing to do with neutrality, per se. The algorithms which dictate what news is important on social media, however, are in the interests of free speech and neutrality. Personally, I feel that issues such as whose voice shows up in online forums is a much more important issue than an internet service bill rising a few dollars a month.

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  13. nebior April 12, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    Any host of worse things could come into effect is the ISPs were given more power. In my power, the worst thing that could happen would be the blocking of certain sites that don’t pay companies a fee to not be blocked. Preventing access to any website is completely against freedom of speech and the right to information. A website provides information the same way a book can. If a library didn’t offer me a certain book because the author didn’t pay the library a fee then I would be the one missing out along with the author. This could become reality if too much power is given to the wrong person. I understand that a lot of internet traffic is used by people downloading things illegally, but to prevent that would be incredibly difficult and the consequences of slowing or blocking sites could be terrible. The idea that pops into my head is what if Bing were to pay a higher premium than Google to many major ISPs. We may never hear from Google again and it has always been such a staple. The Comcast vs. Netflix is a great example of what could happen if we allow more and more freedom to ISP’s. There are strong arguments for allowing ISPs to make these restrictions, but the negative outcomes that could arise would be terrible.

    –Ben Walker

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  14. jaemillz411 April 12, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Good Post.

    A change that could be possible from greater ISP control is something that I think already occurs. It is called a Media Blackout where all television news sources ignore a major story but clogs up the channels with celebrity gossip or other sorts of irrelevant news. I think that if there was something major that the government really wanted to hide, then they could regardless of Twitter and other websites hide it. However nowadays I think that the government and/or big corporations can only stall information from getting out. Like we have learned from previous sections, the Internet was made to be limitless its expansion is massive and I do believe that the public will fight for our freedom to use it how they see fit. But if the big corporations control the speed of the information they definitely can control our free speech and press. Just like in the article about Ferguson stated that Twitter had a huge part in contributing news fast and at such a wide span. It relayed the information about the shooting, riots and protests faster than the news, radio, and print. Whoever holds the power of speed controls the flow of information and that power will be fought for. I remember a saying that went like this: to see into the future one can look into the past. These are impactful and sad words because they are true. Time and time again citizens have to fight for rights that they should have naturally and eventually we always win.

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  15. Madeleine W. April 12, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    I think a diminished net neutrality is definitely a cause for public protest. The beauty of the internet is that you can find anything; there are virtually no limits on the web. The greed of corporations isn’t a good enough reason for me to agree with losing net neutrality. I remember the first time a bill against net neutrality came to Congress, there were site wide protests, and it was an awesome thing to see. The internet is an important community for a lot of people, and it’s disappointing to see the people who are supposed to be our voice in government ruling for something none of their constituents want.

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  16. kevinpayton1 April 12, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Definitely. Could you imagine how rich ISP companies would become? It would be a stockholders dream, and a citizen’s nightmare. They would without question slow down their free Internet services to steer consumers to their more expensive packages. BUT wait, WE have seen this before. Lets not forget about the premium HD packages Comcast, Direct TV, and other cable television services starting offering for a premium price. They charged from everything from to box to the picture. And did anyone notice that their regular non-hd channels began to look as worst than they did before? It was a pay for better service scheme then as it is now with NN. The cellphone industry did it also with their 4G services. Since 4G came out, regular cell phone service sucks. It’s all about making the rich richer and controlling the market. NN must remain or we will all suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. thegradytrain April 12, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Looking to the future, I can think of ISPs like Comcast changing their terms to affect their customers in a more or less negative way. I can also imagine a more push for more premium service packages i.e. packages with greater speeds or features, that cost more, in an effort to make up for the loss in potential revenue. It also would not surprise me to see a restructuring of ISP’s service packages to separate high speed internet from higher speed internet. What I mean by this is that people who pay for like standard 25 Megabit service would be encouraged to subscribe to a greater speed, or Comcast would just jack up the bill til the 50 Megabit service is pretty much cheaper or a better deal. Basically it wouldn’t surprise me to see Comcast try to make an effort to make up for the fact that they lost the potential to make a lot more money then they actually need.

    I would like to think though that this enforcement of Net Neutrality means the end of things like the Comcast-Netflix fiasco or “Fast-laning services” but I still think it is possible for incidents like that to happen. Companies like Comcast have the ability to find loopholes to accommodate themselves more so than smaller ISPs, they also already have large amounts of money going into places that they could possibly use to leverage themselves. My hope is that technology like Google Fiber becomes more accessible to people so that they can show Comcast and other big ISPs they aren’t the big fish anymore.

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  18. doniecew April 12, 2015 / 11:51 pm

    I think that if we don’t enforce net neutrality and allow companies to charge us the price we pay for faster internet will increase every couple of years. The access that we have to the Internet now would never be the same. Stating that it takes away our freedom of speech is definitely a different way of looking at it. It makes me think that a lot will change because everyone has invested so much into this internet world. Faster access is definitely a plus, let’s make it available to everyone!

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  19. mstor763 April 12, 2015 / 11:53 pm

    Let me first state I am 100% against this whole rule change and charging different pricing for each tier. I stand this position due to my place of employment has this capability within their network. We have a 100mb service and it is divided up to 3mb roles per users. So what happens when more than 33 people get online? Well they now divided that again until it is balanced. Seems like an ideal situation, except I work at a hotel which has over 200 rooms plus 25,000 ft of banquet space capable of holding over 1000 people at a given time. This idea does not work on small scale testing, it wont work on big scale. There is no “guaranteed” way to deliver a speed without sacrifice elsewhere and to take it from people who cant afford this higher tier is idiotic.

    In relation to the future of right to free speech….well they had capabilities before twitter and what not, get off your bum and go outside and do a CIVILIZED protest. You are entitled to free speech and even if they were to completely take it out of the internet realm (which I highly doubt anyways) there are other methods.

    Lastly, I would have to say it is and always has been a public showcasing. Everyone wants to flex their muscle when possible and that’s what Comcast did. It wont be the last of this type of situation to happen either.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. elrader2015 April 13, 2015 / 12:00 am

    Hi Brandon!
    When it comes to the issue of Net Neutrality there are a lot of areas to explore in this argument. As you were mentioning with the Micheal Brown shooting and Twitter, the internet is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to getting things done and reaching people socially. With the idea of charging people for faster speeds, these corporations would essentially be controlling who has access to the internet and in a democratic society, I see this as very problematic. It’s hard for all things to be equal when only certain groups of people have access to those things. With the ever increasing rate at which we develop technology, I see no good reason why we can make an efficient web for everyone to utilize. Unfortunately, a lot of this does come down to corporate and government greed. They will pair to capitalize on our desire for fast internet speeds, while also gripping control in a social manner by choosing what we do online and who can do it. For these reasons among others, I see the censorship as problematic and discriminating. We should all have access to the same resource that is the internet in the same manner, especially considering how much we stay in tune with what’s going on in the world via the web.

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