The Nuances Of Net Neutrality Summary

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In her well written and highly organized piece, “The Nuances of Net Neutrality”, author Barbara van Schewick aims to convince readers of the need to increase net neutrality regulations in order to preserve the value of the internet. Schewick explains why ISP’s have a reason to discriminate against content, and why market competition is not an effective way to ensure net neutrality. While the article presents some valid points, the arguments are weakened due the use speculative language, lack of concrete examples, and false assumptions. In the article, Schewick writes about the incentives of ISP’s, the importance of the internet, as well as counterarguments to net neutrality regulations. Schewick does an excellent job of linking the different…show more content…
While explaining these ideas, she employs a speculative tone by using words such as “in a world”, “easy to imagine”, “theoretical predictions”, and “may have incentive” (Schewick, 2009). These terms reduce the importance of the issue, as they make net neutrality sound like a possibility rather than a reality. For example, the author’s repeated use of the word ‘incentive’ makes readers question if regulations need to be increased just on the basis that businesses might discriminate against content. Furthermore, the speculations made lose credibility when the author contradicts them when she admits that in most cases, ISP’s don’t have a reason to discriminate. This is because innovative content is what drives the internet’s growth, which in turn helps the ISP’s grow their…show more content…
Towards the end of the article, the author acknowledges the other side of the debate when she writes, “[b]ut do we really need regulation? That competition will solve any problems, should they exist, is a common argument against network neutrality.” She goes on to say that relying on competition between ISP’s does not account for the issue of all ISP’s blocking the same content or the difficulties of switching ones ISP. While this is a valid statement, it does not answer the original question of why regulation is needed as opposed to another method such as a model of transparency among ISP’s (Farber, 2009). This means that even readers who agree with the need for net neutrality may not be convinced that regulation is the best solution. This is likely if the reader is politically right wing and believes is minimal government interference, and thus does not wish to rely on government regulations. Schewick’s failure to fully support her own position weakens the overall aim of the article to convince readers of a need for net neutrality

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