What's All This Talk About Net Neutrality?

This entry was posted on June 05, 2014 by Mark Switajski

What is Net Neutrality?

Simply put, net neutrality is the idea that the internet should be provided equally to anybody who wants to use it without favoring certain companies.  Net neutrality is the idea of an open internet that does not discriminate against content, companies, posts, applications etc… It’s sort of similar to the way telephone communications work.  Everyone who pays for the service of making telephone calls has equal priority as other people making calls.  No one gets to make a call faster than someone else and they have the right to call who they want and say what they want.

Why is it important?

Recently the Federal Communications Commissions has been making headlines for proposing rules that would effectively eliminate net neutrality.  The new rules would allow internet service providers to charge certain companies extra for preferential treatment.  For example, Netflix may wind up paying more to be able to host all of their streaming content.  In turn this would likely increase the amount you have to pay for Netflix so they can cover those increased costs.
This would also allow for the possibility of internet service provider exclusive content.  With their ability to block content they would be able to partner with a site such as Youtube to be the only one to offer that website and charge insanely high rates to us as consumers.  What’s more is that the large companies would be able to afford the faster broadband, leaving smaller/startup companies in the dust.  This would discourage new businesses and ultimately squander one of the greatest aspects of the internet: innovation.

What can we do?

The best thing you can do right now is to have your voice be heard.  Tell the FCC why keeping net neutrality is important to you.  We want the FCC to make internet service a telecommunications service by law, requiring equality for all who use it.