The Instigator
That1User
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
UtherPenguin
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

WODC R1: This House believes that provision of Internet services should be a public utility..

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
UtherPenguin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 471 times Debate No: 76104
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

That1User

Pro

I want to thank UtherPenguin for being my opponent in this debate and for Larz and Whiteflame for organizing the WODC of this year. Now onto definitions.
Internet services: Services that allow a person to go on the internet.
Public utility: a business that furnishes an everyday necessity to the public at large (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...)
Debate layout:
R1 Acceptance
R2 Opening Arguments
R3) Rebuttals
R4) Closing Arguments, no new arguments are allowed

Rules
1. No trolling
2. No forfeiting
3. The BoP shall be shared, pro must prove that the provision of Internet services should be a public utility while con must prove they should not be.
Debate Round No. 1
That1User

Pro

Resolved: This House believes that provision of Internet services should be a public utility.
In order to fufill my BoP, I will argue that the benefits of Internet services being a public utility outweigh the costs of internet services.

What a public utility is
According to the legal freedictionary, a public utility is defined as "a business that furnishes an everyday necessity to the public at large. Public utilities provide water, electricity, natural gas, telephone service, and other essentials."

What is meant by "Essentials"

In the definition above, water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone service were all classified as essentials. Water is definately an essential for humans to live, while electricity and natural is not necessary for survival, they are indicators of human developement.
According to Infrastructure Access and Human Development: CrossCountry Evidence and Post-2015 Development Strategies "access to electricity and access to water have positive and significant effect on education and health indexes"( http://web.isanet.org...)
Telephone access is not necessary for survival, but it is still listed as an essential. Perhaps it is essential because it increases overall public safety. Emergency services such as 911 are used via telecommunication services. These emergency services offer immediate response after an emergency, greatly improving standard of living.

Since these public utilties are not considered essential for human survival, it is logical to conclude that what is met by an essential service is "a service that is essential for a comfortable living" or "a service that is essential for daily life in a developed nation."

Why internet services are essential for a comfortable living

Internet services are essential for a comfortable living because it contains a plethora of information, thus one can get educated more easily. According to the NY Times, education is essential to economic prosperity, as more education = more money. (http://www.nytimes.com...)

Internet services also assist with filing taxes, checking the weather, buying and selling stocks, learning new things, etc.
There is also a correlation of internet usage with HDI, nations with high HDI tend to have widespread internet usage. (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Thus it is safe to assume that All these things are necessary for a comfortable living in developed nations.

Why internet services should be public utility.
Internet services should be public utility because according to the legal freedictionary public utilities offer essential services at a reasonable price (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...), thus more people can afford the internet, leading to more people benefiting from the positives of internet usage. I will specifically call for national broadband as a public utility, as that is proven to increase economic growth. (http://www.ericsson.com...) (s://www.itu.int...)

Economic growth is good because it leads to higher income leveles, reduces unemployment, improves public services, and encourages investment, which furthers economic growth. (http://www.economicshelp.org...)

Since making internet services a public utility will further economic growth, This House believes that provision of Internet services should be a public utility.
UtherPenguin

Con

I also thank Pro for being my opponent for this round. As requested, I'll start with my opening arguments.

Making any private service into a public utility (or common carrier) would require a dramatic leap in taxes, given that doing so is the equivalent to nationalizing an industry. The cost of internet services offered by ISP's would then become a burden of the government. As a result, making a private service a public utility would require that the service is to some degree a major necessity. Otherwise, in order for a new public utility to sustain itself, then a few conditions would be required.
1. The enterprise providing a utility should be a monopoly

For example, prior to telephone lines becoming public utilities in the US, the company AT&T was the dominant provider, their monopoly in the late 80"s-early 90"s was dissolved shortly before telephone lines became common carriers.

2.The service must be some form of necessity.

A second reason that telephone lines became common carriers was the necessity provided with possessing a telephone. At the time, phones were the dominant medium for communication over long distances. As a result, it became necessary for the average person to have some form of access to a telephone.

The problem with having the Internet has a public utility is that the Internet does not fit the first criteria and barely fits into the second. If the enterprise is not dominated by a monopoly, then any scale of nationalization would hurt profits as it would heavily deter potential competition therefore hurt potential growth.
The internet is too large a potential industry for the government to make a public utility. Doing so would result in the deterrence of many potential ISP"s, hence slowing economic growth.
Sources:
1.http://en.wikipedia.org...
2.https://www.youtube.com...
3.http://en.wikipedia.org...
4.http://www.heritage.org...
Debate Round No. 2
That1User

Pro

That1User forfeited this round.
UtherPenguin

Con

My argument extends (If Pro is present to do his rebuttals in the next round along side his closing argument, then I'll do the same.)
Debate Round No. 3
That1User

Pro

That1User forfeited this round.
UtherPenguin

Con

Unfortunately Pro is again absent. I thank Pro for the debate. Vote Con
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
RFD:

The Aff opens by defining a "public utility", which would mean an *essential* human need, some of which are not necessary, but are still very important, e.g. natural gas. The Aff case then constructs the benefits of internet services, which are primarily: (a) internet services contain a plethora of information, and education, and education *would* increase overall employment and economic growth, and (b) some net benefits to internet services for common usage exist, e.g. filing taxes, checking the weather, and buying and selling stocks.

The affirmative case also demonstrates that the national broadband as a public utility would increase overall economic growth, which would aid a country's government, standard of living, economy, et cetera.

The negative (opposition) responds by demonstrating that turning internet services into a public utility would have major costs, which would then become a burden of the government and would have to make up by raised taxes, which would *negatively* impact net economic growth.

The Neg case demonstrates that the enterprise providing the internet service as a public utility would *have* to be a monopoly, else homogeneous provision of the services as a public utility would fail. Thus, a monopoly of internet service provision would have to exist.

Additionally, the negative demonstrates that provision of internet services *does not* fit the required criteria to be considered a "necessary" resource; thus, the provision cannot be a public utility so vaguely. Neg demonstrates that the internet is too large a potential industry to risk deterrence of ISPs, and, thus, lowering of economic growth.

Aff also forfeits the final two rounds, thus losing conduct and hindering their ability to refute Neg's case. Thus, I award arguments and conduct to Con (conduct for forfeit, arguments described above).

And, as always, I'm happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
That1User
Thanks Diqiu :)
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 1 year ago
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Best of luck to both of you :)
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
That1UserUtherPenguinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented me with a series of assertions about his case, followed by a single point on economic benefit that actually gets some support. It doesn't get much support, since he only vaguely discusses what "the positives of internet usage" are, and thus why it facilitates economic growth remains somewhat of a mystery. Con presented me with the start and end of an argument that it would stem economic growth, but never fleshes it out. He also gives me a couple of brightlines for what should be a utility, but doesn't tell me why missing on either of them does harm to the system. I don't doubt that those harms exist, but I need the reasoning for why they matter. In both cases, I'm left with little more than assertions of benefit/harm. In both cases, I'm missing large amounts of the link stories, and since neither side engaged in any rebuttal, I'm not dissuaded from either argument. That just leads me to weigh them equally. So all I can vote conduct for the forfeits. And that's all I do.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 1 year ago
larztheloser
That1UserUtherPenguinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro fulfilled BOP in R2 with the argument internet=education=money=developed people. Con's point was non-rebuttive: nationalization=less money in industries of certain types. Ultimately I had no value on which to weigh either the effect of the educational benefit or the effect of the industry type. The debate ultimately for me is decided in little more than apparent willingness to engage in rebuttals as evidenced by forfeits. Pro's case needed some discussion of who the internet educates. Obvious rebuttal to pro's case would be dubious value of virtualized learning. Con's case needed to explain clearly the forces of industry competition. Obvious rebuttal would have been how the state can accept marginal inefficiency in one sector in the name of some social benefit across many sectors. Good luck to both contestants in the remainder of the WODC.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
That1UserUtherPenguinTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.