Net Neutrality: Why Is It Important?
In a couple weeks, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether or not to repeal Net Neutrality and the informed public is not happy about the prospect of losing it. What is Net Neutrality and why is it important?
According to Wikipedia:
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating most of the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
In other words, ALL internet service providers must, by federal law, provide the exact same service to every customer. With the repeal of Net Neutrality, we the consumers would be at the mercy of whatever the internet provider in the area wants to charge and what they choose to provide. Let's say you have a streaming service like Netflix.
Currently "IP Company A" has a competing streaming service, but because of Net Neutrality, "IP Company A" must provide Netflix at the same speed as they would their product. If the law is repealed, they can throttle your Netflix subscription to the point where you are forced to use their product to get a higher quality experience. And that is only one facet of Net Neutrality.
The short answer is that the repeal of Net Neutrality is 100% in favor of the big internet providers and will only prove to decrease access to the internet for the average consumer. If this law is repealed, the only people to suffer will be the customer, and the internet companies will continue to use their power to drive the traffic however they see fit.
An article in The New York Times is very clear on who this repeal is designed to accommodate:
A rollback of net neutrality regulations would represent a significant victory for broadband and telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast and would amount to a strike against consumers. When the rules were passed in 2015, they underlined the importance of high-speed internet to the lives of Americans and the need to more strongly regulate the communications service like a utility, as essential as electricity and the telephone.
If you believe this is important, and you should, please use the following links to find information on the repeal and how to contact your lawmakers to ask them to speak out against this unfair stripping of our consumer rights.