net neutrality

annotated bibliography

week 1:

Solon, Olivia. “Why the Net Neutrality Protest Matters.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2017, www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/11/what-is-net-neutrality-threat-trump-administration.

This article, provided by The Guardian, is the focal point of my podcast episode. It provides information on everything from what net neutrality is, to how it affects people, to what people can do about it. With an overview of the legal parameters surrounding the 2015 legislation, this article sees net neutrality in a positive light (as do many, many, many other articles). It explains the access it grants people to equally explore the internet and its endless avenues. Briefly discussing the implications its repeal would cause, it mentions several initiatives that groups have started to battle it.

 

Sen. Gillibrand, Kristen, and Jessica Rosenworcel. “We Don’t Need New Gatekeepers: How Repealing Net Neutrality Hurts Women.” Refinery29, 12 Dec. 2017, www.refinery29.com/2017/12/184799/kirsten-gillibrand-net-neutrality-womens-issue-jessica-rosenworcel-personal-opinion.

This article explores the net neutrality repeal in a unique light. Of course everyone is concerned with the effects it will have on people, but it turns out women are in particular danger. This is one of the vignettes I plan on using for my podcast episode. Why are women in particular effected? How are they effected? Are there other marginalized groups that will also be singled out? In what ways will this change the 'democratic' dynamic of the US? This article provides a gateway to exploring these questions. It paints the net neutrality repeal as yet another barrier keeping citizens from living in an equal society; a barrier put up for the sake of increasing corporate capital revenue.

week 2:

Greenstein, Shane, et al. "Net Neutrality: A Fast Lane to Understanding the Trade-Offs†." Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 30, no. 2, Spring2016, pp. 127-150. EBSCOhost, doi: 10.1257/jep.30.2.127.

This source perfectly provides a simplistic summary of arguments (both for and against) net neutrality. It prioritizes Internet traffic patterns and the way they function in tandem with net neutrality policy changes. More importantly, this journal discusses the long-term economic trade-offs of net neutrality. This allows the audience to see what net neutrality could mean for the future rather than just the present through an unbiased and research based lens.

 

Kamal, Sara. "If it isn't broken, you're not looking hard enough: net neutrality and its impact on minority communities." Federal Communications Law Journal, July 2016, p. 329+. LegalTrac, http://link.galegroup.com.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/apps/doc/A493323879/LT?u=yorku_law&sid=LT&xid=80fbc4f7.

This source looks at the development of net neutrality from a legal policy perspective; tracking its origin and changes until the implementation of the Open Internet Order in 2015. It takes a pro-net neutrality stance as it explains under several lenses the relationship minority groups have with the Internet (in respect to broadband access and limitation). This academic journal is crucial to my podcast episode as its examination of the impact net neutrality has on minority groups is a designated vignette. It explores what minority groups themselves have to say about it in addition to providing a researched stance on why net neutrality benefits them.

Transcript

There’s that one episode of Friends where Monica and Chandler go to a fancy restaurant, this is after they’ve started dating of course. The host tells them they have to wait 45 minutes for a table despite having reservations. Well it doesn’t take long for them to realize that what the host needs to cut that wait short is a little money. Monica says it best, “everybody wants a payoff.” And as it would happen, public administration and media conglomerates are no exception.

This should be no surprise to anyone. Corporations are always looking to make a few extra bucks (and by a few bucks I mean millions of US dollars). Under the Trump administration, this could become a whole lot easier. FCC chairman Ajit Pai is seeking to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which could mean the death of net neutrality.

What is net neutrality? Well, imagine the Internet as a little league soccer game. The ball being thrown around would be you, or rather the way you hop from site to site (the players) and of course there is a referee. His (or her) job is to make sure everyone has a fair shot at getting the ball. All players should stay open so that the ball can be passed across the field (somewhat) freely. Repealing net neutrality means no ref. No ref means the bigger kids will dominate the ball because they have the power to and the little guys get left out.

That’s the power ISPs (aka Internet Service Providers) will have if the FCC repeals the 2015 legislation. The Internet will become a place where “content providers can pay to have their site connect to users at higher speeds than their competitors” (Independent.co). For us, this means that all the lowkey online shops, cool underrated blogs and whatever else you’ve found on the World Wide Web will be a lot harder to access. With a net neutrality repeal, the chances of finding and being able to effectively use any non-mainstream media sites are slim to none. To top that off, online entrepreneurs and non-corporate websites, or literally any webpages that don’t have conglomerate hosts to back them up, are essentially screwed. Without net neutrality “we would all still be using MySpace, because Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t afford to pay the fees to speed up access to his dorm-room startup”–journalist Nathan White’s words not mine (Independent.co).

So if repealing net neutrality screws the people, and small online businesses, and even huge corporations like Netlifx and Google who are already paying for connectivity (which is like 99% of people involved–please don’t quote me on that number), who the heck does it benefit? Well, as I mentioned before, everyone is looking for a payoff. So what it comes down to is that if users want to access majority of the Internet, they’re going to have to pay for it–more specifically, pay their ISPs for it. While large corporate websites could still gain from the repeal (as they’d be the only ones actually able to negotiate a deal with companies like Comcast and Verizon), service providers are the major (and only real) winners in this scenario. As if Internet bundles don’t already cost enough, you want to watch your favourite show? Well Netflix, which you now have to pay extra on your Internet bill for, is your only option because chances are, any streaming sites will be blocked.

So the next time you walk into a restaurant, have a bill in hand: ready to tipoff.