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Page Rank and Net Neutrality

The Internet is one of the largest open and free networks that people have ever built. When using the Internet, people expect to be able to access content without it being altered, blocked, or slowed down. This open and free environment is due in large part to net neutrality, the principle that people should have free access to the Internet and all its applications without having Internet Service Providers (ISPs) discriminate against certain pages or services. Without net neutrality, ISPs could selectively slow down certain websites, block content, or redirect people to a different competing website. The absence of net neutrality would allow ISPs to speed up service for large companies who are willing to pay a large fee so that their websites run quicker than their competition.

The current state of the Internet with net neutrality has a fair page rank equilibrium. Each website can have indirect or direct endorsements of other websites. All the websites are treated the same by ISPs and there is fair competition. However, if net neutrality were to be erased, then the page rank of large, wealthy companies with websites would see their page rank increase while smaller websites and startups would see their page rank decrease. This is because large companies would potentially be able to afford to pay ISPs to speed up content on their websites, potentially slow down competitors’ websites, or even redirect customers from competing websites to their website. These unfair rules allow big, wealthy companies to increase their page rank at the expense of their competition and smaller companies and startups.



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