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Running head: NET NEUTRALITY

The Understanding of Net Neutrality


Carolina Alvarado
University of Texas - El Paso

THE UNDERSTANDING OF NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TWO SOURCES

Abstract
This paper is composed of a comparison between two sources that explain net neutrality.
Although both sources contain information about net neutrality that is explained by a
government entity, they both have a different purpose. The first source is a statement from
President Obama explaining why net neutrality is important and his expectations to make sure
net neutrality is not rid of. Source number two is aimed to clarify questions that the public has on
net neutrality and also concentrates on explaining the importance of having an understanding and
being aware of the topic. Source two is a question and answer article created and provided by
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this acronym may be used throughout the paper.
Net Neutrality
Net neutrality was recently a topic being defended in congress and by the government in
order to ensure that the public is protected from internet service providers that do not want to
have an open and equal opportunity service. There are two sides as to whether there should be
net neutrality or if government should rid itself of it and allow internet service providers to
block, slow down, and favor websites in order to gain more revenue for companies such as Time
Warner Cable and American Telephone and Telegraph, better known as AT&T. In order to
explain in greater detail the two views on net neutrality and the opposing views, here will be
provided a comparison between a government document on the topic and an article in form of a
question and answer from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) webpage.
Net neutrality is defined in dictionary.com as a concept that broadband internet service
providers should provide nondiscriminatory access to internet content, platforms and should not

THE UNDERSTANDING OF NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TWO SOURCES

manipulate the transfer of data regardless of its source or destination, meaning that websites
should all have the opportunity to reach their audience without having to pay any fees to internet
service providers in order to prevent the website from being blocked, slowed down, hidden, or
messed with in any form that users will be discouraged or prevented from using and finding such
webpage.
In the government document, specifically a presidential statement, net neutrality is
explained briefly and then is extended into bullet points in order to address specific terms that net
neutrality covers. These bullet points are, blocking, throttling, increased transparency, and no
paid prioritizing. Each bullet point goes into detail explaining its title. Blocking is explained to
not be permitted in order to give all websites a chance to provide services to users instead of
internet service providers allowing only websites affiliated with themselves to provide any
information. Throttling is also to be prevented from happening, meaning that internet service
providers shall not have the ability not authority to slow down or create bugs in websites that
have not paid or created any sort of contract with the service providers. Finally, no paid
prioritizing is also expected to not be allowed in order for users to have an equal opportunity to
have access to any legal websites of their choice. After going into detail explaining each bullet
point, the document also goes on to explain what laws are expected to be put into place in order
to ensure net neutrality is not messed with currently and for upcoming years.
The statements structure is composed of President Obama addressing the issue at hand
and specifically communicating his expectations to congress in order to ensure protection. These
expectations are referred to as rules the president wants to instill.
The structure, tone and language of this document suggest that the audience is congress,
internet service providers and other entities from the government. The statement has been

THE UNDERSTANDING OF NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TWO SOURCES

published so that the public has access to it which suggest that the audience is not limited to the
entities mentioned above but its purpose is for these entities to understand what is expected to
happen. This also suggests that the explanation and wording allow the public with a basic
understanding of net neutrality to comprehend what this document is saying and to have an
understanding on what is currently an important topic in congress that affects everyone that has
access to the internet.
The presidents statement on net neutrality consists mainly of ethos and logos rather than
pathos. Ethos weighs heavily in the content of this document because it has been written and
provided by the government and its purpose is that of the U.S. President to use.
Logos is found in the explanations given for each bullet point which say why these rules
are highly encouraged to pass and be followed, as well as in the closing statement. The closing
statements talk about the importance of internet service providers working with what the public
needs in order to have valuable information and an equal opportunity environment.
Finally, the purpose of this source as stated earlier is to provide expectations and rules
that internet service providers should follow as well as informing other government entities on
what is the best scenario to decide on when addressing net neutrality. The best scenario being
that there needs to be strict regulations that will ensure net neutrality will continue to stay intact.
The second source, an article provided by ACLU is more user friendly but also addresses
the same issues. The structure for this source is simple to follow and understand, it is a question
and answer format. The article is only eleven questions, each providing an answer and
explanation that the general public may have on the topic of net neutrality.

THE UNDERSTANDING OF NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TWO SOURCES

The questions that this article presents are in a form of chronological order. The first
question is presented to introduce the problem that not having net neutrality can create. This then
extends into a question and answer explaining in further detail what the first answer states. As an
example, one of the questions that is explained is, What do you mean they might manipulate our
data? it is a question that may pop up in the readers head when going through the article. The
structure also greatly influenced the pathos that the article used. This article used pathos to create
a sense of fear in the reader that if one does not take action to inform themselves and do
something in order to protect net neutrality then it can result in an unfair internet service.
Further extending that this is a user friendly and easy to understand article, it is concluded
that the intended audience is the average person and internet user. The intended purpose of
bringing awareness to the issue and providing knowledge to the public is created due to the
simplicity in structure.
Both sources had the purpose of bringing awareness to the issues that are brought on by
not being aware of the importance of net neutrality. Both the statement and article provided
important explanations but differed in the level of understanding that is expected of the audience.
There was also a difference in the structure, the intensity of ethos, logos, and pathos. The
statement concentrated in providing more ethos and logos and the article from ACLU
concentrated more on pathos.

THE UNDERSTANDING OF NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TWO SOURCES

References
Statement by the President on Net Neutrality. (2014, November 10). Retrieved March 4,
2015, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/10/statement-president-netneutrality

What Is Net Neutrality? (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2015, from https://www.aclu.org/netneutrality