The Instigator
InaneScreeching
Pro (for)
The Contender
flaming.liberal
Con (against)

Should The US Keep Net Neutrality

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2018 Category: Arts
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 583 times Debate No: 115549
Debate Rounds (4)
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InaneScreeching

Pro

First round is acceptance. Here are the rules.

1. Remain professional
2. Forfeiting a round means forfeiting the debate. You have three days to make an argument, you can take out 20 minutes to type up a paragraph.
3. Please use reliable sources.
4. Don't bring further politics into this, please. This is a debate about Net Neutrality, not about whether or not we should or shouldn't impeach your weird president.
5. Just... don't be cancerous.
flaming.liberal

Con

Hey, I'm really interested in this topic so I'm gonna be playing devil's advocate.

Framing:
There has been massive hysteria around net neutrality, but it really isn't that bad, and the repeal would do more good than harm.
-Ajit Pai says it best: "the sky isn"t falling, consumers will stay protected, internet will continue to thrive."

>>Contentions<<

1. Federal Control of the Internet is Dangerous:
-Wired Magazine: The govt, through FCC, now has the vast power to regulate what is essential info. Govt overreach is being done in the name of net neutrality
-Tech Law & Policy Attorney David O"Neil: The FCC can forbid or allow one thing after anotherU94; shaping what you can/can"t see on the internet
-the problem of, "blocking and slowing down certain info is bad," is possible in the hands of gov. too!
-Appeals Court Judge Judy Silberman: Now the gov. can do whatever it wants as long as it is, "making the Internet better." Gov. really has no filter now.
Ex: 2 years ago, in San Fransisco, the local police department shut down all of the internet to stop a protest. The government had the power to suppress free speech because they had access to the internet. THE INTERNET WOULD BE BETTER IN THE HANDS ON INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS.
-Also, according to NPR(and proven from page 249 in the official net neutrality rulebook): ISPs must disclose when they are slowing down certain traffic, thus showing customer when it is happening. Thus the customer is always informed, and very little harm can come from the repeal of Net Neutrality

2. Net Neutrality is a Red Herring that Hurts Innovation:
-FCC plan (pg 249.): businesses need legal/financial freedom in order to spur innovation and creativity. By encouraging network investment, consumersU94; benefit.
-basically, ISPs have more power to create better service when the gov. isn"t breathing down their necks.
-to simplify this: if we repeal net neutrality, then ISPs will be able to make faster internet for everyone
-a world w/out NN would actually provide better service b/c companies would have more leeway to create faster content
-Fox News: no internet provider wants to be known for "slow service," or being, "anti-free speech," so the consumer has nothing 2 worry about.
-also, why is NN so important when before it was implemented, the internet was fine with none of these, "dire problems?"

3. Fairness and Desirability:
-lets think super logically: services that require high amounts of reliability like hospitals would do much better w/out NN
-I am talking to my dr. online about a serious heart condition that I have. That deserves faster internet connection than someone downloading music. ISPs should have the ability to speed up more important things
-w/out Net Neutrality ISPs would be able to block harmful content like viruses & scams
-the common thought is that ISPs will ruin free speech and block certain websites that they don"t agree w/ but, really they will block undesirable things that no one wants to run into while online

All these factors make repealing NN beneficial & desirable

Thanks,
Love to hear your response
Debate Round No. 1
InaneScreeching

Pro

Thank you for your acceptance. Playing Devil's Advocate isn't quite something I'm ready to do yet, so I applaud you.

The problem with repealing Net Neutrality is that the internet is now an important utility for many people in industrialized nations, including the US. Repealing this would be like if you were charged different rates on what you use your water for. Your pipe to the internet shouldn't be watered down by corporation who historically, have ripped people off again and again.

If you're a start up business, like an e-commerce makeup company, or a social media platform, crippling Net Neutrality cripples your ability to grow as a business. You'll be locked behind a pay wall, at the mercy of larger corporations. Your competition is either stamped out along with you, or unbeatable. As a business owner, is that what you want? No, of course not.

Then there's repression of freedom of speech. At the snap of their fingers, depending on your telecom company's CEO, your news sites, blogs, or any high profile political entities could be locked - simply for being too liberal, or too conservative. As a liberal, would you want to be restricted to the dumpster fire that is Fox News? No, you want what you feel is the most reliable source at your disposal.

Then there's the nickeling and dimeing of consumers. Imagine this: you're watching some YouTube, and you get this message. "Your free trial of YouTube has ended. Upgrade to our premium plan at [insane price] per month! Have a nice day!" Who the hell wants to pay extra for something they're already paying for? Nobody, they already get more than enough money to keep the servers 100% open with the lowest level plan! I get that you need to make a profit, but part of that is having consumers like you. If you throttle websites, expect yourself to be despised. That's the opposite of what you want as a company.
flaming.liberal

Con

So you make some really interesting points. I'm just gonna refute what you said in each paragraph separately.

Paragraph #1:
So you used an example of, "paying more for water." But here is the thing. It really isn't that. A common misconception is that the price of basic internet will be raised. No. Everyone will have internet at the same price as it was during Net Neutrality, but you can pay for faster internet if you want it, similar to if you want to upgrade your hotel room. You can upgrade if you have the money, but if you don't have the money, it doesn't mean that you don't have a good hotel room. You still do! So it beneficial to people who have a few extra dollars.

Paragraph #2:
So you said that it would be hard to make businesses it completely backwards. As I said in my second point, "Net Neutrality is a Red Herring that Hurts Innovation," FCC plan (pg 249.): businesses need legal/financial freedom in order to spur innovation and creativity. By encouraging network investment, consumers benefit. According to Economic Analyst Ainsley Miller, "a world w/out NN would actually provide better service b/c companies would have more leeway to create faster content for everyone."

Paragraph #3 and 4:
You were talking about a violation of free speech, but according to Fox News: no internet provider wants to be known for "slow service," or being, "anti-free speech," so the consumer has nothing 2 worry about. So, here is what I just said hopefully simplified. If the Internet Service Provider slows down certain websites, the ISPs will actually lose money because they don't want to be thought of as 'anti-free speech.' And if they are, then people will move to a new ISP. So it is actually in the best interest of the ISPs to not slow down content. Instead, they can slow down bad things, like scams, hackers, and things that people don't want to see online. They won't push their personal agenda because then they will lose money, something that they don't want to do.

Thank you!
Debate Round No. 2
InaneScreeching

Pro

Please excuse the shortness of the following paragraph - we're in the middle of a heatwave, and I feel the Heat Exhaustion kicking in.

Point One -
The reason I brought up the price of water is that it is unreasonable to charge a consumer for how they use an item or service, though charging for the service or item is completely reasonable. Besides, in countries like Portugal, where Net Neutrality is nonexistent, the fast lane is actually speeds that would be considered standard. This would just be a method for corporations to make money for cutting corners. You want faster internet? Switch to a provider who has faster service, or fiber optics.

Point Two- the problem with Miller's argument is that he is looking at the benefit to large corporations. If someone has a startup, they will have to beg for the ISP to notice and support their service. Besides, there are already many ways to speed up your site. Use a more efficient code, take out unnecessary assets, don't track consumer's cookies. Make it so the code can compile faster, instead of punishing the consumer.

Point Three - Corporations don't always know what is and isn't a scam, or in many areas, ISPs have a complete monopoly on the area. If you live in a small town where you only have AT&T, and AT&T is being anti-free speech, blocking whatever sites don't align with their agenda, what are you going to do? Switch providers? No chance. This isn't about what may happen, it's about making it so it can't happen nonetheless. Besides, the free market tends to suck at deciding who stays afloat. We all hate cable companies, we all hate phone companies (especially Comcast in the states, Bell where I'm from), we all hate some corporation that continues to sell a garbage product, but buy it because it's necessary. Using Bell as an example, they're one of Canada's most hated companies - but they continue to make millions of dollars. That's because they offer a service that is pertinent to live in the 21st Century. If you, for example, hated GMOs (Monsanto style GMOs), but all food was GMOs, would you starve, or just eat it so you could live?

Thank you.
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