The Instigator
thrica
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
JGunn
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

Net Neutrality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,610 times Debate No: 316
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (7)

 

thrica

Pro

Net Neutrality is an issue coming up with increasing regularity with service providers altering, blocking, or prioritizing content. With modern society becoming increasingly dependent on free and unfettered flow of information as the internet provides, Net Neutrality is becoming increasingly vital to future economic growth.

Firstly, one of the most common arguments against Net Neutrality is that it is internet regulation, using the latter word as a pejorative. Free market economy, they say, mandates that ISPs may run their networks however they choose. However, they neglect the fact that the internet is a market itself, and ISPs act not so much as companies presiding over a resource as governments presiding over an economy. Just as the government needs restraint on its own economic control in order for its economy to grow, so the service providers need to exercise restraint in their control over the internet's tubes for it to grow.

Secondly, let's look at what gives the internet such vast economic potential in the first place: it is this level playing field that has been maintained up to this point, giving McDonalds just as much potential for a great internet presence as the restaurant down the street. Of course this has been skewed by advertising and convention (people are more likely to go to places they've heard of, for example), but this will only be exacerbated to an extreme degree by the loss of net neutrality. Allowing the service provider arbitrary control over what gets to their end users will inevitably impose a huge burden on smaller website owners who cannot afford to front the cash that Google or Amazon can in order to get priority access to end users. The loss of net neutrality will mean a huge barrier to entry into any market as the internet becomes increasingly integral to information gathering, which will damage economic competitiveness not only between internet companies, but anybody for whom an internet presence is important.
JGunn

Con

Well let's go ahead and get this going...

First: The loss of net neutrality is not something that the government or big business can do anything about. The internet is far too vast to be properly regulated. The money required to promote neutrality is far too large amount to be feasible.

Second: My opponent states that the internet is a level playing field, and that is so true. Much like our society, success gains you a higher place in society so why not extend that to the internet. The web is nothing but a reflection of the real world so a successful business in the real world should also reap the benefits of advertisement on the web. This is how America works. You succeed, you gain the benefits.
Debate Round No. 1
thrica

Pro

"The internet is far too vast to be properly regulated. The money required to promote neutrality is far too large amount to be feasible."
Net Neutrality enforcement isn't like police enforcement in that one is regulating innumerable potentially morally unrestrained individuals. There are a finite number of telecoms in the US, and that number is getting smaller as the giants swallow up the smaller ones. Considering that Net Neutrality has been to this point the de facto standard, the telecoms would not have a mandate to implement; rather a restriction to avoid. The only expense would come when the principle is violated, which could be settled easily enough by a class action lawsuit.

"a successful business in the real world should also reap the benefits of advertisement on the web."
Such is the nature of the internet right now. Are you saying the field should be tilted further in favor of established businesses in the interest of fairness by allowing an internet tax paid to the service providers?

If that is your argument, then it essentially boils down to which side we compensate towards: the landed and established businesses, or the smaller, potentially successful startups. While one could make the argument that the former is "fairer", it is only so when regarding the present independently. Most large companies today had the benefit of being one of the first to corner a market. Simply by virtue of temporal advantage, and not necessarily by virtue of inherent product quality (though this is often the case as well), they were able to succeed. It follows then that in the interest of fairness, barriers to entry be removed as much as is reasonable in order to allow at least a similar opportunity as was afforded to the currently dominant business.

This leads to more consistently multipolar markets, which are nearly always more productive than unipolar monopolistic markets.
JGunn

Con

What my opponent fails to realize is that advertisement is part of the business. Sites such as myspace gain revenue from "McDonalds" wanting to put their ads on the myspace homepage.

What my opponent is proposing is regulation of big business. We have been unable to to do anything about it in the real world so we are now trying to do it in the digital world. "The restrictions that a business must avoid" is exactly that.

You do have to decide whether to promote the established business or the new and upcoming. Yes, the former may have been the cornerstone of a new field but why not reward them for that.
Debate Round No. 2
thrica

Pro

You say that we have been unable to regulate businesses in the real world, so why try in the digital? In reality, the two are not parallel. I do indeed realize that advertising is part of the business, and the advantage gained therefrom is exactly what logically follows for having been the first to market. Economic growth is hindered when the rewards for success do not necessarily follow from the success itself, for example, legal smothering, or in this case, the imposition of unreasonable fees to get into an online market. Something like advertising does follow from the success itself, since it is directly related to the product and does not try to seek its own in extracompetitive methods by altering the playing field itself.
JGunn

Con

This debate boils down to one item in particular, whether you, the voter, are going to support the established business or the young upstart.

The young business may seem like the right or honest thing to do, but the established has done its time and carved its name. The established had to deal with the hurdles of their time and now times have changed. Young business will have to face new hurdles that they must leap if they want to join the ranks and reap the benefits of being supported.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by sethgecko13 9 years ago
sethgecko13
"First: The loss of net neutrality is not something that the government or big business can do anything about."

Are you kidding? Sure it is - that's why it's Big Business that is lobbying like hell to eliminate Net Neutrality. It's angry that it has lost its ability to monopolize the mass media (by way its monetary holdings) through traditional channels, and it wants that control back.

"The money required to promote neutrality is far too large amount to be feasible."

What cost? There's no money required to promote net neutrality; in fact, the only costs being incurred would be on behalf of the ISPs that would have to set up a completely different tiered structure for allowing access to the internet (and then police that system) - and on the part of the taxpayers who keep having to fight off attempts by corporate lobbyists to eliminate Net Neutrality.

"Much like our society, success gains you a higher place in society so why not extend that to the internet."

That's the entire basis of the Internet. The irony is that you're PARTICIPATING in an egalitarian 'free market' system facilitated by the Internet right now; your arguments stand or fall based on their merits (as opposed to how much cash you can throw behind them to silence opposing views).

"The web is nothing but a reflection of the real world so a successful business in the real world should also reap the benefits of advertisement on the web. This is how America works. You succeed, you gain the benefits."

That's all well and good except that the Internet is a public trust that was created almost entirely with taxpayer dollars through public institutions like the military and higher education.

Do you even understand Net Neutrality? Eliminating it would STIFLE COMPETITION because it would give big business a stranglehold to shut out upstart entrepreneurs and small businesses who right now have equal footing with multinationals on the Internet.
Posted by JoeDSileo1988 9 years ago
JoeDSileo1988
"My opponent states that the internet is a level playing field, and that is so true. Much like our society, success gains you a higher place in society so why not extend that to the internet. The web is nothing but a reflection of the real world so a successful business in the real world should also reap the benefits of advertisement on the web. This is how America works. You succeed, you gain the benefits."

1) The internet is not a reflection of the real world. It is a tool. An open flow of communication that was not intended to be controlled by any one source. As the smaller companies get absorbed into the giants the integrity of the flow must be preserved.

2) The internet is a world-wide institution so to have it reflect the mechanics of America is unfair to other nations.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by DebateStar 8 years ago
DebateStar
thricaJGunnTied
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Vote Placed by k.sampler 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by aaltobartok 9 years ago
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thricaJGunnTied
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Vote Placed by sethgecko13 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Ozymandias 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by she-ra 9 years ago
she-ra
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