Instigator / Pro
21
1587
rating
182
debates
55.77%
won
Topic
#4593

THBT: On balance, Net Neutrality must be restored for consumers with internet access.

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
9
0
Better sources
6
2
Better legibility
3
1
Better conduct
3
0

After 3 votes and with 18 points ahead, the winner is...

Sir.Lancelot
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Rated
Number of rounds
5
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
10,500
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Minimal rating
None
Contender / Con
3
1700
rating
544
debates
68.01%
won
Description

(The resolution is that the goal should be to reinstate net neutrality for everyone with internet access. Pro will be arguing for this and Con is free to counter this, however they choose. But BOP is shared.)

Voter/Framework:
Voters should weigh the qualitative impacts of the constructive arguments against that of the other constructive arguments, as if scaling the tally points to see which measures greater. Rebuttals (unless connected to a constructive) will serve as a mitigator, to ultimately nullify the strength of an opponent's argument rather than as a point for one's own side.

(Voters do not have to abide by this criteria ^, as I expect all the veterans to have developed their own independent methods for judging debates by now, but if you're new. Keep that in mind.)

Definitions:
Net Neutrality- The concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of device, application or platform used and content consumed.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)- A company that provides Internet access to its customers.

Rules:
1. BOP is shared.

2. Kritiks are the loss of a conduct point.

3. The definitions in this debate are not absolutes. They are basic terms to provide an expectation of what is being argued. Other versions of the definitions used by different dictionaries also apply, but only under the condition that it is within the scope of the subject.

Round 1
Pro
#1
I thank Con for accepting the debate and granting me the opportunity to have a discussion about the need for Net Neutrality. 

Best wishes and support for my opponent, RationalMadman.

Preamble:
I will now be defending the resolution that Net Neutrality should be granted to all consumers with cable or internet access on the basis that.:
  • It is necessary.
  • It is a basic human right.
  • Businesses should not be able to decide what content I or anyone else chooses to access. Such power is a violation of our freedom. 

BOP
On-balance, so BOP is shared. My job is to weigh the freedoms and potential benefits of net neutrality against the limitations/restrictions of no net neutrality, so if I do that. I win.

Contentions

l. An ISP’s priority is monetary profit, not the Consumer’s Interests
When a company like Comcast raises the costs on the goods that it is selling and deliberately causes price inflation, it is not because it needs to. The simple reason is because they are cheating the customer out of money for their own personal greed.
If prices are lowered, it is so they can respond to consumer demand just so they stay alive. They are entirely indifferent to what you or anyone else wants. 

ll. Net Neutrality promotes competition through equal opportunity
The consequences of no net neutrality are not to be underestimated. Because it ranges from things such as.:
  • Big tech and cable providers are now able to screw out the competition through raising the fees and making it hard for startup companies to survive when they host their businesses on their platform, crushing them through costs alone.
  • Powerhouses like Comcast can similarly take advantage of the fact that streaming platforms such as Amazon or Netflix (which are not owned by Comcast) cannot retaliate. They do this by making it expensive to use either of these two and they are free to provide no cost at all for accessing platforms they own, Hulu and NBC.
With Net Neutrality forcing ISP’s to host services and enable access, every consumer benefits, as does the economy because.:
  • Startup companies will have the ability to compete fairly. And competition yields the best results possible.
  • Consumers have the freedom to choose which service they like, ensuring they’re getting the highest quality product possible without having to worry about power-hungry tyrants blocking the content they like, just so they’re forced to use their services. A perfect example of capitalist greed.
  • The entrepreneurs also benefit, as they don’t risk being shut down because some jackass didn’t want the competition.
Net Neutrality stops two things.: Monopolization of Big Tech & Capable, Weakened Economy.

lll. Net Neutrality preserves Freedom of Speech through fighting Censorship.
  • Through the restriction of Voice over IP services, they were giving consumers a way to save money through telephone use. However, the fact that broadband providers were undermining these services by blocking them led businesses like Nuvio and Vonage to turn to federal authorities for support. 1 
  • “On December 14, 2017, the Trump FCC voted to make the open internet — and the “network neutrality” principles that sustain it — a thing of the past. What you can see on the internet, along with the quality of your connection, are at risk of falling victim to the profit-seeking whims of powerful telecommunications giants. If the FCC has its way, those companies could disfavor controversial viewpoints or smaller websites and favor the content providers who have the money to pay for better access.” 2
  • What this means is that politically-based broadband providers would have the power to abuse companies that are against them, ideologically, and censor them completely.

Two consequences of such censorship are: 
  1. Echo Chamber: Echo chamber is an environment or ecosystem in which participants encounter beliefs that amplify or reinforce their preexisting beliefs by communication and repetition inside a closed system and insulated from rebuttal. 3
  2. Filter Bubble: A situation in which an internet user encounters only information and opinions that conform to and reinforce their own beliefs, caused by algorithms that personalize an individual’s online experience. 4 
Far be it that people would have the freedom to have their own views, or have critical thinking. They would be enslaved to a digital machine that wishes to control or influence how they think, either by lying or fabricating information about differing viewpoints, or shutting them out completely. 

You, The People, Want Freedom of Speech and the Autonomy To Think.
  • To obtain this, you start by holding all ISP’s accountable and to the same standard. They must all provide services which allow access equally without discriminating or stopping the flow of certain websites or products.
  • Do not allow ISP’s to bully those they disagree with by silencing them by restricting or blocking their content. 
The two points mentioned above are why Net Neutrality is a necessity.

lV. Net Neutrality Keeps The Consumers’ Best Interests In Mind
At this point, I have summarized the necessity of Net Neutrality. But let’s explore in depth precisely how the repeal of Net Neutrality is a bad thing.

  • Undermines accessibility. Consumer sovereignty is nonexistent because the monopolization means that these companies are free to slow down access to certain websites or stop the flow completely. 
  • Freedom To Choose. As said before, competition yields the best results possible. Well, with this power, companies can now force an inferior product on the consumer.
  • Price Inflation. Companies can also demand unreasonably high prices which force the consumer to pay a certain amount to access high-quality content.
  • Limited Selection. Lower income households and everyone will only be able to view or see content, based on what they can afford and this has the potential to hurt the education/information of the economy.
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established a set of rules preventing high-speed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from stopping or slowing access to specific websites and from charging customers extra for high-quality streaming and internet access. In simple terms, these rules define net neutrality. “ 5
Con
#2
Forfeited
Round 2
Pro
#3
Oh no. 
What happened? 

Con was certain he could make me concede the debate,

06.18.2023 02:25PM
-->
@<<<Sir.Lancelot>>>
I will make you concede the debate, little worm 3
But couldn’t even show up for Round 1. 

Predictable.

Round 2 Summary
For this round, I will focus on extending all my previous arguments and perhaps adding a few more constructives.

Dropped Arguments
  • Con has forfeited and thus accepted my framework. Extend.
  • Con drops my argument about the greed and indifference of ISP’s. Extend.
  • Net Neutrality promotes equal opportunity through competition. Extend.
  • Net Neutrality stops monopolization of big tech. Extend.
  • Net Neutrality preserves freedom of speech through fighting censorship. Extend.
  • Net Neutrality keeps the consumers’ best interests in mind. Extend.

Constructives

Majority Support

It has been found that an overwhelming amount of republicans and democrats support the restoration of net neutrality. 
  • 80% of democrats.
  • 70% of republicans.
  • 70% of independents.
It would therefore seem reasonable to prioritize Net Neutrality by weighing the needs/wants of the majority and discovering that it far succeeds that of the minority percentage who are opposed to it.

Newer Incentives for Growth

With the introduction of Net Neutrality, businesses have rapidly taken to beginning massive upgrades in order to enable speedier connections.  

The urgent demands for Net Neutrality have become so significant that the Congress, FCC, and Courts are receiving notifications to make it become a reality. 2 

The Potential to Save Lives and strengthen The Economy 

“For example, communication between autonomous cars or life-saving medical devices could be prioritized and put on the fast lane, while non-essential traffic could be placed with regular internet communications.”

As Gen Z is the first generation to grow up with social media, it is no surprise that everyone from the youth, middle-aged, and the elderly have grown increasingly dependent on technology. Such dependency is another firm reason for the essential need for Net Neutrality. It benefits the economy in this way by ensuring efficient high-quality products, access to information, and guaranteeing the satisfaction of citizens everywhere.

“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.” 3

 
Smooth Transition

For Net Neutrality to work effectively, the government must make clear their expectations and start slowly setting regulations that will allow broadband providers and companies to adapt to these changes. These preparations foreshadow the best results, if businesses are given time. The Internet has developed on its own which proves that Net Neutrality can too, when guided on the right path.

Net Neutrality Aids Business

Net Neutrality is perhaps the best choice for companies/businesses. For it drives productivity, innovation, and allows for the best success at competition. Notice how in Round 1, I pointed out that without net neutrality, ISP’s would leverage their power to stifle the competition by only giving power to opinion-based websites/platforms that can afford to give money to internet access providers. 4

How abolishing Net Neutrality could harm business

Without NN, the internet becomes grossly disproportionate and the information that consumers do access will be limited to a certain kind. Internet-focused companies would suffer because the competition is derailed by the only way to get on top is through paying the most, which drains other competitors of their money. 

  • “Network neutrality is crucial for growth of both new and established companies; virtually all sales, from the largest company to the smallest new business, now rely on the internet. Eliminating unfettered access to internet content and services would hamper these businesses' ability to grow and would negatively impact economic growth nationwide.” 

So it stands to reason that abolishing NN would hurt small businesses’ way of living, leading to more failed investments and bankruptcies, causing a disbalance which directly sabotages the economy.

  • “Net neutrality is pro-business in the best and fullest sense of the term, guaranteeing that new companies can grow unimpeded and help accelerate the US economy. Net neutrality preserves undistorted consumers' freedom of choice. And at the same time, net neutrality facilitates a level playing field for political and social interaction on the internet, enhancing freedom.” 5 
  • “These benefits far outweigh the profit increases that the entrenched telecom and cable monopolists may reap if network neutrality is abolished. Preserving network neutrality will help "make America great again."

See for yourself how this negatively affects the competition.

  • “It is likely that the wealthiest online companies, if pressed, would pay to have their websites available on so-called internet fast lanes. Net neutrality laws prevent ISPs from charging willing companies to have their users able to connect to their services quicker than others, like industry competitors. Without it, situations could arise where companies like Netflix outbid rivals such as Amazon Prime Video to have its shows delivered to users at higher speeds.”


Conclusion

I have set a framework, laid out constructives outlining why Net Neutrality is necessary and how it could be achieved, as well as established a solid position for the restoration of Net Neutrality.
For Con to have any success, he must not only challenge my arguments endorsing Net Neutrality, but prove that a world with Net Neutrality is worse than one without it.

By forfeiting the first round, this on-balance debate has only strengthened his burden to provide evidence and thus made his position impossible.

Vote Pro!
Con
#4
My case is automatically a countercase to Pro. It is easy to say this in the framework:
Rebuttals (unless connected to a constructive) will serve as a mitigator, to ultimately nullify the strength of an opponent's argument rather than as a point for one's own side.
But every single rebuttal from me will be connected to a constructive since the case against Net Neutrality (NN) need automatically be a rebuking case against a series of lies and exaggerations that NN advocates purport.

Let's start with the basics of if NN is pro business or not.

I am sure both sides will already fully agree that a business under NN cannot purchase priority in any shape or form on the Internet, therefore it already has become totally socialist AKA anti-business in that sense. The reason advocates say it helps businesses is that this results in lesser and smaller businesses having theoretically equal ability to end up high on searches and to run at just as high speeds, except for the business of Internet Service Providers themselves and for ones who would be able to be able to weight whether paying for premium on certain ISPs is worth it or just maintaining good speeds is.

The reality is that right now, the same big businesses that show up first on the list when you use Google (whether as ad results or search results) would be still showing up early on the lists withoutNN but having to pay to stay there. In fact, if you weren't aware, NN doesn't really matter for search engines, since Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and such are just as able to play around with their search result algorithm in what they show early or not with or without NN. The only thing that really is affected is that ISPs can make some sites run faster than others on their end by dedicating more servers to these premium sites.

So, if being capitalist and business-oriented were a priority to Pro, Pro would actually support NN. It merely adds another layer onto competition. Since, ISPs themselves right now in NN-enforcing nations, are pretty much competing in a semi-socialist environment. In this environment they are all really giving you the exact same service and rather than let them offer throttled speeds to more rural areas, they are given an ultimatum to either completely not provide to an area or to provide full speeds and service to an area with terrible cabling (which ends up impossible to achieve for most rural areas and is just an accepted loophole as long as they are trying their best to provide said speeds).

Not only can ISPs not throttle areas that either use them less or have worse cabling (which means even if they dedicate more data the cabling makes them unable to use/give the full speeds anyway) but let's be crystal clear, they have to dedicate the same servers to every region regardless of population using their Internet and regardless of the amount of data they use.

That is what NN does, its goes way beyond just 'protecting' smaller websites. So, for instance if 2 people in one town use an ISP, that ISP has to provide them the same everything as an a busy city where around 200k use their service. While NN does allow for competition beyond this, it starts to make major problems for companies, since you are now curtailing their ability to offer different tiers to users (other than fibre vs non-fibre) and different anything really.

So, in a truly capitalistic world that was actually pro-business like Pro says NN enables, you could have an ISP better for business enthusiasts, economists and other things. You could have very left-wing or right-wing ISPs able to suit the tastes of their users. In fact, even in nations with NN, ISPs are allowed to offer custom parental controls which really means the users can ban any websites to censor it for the others using their Internet (usually parents to children but  you get the idea).

Here is an example in UK:

Here is one for the US:

So, in other words, the ISPs can and will censor and alter what you see on the Internet, in NN nations but are only permitted to do this as requested by the user (except some choose to default to certain automatic controls anyway which doesn't just stop pornographic websites but any at all that may radicalise or otherwise influence people).

What NN really is problematic with is that people who support it always assume it protects freedoms... It can do the total and utter opposite.

NN says the ISP cannot in any way block or throttle networks but it actually means that if the government order ISPs to block content, then all ISPs must unanimously do so while pretending they don't and saying absolutely nothing to anyone about it. Of course, such would include black market websites, things deemed to radicalise (whether websites or blogs of certain material within websites) and of course any pornographic website that has banned fetishes (blood-related incest, bestiality, necrophilia/snuff etc).

What I am getting at is this: Any nation at all that has NN can actually suddenly ban a certain website from all ISPs and the ISPs are banned via NN to even state protest to it, argue it or in any shape or form protest it as they are bound by NN if they wish to keep providing (so they could protest it by going out of business to do so and then not being bound by NN).

If you haven't noticed yet, the theme throughout is that there's almost a socialism about NN and it gets worse than you'd think. NN is actually always going to lead to a cartel of ISPs that function like a group-monopoly, all having the same this, same that or going extinct. Yet, what they are conforming to is not what the consumers want at the cost they want but what consumers want at costs unreasonable dictated by needing to supply everybody with unilimited speeds other than on mobile data which they're allowed to curb, for unlimited data on wi-fi etc, at all times with equal dedication given to all websites and areas.

Few expected it. Last week the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2–1 decision, completely upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 order regulating the Internet under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, an order commonly called “net neutrality.” Most analysts predicted that the FCC would at most get a partial win, but legal challenges asserting that the order violated administrative law, the Communications Act, and the First Amendment failed to convince two of the three judges that deference was unwarranted. The decision ratifies the FCC’s decades-long transformation from economic regulator to social regulator and, if not reversed, will do lasting damage to U.S. technology and to free speech. 

Readers with passing knowledge of net neutrality may have heard that it means that Internet service providers must treat all Internet traffic the same. This notion of equal treatment, repeated in the first line of the court opinion, has unknown origins, makes no appearance in the rules, and is widely derided by network engineers as a fantasy. Many services transmitted on broadband lines would break with “equal” treatment.

As you might gather from the FCC’s two prior failed attempts at regulating the Internet and from the length of the final order, net neutrality is far more than a traffic-management requirement. In the words of Tim Wu, the law professor who coined the term, the Internet rules are about giving the agency the ability to shape “media policy, social policy, oversight of the political process, [and] issues of free speech. 

The court decision is a godsend for the New Deal agency that was created to oversee the telegraph industry, AT&T’s long-distance monopoly, and broadcast radio. The upheld rules give the FCC sweeping new authority to regulate Internet and Web companies.

Title II regulations, created to police the Ma Bell monopoly, transform the Internet from a virtually unregulated, private system of networks into a quasi-public utility subject to conflicting common-carrier precedents, bureaucratic designs, and interminable waiver proceedings.

Many rules and regulations kick in, including a selective ban on blocking Internet content and oversight of the competitive Internet interconnection market, but the so-called general-conduct standard swallows them all. This amorphous rule allows the FCC to prevent any practice by an Internet access provider that the FCC believes will “unreasonably disadvantage” an Internet user, application, or content provider. The FCC and net-neutrality advocates correctly recognize that if the agency can monitor and control the distributors of speech, they can shape culture and politics.

For students of the FCC and media, this looks familiar. The FCC is reluctant to engage in obvious censorship — Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction notwithstanding — so, like censors throughout history, interest groups use the agency’s licensing and regulatory powers to control the distributors
The most prominent example of abuse of regulations came in the 1960s, when the Democratic National Committee and its affiliates used the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine to drive conservatives out of TV and radio for a generation. But in recent years, broadcast media and print newspapers are losing influence to the Internet, television, and streaming video, and the new media had the potential to escape regulators’ scrutiny.

The competitive technology marketplace should be a cause for celebration for a communications and media regulator. Instead, a well-functioning market needed a manufactured crisis — in this case, illusory “neutrality violations” — for the agency to reassert power. Title II brings new media firmly inside the regulatory tent. 
Until this expansion of power, the FCC — like other common-carrier regulators, including the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Interstate Commerce Commission — faced the real prospect of slowly winding down, as the AT&T monopoly fell apart and mass media virtually exploded with the Web and new technology. Laissez-faire in communications and media — which gained steam in the Carter and Reagan administrations — led to the deregulatory 1996 amendments to the Communications Act. Until the early 1990s, regulators treated television and telephone as natural monopolies, and most consumers faced high prices and no choice for cable TV and local phone service.
Round 3
Pro
#5
Overview
In round 2, I make a lot of arguments about the majority support for NN, the potential to save lives, and the smooth transition. The first two are dropped, but Con does provide indirect pushback on the third contention.

There isn’t a lot in Con’s case to pick apart, so I’ll just focus on rebuttals for now.

Rebuttals

  • “I am sure both sides will already fully agree that a business under NN cannot purchase priority in any shape or form on the Internet, therefore it already has become totally socialist AKA anti-business in that sense. The reason advocates say it helps businesses is that this results in lesser and smaller businesses having theoretically equal ability to end up high on searches and to run at just as high speeds, except for the business of Internet Service Providers themselves and for ones who would be able to be able to weight whether paying for premium on certain ISPs is worth it or just maintaining good speeds is.
The reality is that right now, the same big businesses that show up first on the list when you use Google (whether as ad results or search results) would be still showing up early on the lists withoutNN but having to pay to stay there. In fact, if you weren't aware, NN doesn't really matter for search engines, since Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and such are just as able to play around with their search result algorithm in what they show early or not with or without NN. The only thing that really is affected is that ISPs can make some sites run faster than others on their end by dedicating more servers to these premium sites.”
The role that NN assumes stops ISP’s using loopholes to cheat their competitors. NN promotes only fair competition and is pro-business in every sense, but the lesson to ISP’s is “you have to play by the rules.”

Me and Con agree that monopolies are anti-business. So when a broadband provider like Comcast charges Netflix more to host their services on their platform, but providing their own streaming services like Hulu free of charge. What’s really happening are two things.:
  • Comcast is deliberately sabotaging Netflix by charging them but hosting their competing streaming sites for free. 
  • Consumers will naturally defer to the path of least resistance, so will choose Hulu free of cost.
All in all, Comcast is using parasitic profiting to cheat Netflix out of business. NN actively opposes this by enforcing regulations that only allow services with the highest-quality to win which is ultimately the goal of competition. 

Why this is undesirable is because powerful companies limit the consumers’ ability to choose by forcing an inferior product on the customer. 

The Giants At The Top

  • Without NN, fair competition cannot take place because the current powerhouses who rule are.: AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
There is no incentive to improve their services because they pull all the strings and know that customers will choose bad internet over no internet and that’s how they keep people dependent.
With NN, fair competition is introduced and smaller businesses can provide better services which levels the playing field, forcing those companies at the top to actually develop their product to stay in power.

1 2 

  • Since, ISPs themselves right now in NN-enforcing nations, are pretty much competing in a semi-socialist environment. In this environment they are all really giving you the exact same service and rather than let them offer throttled speeds to more rural areas, they are given an ultimatum to either completely not provide to an area or to provide full speeds and service to an area with terrible cabling (which ends up impossible to achieve for most rural areas and is just an accepted loophole as long as they are trying their best to provide said speeds).”

We have examples of ISP’s stifling competition.
AT&T charged video services to use their platform like HBO Max. But when AT&T finally acquired HBO Max and took control, it provided the service free of charge. 
When the competitors are eliminated from the game, the ISP’s can then raise the cost, overcharging customers. But NN wants to ensure that the price of the product matches the service they’re selling. 

  • “Not only can ISPs not throttle areas that either use them less or have worse cabling (which means even if they dedicate more data the cabling makes them unable to use/give the full speeds anyway) but let's be crystal clear, they have to dedicate the same servers to every region regardless of population using their Internet and regardless of the amount of data they use. So, for instance if 2 people in one town use an ISP, that ISP has to provide them the same everything as an a busy city where around 200k use their service. While NN does allow for competition beyond this, it starts to make major problems for companies, since you are now curtailing their ability to offer different tiers to users (other than fibre vs non-fibre) and different anything really.  In fact, even in nations with NN, ISPs are allowed to offer custom parental controls which really means the users can ban any websites to censor it for the others using their Internet (usually parents to children but  you get the idea).”

Electrical and cable engineers certainly agree that NN is doable. The technological complications are vastly overestimated.:

“Florian Schaub, an assistant professor of information and of electrical engineering and computer science, envisions only negative consequences if net neutrality is repealed. Such action would hamstring innovation and raise costs for consumers, he says.” 1 

Original concerns about the building of technology capable of maintaining consistent, high-speed connections was about the lack of a clear vision and costs. However, these concerns are a thing of the past because the FCC’s updated understanding of technology and support of the NN allowed them to develop a clear structural framework to construct it.

If the larger content provider companies were all on board, they could even fund the project and the returns on their investment are guaranteed to bring back huge sums of income. Once the completion of the project is finished in its entirety, NN will cost nothing to use.

  • By being slow with new adjustments as mentioned in my Round 2 argument, companies will have enough time to adapt to the changes.
  • A smooth transition means experimenting what policies work and which policies don’t. These regulations are not going to kill the cable and tech companies.

So, in other words, the ISPs can and will censor and alter what you see on the Internet, in NN nations but are only permitted to do this as requested by the user (except some choose to default to certain automatic controls anyway which doesn't just stop pornographic websites but any at all that may radicalise or otherwise influence people).

“NN says the ISP cannot in any way block or throttle networks but it actually means that if the government order ISPs to block content, then all ISPs must unanimously do so while pretending they don't and saying absolutely nothing to anyone about it. Of course, such would include black market websites, things deemed to radicalise (whether websites or blogs of certain material within websites) and of course any pornographic website that has banned fetishes (blood-related incest, bestiality, necrophilia/snuff etc).

Any nation at all that has NN can actually suddenly ban a certain website from all ISPs and the ISPs are banned via NN to even state protest to it, argue it or in any shape or form protest it as they are bound by NN if they wish to keep providing (so they could protest it by going out of business to do so and then not being bound by NN).”
Con misunderstands how the government and NN works.

The government cannot do this because even in a nation where NN exists, the government’s control is limited only to the speed, quality, and accessibility of the content provider. 
Not the specific content hosted by the content provider or content that the user tries to access.

And many of these companies are global, so they possess the power and clout to pushback on regulations that are punishing them unfairly. If the government even attempts to overstep, then they are at a significant disadvantage because these companies would all rally together to fight back.

Furthermore, users will still retain the ability to censor content as they choose. And with the companies working synonymously under NN, it would actually be easier for these companies to cooperate to filter out illicit content to stop freaks and weirdos.

“NN is actually always going to lead to a cartel of ISPs that function like a group-monopoly, all having the same this, same that or going extinct. Yet, what they are conforming to is what consumers want at costs unreasonable dictated by needing to supply everybody with unlimited speeds other than on mobile data which they're allowed to curb, for unlimited data on wi-fi etc, at all times with equal dedication given to all websites and areas.”
The evidence appears to indicate that the opposite is true.

Extend my arguments about ISP’s monopolizing internet/cable without NN and the quantity of my examples such as Comcast/Hulu vs Netflix, AT&T & HBO Max, and VOIP’s.

“In 2005, Madison River blocked its customers from accessing Voice over Internet Providers (VoIP) to make telephone calls, thereby protecting its core telephone business. The FCC quickly stepped in and Madison River stopped the practice, but its behavior illustrated a competitive problem — Madison River had the incentive and ability to block competition.[1]

NN cannot lead to a group monopoly because NN puts the power back into the hands of consumers. Without NN, there are no limits for how companies obtain power which oftentimes means cheating by sabotaging providers. 
This means they are able to rise to the top of the cable/internet hierarchy and no longer have an incentive for improving their product, as there is no competition to keep them on their toes and encourage them to do better. Which leads to.:
  • Business complacency.
  • Stagnated product quality.
  • User dissatisfaction.

NN gives companies the chance to compete fairly. They will constantly be refining and upgrading their product. And if companies are not actively blocking their opponents’ access, this means users will actually have the freedom to choose which content they engage with.

But when their options are intentionally limited, the user never had freedom in the first place.






Con
#6
NN gives companies the chance to compete fairly. They will constantly be refining and upgrading their product. And if companies are not actively blocking their opponents’ access, this means users will actually have the freedom to choose which content they engage with.
No it doesn't. It limits the ways they can compete fairly and certainly turns ISP competition into a near-socialist realm.

Companies could not pay to block their competition, you could even if you thought they could do that, make a law only for that kind of 'negative' package/premium. NN stops any company at all purchasing higher bandwidth and streaming power with an ISP. This is a risk for them, it's an investment. They don't have all potential customers using the same ISP, they'd need to make different deals with different ISPs and be losing funds to this advertising revenue. Everything about it is fair expenditure. Every single element of it is fair even if they are richer than another company, unless as you said that they can 'buy the removal of another' that is not fair. There should not be any such deal offered. NN focuses on stopping companies getting premium speeds to their website, there was no issue about people 'buying other websites to have no access'. They can't stop their competition doing the same, that's a separate topic and a separate law. NN does stop that in theory but that was never being done to be stopped. It doesn't even serve the ISP's interests to offer such a deal, it would be terrible press.

This is also why Pro has not shown you examples of companies paying ISPs to give 0 access to their (the non-ISP company) competition. It wasn't happening and is not what NN really stops, it is the entire positive end of the spectrum, paying for higher speeds, that is stopped.

Con misunderstands how the government and NN works.

The government cannot do this because even in a nation where NN exists, the government’s control is limited only to the speed, quality, and accessibility of the content provider. 
Not the specific content hosted by the content provider or content that the user tries to access.
Why is it that you can't search radicalisation content? Why is there a 'dark web' in the first place? Instead of censorship being done in a way where private ISPs could speak up, NN has clauses that blackmail all ISPs to censor on demand and supply the same sites to all users. Despite this, ISPs are still completely allowed to privately censor further, since they can default any level of 'safety controls' as long as the user technically can undo them.

Instead of ISPs having full ability to choose what runs faster, slower or isn't shown, NN makes it so the government decides for them, which removes a huge part of healthy capitalism between ISPs and basically leads to socialistic competition where they are just different names to identical services.

NN inherently is censorship, they are censoring the Internet to provide all websites at equal speeds and blackmailing ISPs to have their own service 'censored' as their control over it is being paralysed.

Title II rules make the FCC the ultimate arbiter of which tradeoffs and business models are acceptable. Call it innovation by regulatory waiver. So when providers are unsure about whether a new technology or business model “unreasonably” harms some Internet constituency, they can submit those prospective plans to the Commission and pray for an affirmative (and timely) advisory opinion. These advisory opinions border on Kafkaesque. The FCC can decline the request for an opinion, can permit the innovation, or can require more information from the submitting party. These opaque determinations cannot be appealed, and affirmative decisions can be reversed at the agency’s whim.

If history is any guide, these Title II rules and obligations will drive out smaller ISPs that can’t afford to hire lawyers and lobbyists to interpret the neologisms and incantations that will pour forth from the FCC. The larger carriers, with hallways of attorneys watching the agency’s every move, will muddle through the complexity as they grow more sclerotic, and they may even grow a little larger and more profitable as weaker rivals throw in the towel. Internet and technology companies, used to Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” culture, will increasingly need to lawyer up and ask permission before experimenting with new technology that touches on data transmission.

Some Internet providers may initially fight or test the legal boundaries, but the FCC has ways of breaking defiant firms. The most alarming is that the agency is increasingly using license and transaction approvals to coerce various policies — like net-neutrality compliance, increasing the number of, say, public-affairs, Spanish-language, and children’s TV shows, and abandonment of editorial control of TV and radio channels — that it cannot, or will refuse to, enact via formal regulation. In the long run, Internet and technology companies, now FCC supplicants, will have to divert funds from new services and network design to fending off regulatory intrusions and negotiating with the Internet’s new zoning board.

In no shape or form is this fair on ISPs. Let's look at ISPs themselves and talk about 'healthy competition'. All you have is shell corporations now, in theory, serving the agenda of the government. They are competing rather paralysed, they need to supply equal Internet speeds to areas withbarely any customers as areas with many (which is why they often are getting motive to pull out from rural areas altogether, leaving only 1 or 2 ISPs to each, that happen to have had a head start and therefore get enough customers to make it worth it).

They not only need equal speeds to all areas, they need all websites to run at equal speeds, have barely any right to as a private firm prioritise basically anything.

NN is entirely socialist in every sense of the word. The only part of it that enables capitalism is the fact it allows ISPs to technically exist as private companies but beyond that they are competing in an environment where the only means of competition is how nice the box looks and the quality of customer support, maybe a discount deal but they can't really offer much better there or they'll go bankrupt at this rate.

What you have really achieved via NN is that the Internet Service Providing industry has been paralysed of capitalistic competition. Furthermore, what Pro fails to understand is that it is fair competition for companies to pay for priority on ISPs.

They are risking investing advertising revenue specifically into ISP priority, they are gambling that people will turn up on that ISP enough to their website to get excellent speeds as a worthwhile investment. They even can invest into areas meaning their website services work faster in some regions than others, pleasing their target audience. This investment can all lead to losses for the company, meaning it is entirely fair.

This has been totally removed. Also, NN is very vague on the 'how' of a lot of it. The reality is that it costs ISPs a lot of money to suddenly introduce fibre optics to some rural areas if they want to operate there. It's actually surprising they didn't just starve rural areas of Internet altogether, since they could have. Virgin actually pulled out of many rural areas instantly and is only began to encroach during the Covid spike in Internet usage (factcheck me yourself, I know I am right on this, the sources will tell you that only after the 2020 lockdowns began Virgin suddenly began to be interested to extend to rural areas, since other ISPs had already laid down physical fibre optics cabling and there was a spike in usage). Cunning filthy rich ISPs would tend to avoid less densely populated areas since NN blackmails them to have to give completely equal allocation of speed and servers to those areas, so they realise they're better off just focusing on busy cities and being the better advertised one there (Virgin and Comcast AKA Xfinity are both major hypocrites that did this and then began a 'rural area campaign' when Covid spikes happened).
Round 4
Pro
#7
So Con’s case is a countercase to mine. He hasn’t contested my framework nor established his own, so I believe this means he agrees that he is defending a world without NN. This is important because I’ll touch on this later. But first and foremost,

The Internet cannot exist without some NN rules.

Rebuttals

“No it doesn't. It limits the ways they can compete fairly and certainly turns ISP competition into a near-socialist realm.

Companies could not pay to block their competition, you could even if you thought they could do that, make a law only for that kind of 'negative' package/premium. NN stops any company at all purchasing higher bandwidth and streaming power with an ISP. This is a risk for them, it's an investment. They don't have all potential customers using the same ISP, they'd need to make different deals with different ISPs and be losing funds to this advertising revenue. Everything about it is fair expenditure. Every single element of it is fair even if they are richer than another company, unless as you said that they can 'buy the removal of another' that is not fair. There should not be any such deal offered. NN focuses on stopping companies getting premium speeds to their website, there was no issue about people 'buying other websites to have no access'. They can't stop their competition doing the same, that's a separate topic and a separate law. NN does stop that in theory but that was never being done to be stopped. It doesn't even serve the ISP's interests to offer such a deal, it would be terrible press.

This is also why Pro has not shown you examples of companies paying ISPs to give 0 access to their (the non-ISP company) competition. It wasn't happening and is not what NN really stops, it is the entire positive end of the spectrum, paying for higher speeds, that is stopped.”
The Internet is fragile. 

Without NN, two companies are essentially competing through an ISP to host their services at the fastest speed. To reach higher speeds, they have to pay ISP’s more. 
But the Internet is not designed to withstand this kind of pressure, that it ultimately causes it to crash. 

I never claimed that companies pay to have the ISP to sabotage their competitor. I said that companies have to pay more for higher speeds. Whereas ISP’s that host their own services on their platform wield all the power against competitors that pay to host their streaming company on the ISP’s platform.

Now when an ISP owns a streaming service, hosting your own on their platform is like playing a video game where the Final Boss has an unlimited health bar or just keeps respawning after you kill him.

Like Comcast with Hulu vs Netflix. Or AT&T and HBO Max.

“In effect, this would create a two-tiered Internet, destroying the web as we know it to make one preferred high-speed lane (with plenty of tollbooths), and a dirt road for those who can’t afford to upgrade.” 1 
“William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc.” 2


“Why is it that you can't search radicalisation content? Why is there a 'dark web' in the first place? Instead of censorship being done in a way where private ISPs could speak up, NN has clauses that blackmail all ISPs to censor on demand and supply the same sites to all users. Despite this, ISPs are still completely allowed to privately censor further, since they can default any level of 'safety controls' as long as the user technically can undo them.

Instead of ISPs having full ability to choose what runs faster, slower or isn't shown, NN makes it so the government decides for them, which removes a huge part of healthy capitalism between ISPs and basically leads to socialistic competition where they are just different names to identical services.

NN inherently is censorship, they are censoring the Internet to provide all websites at equal speeds and blackmailing ISPs to have their own service 'censored' as their control over it is being paralysed.”
Unsubstantiated claim.

Once again, the government wouldn’t have such power even in a hypothetical dystopian world where Net Neutrality is the norm. 

The reality is, censorship is a certainty without net neutrality.:

“And although it represents a true worst-case scenario, an Internet without network neutrality would be vulnerable to outright censorship.”

There is no blackmail and ISP’s would still retain their autonomy without coercion or threats. If we make the slow transition to NN by passing regulations and allowing cable & internet companies to adapt, there would be no problem at all.

The reason the government cannot censor whatever content they like is because they are only monitoring the equal access and speed the ISP’s distribute to all companies. But they would have no control over what streaming platforms choose to display on their platform, even if they were being hosted on a specific ISP. 

Let’s assume the following happened in a NN world.:

  • If Blockbuster created a streaming platform and hosted it on Comcast and made a huge selection of comedy movies, but the government wanted to outlaw comedy. They could not suddenly command Comcast to cease business with Blockbuster and ban them from their platform because Comcast is its own private company and has the ability to make its own decisions.

There is a governmental process in all nations where such legislation would require lots of steps in order to be enforced. And these powerful ISP’s and companies have the wealth and clout to file a counter-lawsuit to stop this effective immediately. Especially if all these companies rallied together in unison to fight back.

“In no shape or form is this fair on ISPs. Let's look at ISPs themselves and talk about 'healthy competition'. All you have is shell corporations now, in theory, serving the agenda of the government. They are competing rather paralysed, they need to supply equal Internet speeds to areas withbarely any customers as areas with many (which is why they often are getting motive to pull out from rural areas altogether, leaving only 1 or 2 ISPs to each, that happen to have had a head start and therefore get enough customers to make it worth it).

They not only need equal speeds to all areas, they need all websites to run at equal speeds, have barely any right to as a private firm prioritise basically anything.

NN is entirely socialist in every sense of the word. The only part of it that enables capitalism is the fact it allows ISPs to technically exist as private companies but beyond that they are competing in an environment where the only means of competition is how nice the box looks and the quality of customer support, maybe a discount deal but they can't really offer much better there or they'll go bankrupt at this rate.

What you have really achieved via NN is that the Internet Service Providing industry has been paralysed of capitalistic competition. Furthermore, what Pro fails to understand is that it is fair competition for companies to pay for priority on ISPs.

They are risking investing advertising revenue specifically into ISP priority, they are gambling that people will turn up on that ISP enough to their website to get excellent speeds as a worthwhile investment. They even can invest into areas meaning their website services work faster in some regions than others, pleasing their target audience. This investment can all lead to losses for the company, meaning it is entirely fair.

This has been totally removed. Also, NN is very vague on the 'how' of a lot of it. The reality is that it costs ISPs a lot of money to suddenly introduce fibre optics to some rural areas if they want to operate there. It's actually surprising they didn't just starve rural areas of Internet altogether, since they could have. Virgin actually pulled out of many rural areas instantly and is only began to encroach during the Covid spike in Internet usage (factcheck me yourself, I know I am right on this, the sources will tell you that only after the 2020 lockdowns began Virgin suddenly began to be interested to extend to rural areas, since other ISPs had already laid down physical fibre optics cabling and there was a spike in usage). Cunning filthy rich ISPs would tend to avoid less densely populated areas since NN blackmails them to have to give completely equal allocation of speed and servers to those areas, so they realise they're better off just focusing on busy cities and being the better advertised one there (Virgin and Comcast AKA Xfinity are both major hypocrites that did this and then began a 'rural area campaign' when Covid spikes happened).”

The most attainable outcome for net neutrality to exist is for the majority of ISP’s to agree simultaneously and support for this process to be passed by the FCC.

A world with NN would almost require these companies to work together, so the major assumption is that this is hypothetical.

This goal is certainly achievable, but would be difficult. Regardless of the difficulty, that’s irrelevant to whether it should be the goal. 

The reason it would be difficult is because.:
  • Doing so threatens the greed of the ISP’s.
  • Many capitalists in power are focused more on self-preservation than equality and progress.
While Con mentions it is expensive, I slightly conceded this but also pre-refuted it.:

  • While expensive, it is affordable. The stream of income the ISP’s lose wouldn’t be so significant as to threaten their value or net worth, but they would lose the money they unfairly obtained in their rigged competition.
  • Investing in NN can also be beneficial for ISP’s, as the return investments are bound to be generous.
Extend that cabling and networking engineers agree it is possible to distribute cable to rural areas.
Con
#8
Forfeited
Round 5
Pro
#9
Con intended to make me concede the debate, but ended up conceding the debate. 

Vote Pro.
Con
#10
I concede