Net Neutrality and Australia
Should Australia adopt the Net Neutrality? Before we get down to this argument, we need to consider What is the Net Neutrality and What it will bring us? Net Neutrality is the Internet Principal that Network Operators manage all the data on the Internet without prioritising or blocking the delivery of Internet traffic to another traffic on the network. Which to simply this definition, its the internet rules that all the service provider treat all the internet users or the contents treat equally without discrimination.
Australia, however, still have no specific rules that guarantee the Net Neutrality. The chance of adopting such laws is still small as well since almost all of Australia’s Internet Provider are against such policies. Even though, the majority of the government and the internet provider still do not have interests in setting up net neutrality laws, Professor of intellectual property and innovation at the Queensland University of Technology,Dr Matthew Rimmer told the Radio National that “the public has been concern with such case in recent year because of the slow broadband across the country”.
Some people argue that this Government and Network providers’ lack of attention towards net neutrality is good for Aussie because it brings the strong competition between the providers which is crucial for making the Internet’s products better.
Origin of Net Neutrality and the Uncle Sam
To explain more detail about the Network neutrality, we have to understand what the Internet traffic contains. Internet traffic means all the data that share between individual users or the big corporation via mobile phone, laptop or desktop computers. These data includes emails, photos, messages, videos files, music files, etc. So the net neutrality allows all of these data to transfer from one place to another freely. Which means, the speed and types of data transfer for individual users will be the same as big cooperation.
The term “Net Neutrality” originated from the United States and become popular around the world in the early years of the 2000s. However, the law was first adopted by the United States since the 1990s. (Gilroy,2011)Event though, far before that, the US already has the commission to keep the internet fair, they constructed the law to reflect their country’s reputation: Free World and Being Equal.
Since then, the country has been adopting the policy well and have been recognised by the world as the only sovereign state which adopting net neutrality at the best. However, such a reputation has become to fall apart after Donald Trump won the US election. The US President Trump replaced the chairman of US Federal Communication Commission with the guy who has been opposing the idea of net neutrality for ages: Ajit Pai. The way Trump administration and Ajit want to change the existing net neutrality Law is by allowing pay-to -pay internet fast lanes which the internet service provider will serve the customer who pays more with faster and better internet and for other customers they will get less fast internet.
Net Neutrality: Yea Or Nah?
Image: Gerd Altmann, All Right Reserved
Even though, the Australian is debating for Net Neutrality starting for past a few years. The debate has been there in the US since the early 2000s when the federal government gave special privileges for Cable Internet Modern services and for the Internet Broadband services.
However, the policies for the internet services providers in Australia is totally different from the US. Even though the Australian market is more competitive than the US, the barrier to entry is extremely low. Our structure of the internet provider also different from the US. The customers have to pay the Internet service providers for the Internet speed and the maximum data usage as well. Which means, the Internet service provider will either charge the customers more if their internet usage is more than their maximum data usage or the customers’ internet speed will get intentionally slow down.
The defendants of the Net Neutrality blamed the Australian Network Providers that the service providers are intentionally slowing down the customers who choose the cheaper internet plan. However, most of the internet service provider counter-argues that, no matter what internet packages customer choose, the speed of the internet stays the same. They said the internet speed differences is only between different Internet service providers.
Ripping off people for people? Yes, that what majority of the Internet service provider said. One of the main reason why the Australian network provider does not want the net neutrality law is that by not having that polices, they can charge people more and which means, their business revenue also grow more and ISPs(Internet Service Providers) can invest their additional income to their network infrastructure and upgrade their network and capacities.
Another reason why Aussie don’t need Net Neutrality? As a consequence of the barrier to entry for Australian Internet Service Providers is too low, customers are having more choices now. They can simply switch their plan if the ISPs slow down their internet.
Another feature that we Aussie enjoy about not Having Net Neutrality? Yes, there are heaps of free access to streaming services when we join the internet plan. Like Optus or Telstra, these ISPs offer you with the internet plan where you can get free access to Netflix, Stan or music streaming apps like Spotify. Even though the speed of the internet will slow down a bit when you access these services but hey Its FREE and admit it, you enjoy that as well Right?
Conclusion & Author’s Point oF view
Political aspects of net neutrality seem flexible with Australian’s political views because both of them favour being equal treated and against the discrimination but do we really need this? Australia have been facing numerous complaints about having the slow internet compare to European countries and of course the Uncles sam, but are we the worst?
The US is trying to change the net neutrality policies because they want their internet users to pay more for faster internet but do we have such case where we have to pay Optus more just for the faster speed? No, We Don’t. If our providers are going to offer such things, the customers will shift to other providers who offer fair and square Internet to Australian people.
To conclude my blog, the ideology of network neutrality seems reasonable but does not mean all the countries have to adopt it. US and Australia are totally different and Australia does not have the same Internet problem as the US. Even if we adopt it, the economy will shift to the negative path and the whole country including both customers and network providers have to spend a few years to become flexible to get along with network neutrality policies which the Australian federal government do not have interest in.
Every ideology has both sides, also in Net neutrality, so what do you guys think?
Is Net Neutrality Good or Dead End for the Aussie?
Leave your ideas in the comment box.
Gilroy, Angele A. (March 11, 2011). Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate (Report). DIANE Publishing. p. 1.
James Endres. 2009. ‘Net neutrality – How relevant is it to Australia?’. Telecommunications Journal of Australia. 59 (2): pp. 22.1 to 22.10. DOI: 10.2104/tja09022.
Ralph, E.K. (2007). ‘Net Neutrality: Issues and Relevance to Australia’. Concept Economics, Australia.