As the argument for and against net neutrality rages on, it is becoming something of a social argument – freedom against restrictive rules. But there are other, more practical issues that have the potential to arise in the event of a removal of net neutrality rules in a few days.
It could cost you money
The bottom line is this – the removal of existing net neutrality rules will mean that those who control data will be able to give precedence to certain types of data. So, you may find yourself in a position where Netflix is no longer available through your Internet service provider, why? Because the ISP you use has its own movie streaming service and to make other services available doesn’t make good economic sense. They will give you a better deal to use their service, and remove access to all other competing services.
The movie streaming example has been used plenty of times, but the reality may end up being far more sinister. What about banks? What about social media? What about the types of information we have the ability to gain access to? News sites are in the direct firing line for corporate-based political bias should net neutrality be removed, especially in the wake of the rhetoric in the United States over the last 12 months.
The realities of the removal net neutrality are that it is advantageous for corporations, and potentially costly for consumers. There is no doubt it is more in line with the pure ethos of capitalism – allowing the corporate waters to flow in whichever direction they choose to and without regulation or restriction from the government, but with the advent of the more mature Internet, all resources now fall into the hands of a very small minority.
It seems unlikely that a playing field based on whoever has the most money would lead to anything more than a consolidation of online resources, the ISPs winning financially, and the smaller players in the marketplace, and the eager Internet entrepreneurs along with them, disappearing almost overnight.