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Opinion: Net Neutrality

Luis A. Gutierrez
Opinion Piece
80472883

20-year old medical student and Comcast customer Alexander Castillo stares patiently at
his computer monitor waiting for a medical journals web page to load, but the time a single page
takes to load seems to take ages due to his internet providers slow internet. Due to his location,
Alex only has one choice of internet provider, and because the company knows he cant go to a
competitor, they see this as an opportunity to regulate internet access and keep bandwidth low. If
net neutrality were to be revoked, there would be nothing stopping this from going on and
limiting Alexs true potential by significantly making his research harder to get. Research that
takes a day could take weeks, severely wasting his time and extending his time before he can
become a full-fledged doctor. The net neutrality principle conflict is simple: those for net
neutrality seek the treatment of data on the internet as equal, while those opposed want to let
certain web applications be faster or slowed down to the benefit of others. Simply put, a very
common example is comparing a small business against a major corporation. Without net
neutrality, the internet provider can decide how fast data will be transmitted at and the quality of
it. Therefore, there is nothing stopping it from speeding up and increasing the quality of the
major corporation's site at the cost of the small business just for its own benefits, like money.
By paying off the internet provider, the major corporation can sway more customers to its
own site due to the speed and quality of it, and therefore make much more money. This might
seem just like a regular enterprise with businesses competing against one another, but it fails to
account for educational sites. With most educational sites run non-profit or simply with
advertisements, they simply do not have the money to pay to speed up their website, and this
makes a students research take a lot longer than expected or eventually unsuccessful. In order to
change this, I believe we should regulate educational sites with a specific bandwidth. In layman

Opinion: Net Neutrality

Luis A. Gutierrez
Opinion Piece
80472883

terms, this means that while businesses may pay for their sites to be faster, a certified educational
site cannot go below a certain bandwidth and therefore does not suffer from net neutrality.
Eliminating educational information, this makes the rest of the internet a duplicate of the real
world, where companies may spend as much money as they wish to advertise their business and
seek for more customers. In a world where the internet is slowly becoming if not already is the
most relied on place for information seeking, we cannot limit those people who wish to learn and
to improve their lives.
As this idea seems a bit farfetched and quite frankly, a bit difficult, there can be another
way. While not as fancy, another solution would be to incentivize new internet provider
competitors. Today, most of the United States is locked between Time Warner Cable and
Comcast, the people forced to choose the lesser of two evils. In addition, if their merger goes
through, they will be nothing short of a monopoly and will be able to singlehandedly control
bandwidth and we might never see a change. As with any business, competition drives the
market towards better products and better services as they seek consumers business. With this
idea, we can jumpstart an internet provider arms race, where all sides are trying to best each
other by putting their own product under the microscope and trying to figure out how to improve
it. As of today, with an abundance of competition, South Korea's internet speed average in the
gigabits/second, while 98% of the United States barely averages in the megabits/second. With
this policy, I believe the United States can certainly catch up and improve internet speeds for
everyone.
The net neutrality conflict is growing very quickly and more and more people are
becoming aware of it. Separating educational bandwidth and incentivizing competitors are but
2

Opinion: Net Neutrality

Luis A. Gutierrez
Opinion Piece
80472883

two ways we could improve our problems with net neutrality, but there are many more out there.
While my ideas are in no way the best or the most efficient, I do believe something needs to
happen in order to improve our ISP conditions and make the internet a more seamless and
reliable place for everyone.

Opinion: Net Neutrality

Luis A. Gutierrez
Opinion Piece
80472883
References

American Civil Liberties Union. (2014). The ACLU Answers the Key Questions. Retrieved
December 5, 2014, from https://www.aclu.org/net-neutrality
Federal Communications Commission. (2014). Open Internet. Retrieved December 5, 2014,
from http://www.fcc.gov/openinternet
FreePress. (2014). Net Neutrality. Retrieved December 5, 2014, from
http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality