Project 4 Proposal

I would like to do a presentation on the localized effects of the pending FCC decision on Net Neutrality laws and restrictions. What I mean by this, is that I would like to talk about the range of internet options that we have in the greater Pittsburgh area, and then talk about what sort of effects the merger could have on the trajectory of these options. The crux of the argument will be: if ISPs are allowed to give preferential treatment to different websites, they have a high degree of control over the traffic of the website/service. When we have fewer options, and particularly when those options are large companies able to affect the national market, as Comcast and Verizon do, the ISPs have an incentive to censor and give preferential treatment to the websites of their choosing.

Counterargument: Businesses should be allowed to charge what they want for their services. Disallowing non-neutral practices is an encroachment on the business' freedom. The internet is not a necessity, not a utility in the same way that electric or water is. Some websites get vastly more traffic and demand vastly more data than others-- how is it fair that they all be treated equally?


I will ground these arguments in facts and use direct quotes and reliable statistics/figures.