Portal:Net Neutrality/Essential points

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Why do we need Net Neutrality?

This principle of Net Neutrality such as we know it today is fundamental for the protection of essential values of our societies:

The free-market economy

If an Internet provider infringe on Net Neutrality, he can very easily favor his services with regard to those of his competitors. For example, in France, 3 operators "forbid" their "mobile internet's" customers to use voice over IP software (eg Skype), so forcing them to pay their national and international communications to the (high) price rates of their networks. Still recently, no operator proposed alternative alternative in this situation. These practices, fundamentally anti-competitive, are harmful for consumers, economic growth and innovation.

The innovation

Since its creation, Internet bases on and develops thanks to its users. "Some guys in a garage" (or in a student room) developed myriads of projects and tiny start-ups, become since major. It's the same of Google, Wikipedia, Skype, eBay, BitTorrent, Twitter and some others essential Internet's elements, used all over the world. This "innovation without licence" is healthy and stimulating. It is beneficial in all the economy. What would it happen then if the next innovative actor had to ask to all operators for the permission to use their networks, or to pay to obtain a normal priority to avoid fatal slowness? Operators see in this question the opportunity to centralize and control Internet, and to increasing their profits.

Liberties and fundamental rights

The article 11 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 proclaims: "The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law."

The French Constitutional Council, confirming what the European Parliament has already expressed, enriched the article by declaring: "As is means of communication and in consideration of the development generalized by communication's services to the online public as well as to the importance taken by these services for the participation in the democratic life and the expression of the ideas and the opinions, this right involves the freedom to reach these services."

Today, Internet is a essential tool of exercise of the freedom of expression and communication for the smooth running of our democracies. Blogs, microblogs, social networks and instant messagings are so many new methods to participate in the public debate. In a democracy, only a judge must be able to restrict the citizens' fundamental liberties such the freedom of expression. What will it happen if the control of these new tools would be offered to companies?

Pourquoi la neutralité du net est-elle en danger ?

Internet se développe sans arrêt. Jusqu'à présent, lorsque les réseaux des opérateurs étaient saturés, ils investissaient dans plus de bande passante et augmentaient la puissance de l'infrastructure globale que nous appelons Internet. Avec de nouvelles possibilités de pratiques anti-concurrentielles lucratives, les opérateurs pourraient se tourner vers un nouveau business model : investir dans le contrôle de ce qui circule sur leurs réseaux, plutôt que d'investir dans de meilleurs réseaux. Ce modèle créerait des conditions se justifiant elles-mêmes parfaitement pour ces politiques : « Internet est devenu trop lent, nous sommes par conséquent obligés de contrôler et d'attribuer des priorités sur le contenu, les services et applications dont les propriétaires sont prêts à payer plus d'argent. » De tels arguments, accompagnés du mirage de la « fin d'Internet », ont été avancés devant le Parlement européen pour abandonner la Neutralité du Net, mais ne tiennent pas devant les réalités techniques. Une bande passante moins onéreuse et une gestion raisonnée du réseau permettent au réseau de grandir sur la base d'investissements structurels.