Repeal of Net Neutrality GPERs Essay

This was my faith ethics and ideology essay from GPERs.

The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America Kamila Zastera 18/1/18
Mrs. Gonzalez


Kamila Zastera The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America

In America, President Trump’s chairman Ajit Pai introduced the proposal to the FCC for net neutrality being repealed in America (Coldewey). Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic that travels over all networks should be treated equally with no fast or slow lanes. Fast and slow lanes would be slowing down or blocking certain websites, or providing faster content to companies willing to pay for it. ISPs, Internet Service Providers, would be able to block or slow down websites owned by competitor companies. If it is repealed then ISPs stand to gain major profits as consumers pay for not only internet access but also websites for fast lane access (Barnes). Small startup competitor companies who cannot afford faster lanes will lose profits because they will load slower so people will navigate away to more convenient bigger companies who can afford fast lanes, who get a huge advantage (Polis). ISPs will get a major profit, consumers will pay more money and small companies lose profits. The first stakeholder is President Trump and Ajit Pai. They are a local perspective because they are based in America where this issue is happening. The second stakeholder is Michael Wade and Heidi Gautschi. There are a global perspective because they are both based in Switzerland, they are pro repeal for net neutrality. I am focusing on ethics and political ideology.

President Donald Trump believes net neutrality should be repealed, and is a man with the power to make it happen. Based on his actions, it can be argued Trump has authoritarian traits due to blurring the lines of nation and personal (Collinson) and being comparable to Hitler (Robin). Authoritarianism is where government have almost absolute control. If net neutrality is repealed they will have the authority to block media websites that do not support Trump and his campaign (Griffin). It will stop freedom of speech on the internet for Americans who cannot afford these new prices, thus giving them more control over the American citizens. This is the ultimate goal for an authoritarian government. Furthermore, Trump has been influenced to repeal net neutrality because he dislikes Obama, because Obama is black and Trump is a racist despite his insistence that he is not. He has a long history of making racist comments about people (Page). He and Obama also have a history of an event where Obama dunked him at the white house correspondent dinner and embarrassed Trump(Moore). Trump is very petty as can be observed from the scandal of president Obama’s birth certificate on Twitter (Moore). As net neutrality was enacted by Obama, Trump controls Ajit Pai because he has immense power since he hired Ajit Pai for his position in the first place and because he is the President. Trump’s ethical self interest of wanting to dismantle Obama’s legacy (Moore) since he’s petty he influenced Ajit Pai to repeal net neutrality. Trump’s actions have massive wide-reaching impact. He holds power over all of America with it’s population of 325.4 million (2017, US Population Live). The backlash that Trump received for the repeal of net neutrality was enormous with countless petitions against the repeal of net neutrality. For example, the


Kamila Zastera The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America

petition “Save Net Neutrality” on reached 2.2 million signatures and is still rising. Of the 22 million public comments on the proposal that came in, 98.5% of the ones that were not spam were in support of not repealing net neutrality(Brodkin). Net neutrality protests have been happening nationwide in America as citizens protest for court (Thubron) to stop the FCC from killing net neutrality (Reardon) but all of this has been largely ignored (Kastrenakes) by the FCC who say public opinion does not matter because they don’t introduce any new information or serious legal arguments(Brodkin). Ethically if great amounts of the public were against the repeal, then it can’t be utilitarianism because the majority of people were against this, and not altruism, because he is only helping himself. Virtue or self interest ethics are the only ones left. It is definitely self interest because Trump is simply self-serving and he has had so many people tell him what he’s doing is wrong so if he thought he was doing the right thing, he would have realised by now…he isn’t.

Michael Wade, director of The Global Center for Digital Businesses at IMD, and Heidi Gautschi, a researcher for the same company, said in a commentary article about “7 Surprising Things on The End of Net Neutrality” that the repeal for net neutrality is something not to be worried about . Both are very skeptical about the story coverage of ISPs and how they are being portrayed as villians, and how American consumers and smaller companies are being portrayed as victims. Due to net neutrality only being put in place in 2015, both of them believe that since America’s internet was “fine” for “most” people before the law was passed, and that now in 2017, America’s internet will not be any different than the past. In fact, net neutrality wasn’t even really there in the first place (Bershidsky). In Switzerland they do not have net neutrality laws, but there are other laws in place stopping the Switzerland ISPs from doing things that net neutrality laws would stop (Orlowski). The influence of absence of net neutrality and everything working out just fine, puts them in a position of ethical absolutism to think “We don’t have net neutrality and we are fine. Therefore no one needs net neutrality.” However, it’s far more complicated. In this case it should be viewed as ethical relativism because they have certain laws to protect them whilst America does not. American law is different from Switzerland law. Additionally they have Swisscom in Switzerland which owns most of the telecom companies, which means practically no telecom competition. Those Americans who can afford paying for internet access get it from one main provider. The major ones are Comcast, Verizon, Charter and Time Warner. In America there’s competition between ISPs, they cause them to want to slow or block competitor business websites that run through their internet which net neutrality otherwise would stop them from doing. Wade and Gautschi believe that no websites will be blocked as they cannot legally block it. But in America it isn’t illegal. The only thing stopping them is if they “promise” not to block websites (Brodkin), and not all of them are even promising


Kamila Zastera The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America

that(Kastrenakes). This only further illuminates the difference between Switzerland and America’s governments and how this influenced their absolutism. Furthermore Wade and and Gautschi believe net neutrality is a form of government control and that only without it, can we progress as a society. Government only stifles creativity. They see it as ethical utilitarianism: overall happiness. Although many people will face problems and lots of small companies will flounder, major companies free from government control will flourish and improve society for the greater good. The article they wrote on net neutrality may have impacted the readers and make them aware of the controversy of their opinion and maybe even sway their opinion. It is plausible that they will spark a chain reaction and will spread awareness.

Initially I believed net neutrality should not be repealed. Surprisingly, despite the the fact that the stakeholders I researched disagree with my opinion, they have not managed to sway my stance. The principle influence on my perspective is that I am a presence on Tumblr, an international website many Americans use, where they briefly posted about net neutrality in order to spread awareness. My chief impact on others was to spread information on Tumblr when Americans needed support getting the petitions and information to call their Senators. Additionally, when the net neutrality repeal was first enacted, I helped to keep the net neutrality tag trending, I showed my support for Americans to signify that I was in their corner. On Tumblr I have seen how people have been dehumanised into “consumers.” Many of them will be impacted by the high expense to browse the internet as well as being affected by the blocking of websites. Unfortunately, the unemployed would be unable to go online for job search websites or to apply for job applications. Free Wi-Fi establishments would no longer able to provide free Wi-Fi due to the price hike. People in long distance relationships, internet friends, and people who have trouble socializing in real life would be impaired. Schools with students who come from socioeconomically disadvantaged households would suffer from the newfound digital divide created between students who depend on the web for homework, research, and collaboration(Sahakian). The most volatile citizens could be suicidal people looking for support when they most need it. Healthcare in America is very costly and often for the most advantaged. Telemedicine consultations would be affected for the people who live in remote locations (Field). Masses of people in every walk of life will be impacted by the repeal of net neutrality and it essential for many to go about their daily lives.

Bibliography List:
● Barnes, Luke. “The FCC Just Decided to Repeal Net Neutrality. Here’s Why That’s

Really,ReallyBad.” ThinkProgress, 21Nov.2017, ally-really-bad-64e376ea04d3/.


Kamila Zastera The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America

  • ●  Bershidsky, Leonid. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Net Neutrality Repeal.” Bloomberg , 15 Dec. 2017,


  • ●  Brodkin, Jon. “FCC Explains How Net Neutrality Will Be Protected without NetNeutrality Rules.” Ars Technica , 11 Dec. 2017, mers-after-repeal-fcc-claims/.
  • ●  Brodkin, Jon. “FCC Explains Why Public Support for Net Neutrality Won’t Stop Repeal.” Ars Technica , 22 Nov. 2017, sh-to-kill-net-neutrality/.
  • ●  Coldewey, Devin. “The FCC Officially Votes to Kill Net Neutrality.” TechCrunch , 14 Dec. 2017,
  • ●  Collinson, Stephen. “Trump’s Authoritarian Streak.” CNN , Cable News Network, 12Oct. 2017,

  • ●  “Congress Must Step In to Save Net Neutrality.” American Civil Liberties Union ,

    ity .

  • ●  Field, Robert. “Could Repealing Net Neutrality Be Bad for Our Health?” ,13 Dec. 2017, e-bad-for-our-health-20171214.html.
  • ●  Griffin, Andrew. “Net Neutrality Repeal Allows Internet to Only Consist of Government-Sanctioned Sites.” The Independent , Independent Digital News and Media, 22 Nov. 2017, rump-fcc-arjit-pai-breitbart-sanctioned-tv-internet-reddit-a8069086.html.
  • ●  Kastrenakes, Jacob. “FCC Ignored Your Net Neutrality Comment, Unless You Made a ‘Serious’ Legal Argument.” The Verge , 22 Nov. 2017, ely-ignored.
  • ●  Kastrenakes, Jacob. “ISPs Won’t Promise to Treat All Traffic Equally after Net Neutrality.” The Verge , 15 Dec. 2017, eutrality-comcast-att-verizon.
  • ●  Moore, Jack. “Donald Trump’s Only Policy Agenda Seems to Be ‘Undo Obama Stuff.’” GQ , 10 Aug. 2017,
  • ●  Orlowski, Andrew. “Has Switzerland Cracked the Net Neutrality Riddle?” The Register – Biting the Hand That Feeds It , 10 Nov. 2014,
  • ●  Page, Clarence. “Is Trump a Racist or Does He Just Say Racist Things?” Chicago Tribune , 17 Jan. 2018,


Kamila Zastera The Repeal of Net Neutrality In America

gration-vulgarity-daca-0117-story .html.

  • ●  Polis, Jared. “Op Ed: The End of Net Neutrality Would Be Bad for the Internet,Devastating for Colorado.” Westword , 14 Dec. 2017, the-internet-devastating-for-colorado-9748156.
  • ●  Reardon, Marguerite. “Net Neutrality Protesters Take to the Streets.” CNET , 7 Dec. 2017,
  • ●  Robin, Corey. “If Authoritarianism Is Looming in the US.” The Guardian , Guardian News and Media, 13 Jan. 2018, -peril-trump-power .
  • ●  Sahakian, Shant. “Repeal of Net Neutrality Is Bad for Education, Business and You.” Los Angeles Times , 30 Nov. 2017, akian-20171130-story .html.
  • ●  “Sign the Petition.” , 4&l=32_HTML&u=37699123&mid=7233053&jb=6424&utm_medium=email&utm_sour ce=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=204570&sfmc_tk=k3fRue11b2PM9zL8bw1PTIhk% 2FyNV0Y ACIFndnEpt0x7bIlGfAPx703Znz%2F34UN60.
  • ●  Thubron, Rob. “The FCC’s Plans to End Net Neutrality Could Be Killed in Court.” TechSpot , 27 Nov. 2017, ml.
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  • ●  Wade, Mike, and Heidi Gautschi. “7 Surprising Things About the End of Net Neutrality.” Fortune , 13 Dec. 2017,
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