By now, many of you have probably heard the term “net neutrality” in some form or fashion. Net neutrality is the fundamental principle which forbids ISP’s (internet service providers) like AT&T, Spectrum (Time Warner) and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Because today is July 12th, also known as the “Day of Action” or the “Battle for the Net,” we feel it’s appropriate to give you a fast facts about net neutrality to help you better understand it’s principles.
Who Mandates net neutrality?
The FCC (United States Federal Communications Commission). In February of 2015, the FCC ruled in favor of net neutrality by reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunications service (Title II). Fast forward to 2017 (new president and new administration) and now the Trump administration wants to squash net neutrality.
Who isn’t defending net neutrality?
We know that tech giants like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Reddit are all defending Title II so what companies are for abolishing net neutrality? In a nutshell, cable and phone companies would love to be able to have control over what we see and do online. These are the same companies that promise to be at your house between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and don’t show up until the following week. The same companies that were caught repeatedly violating Net Neutrality before strong rules were on the books.1 The same companies that admitted that if it weren’t for Net Neutrality they would discriminate against websites and content.2
Think of the marketing bucks these companies could bring in by giving preferential treatment to certain websites and applications.
Is the government taking over the Internet?
This sounds a lot like communism, no? The snippet below (cNet) explains further:
These new rules don’t regulate any content or application on the Internet, or dictate how the Internet operates or where traffic is routed. So in that sense, the answer is no. They do regulate access to the “last mile” of the Internet, which is the network that connects your home or mobile device to the Net. This means the rules govern just the companies and the sections of their networks that deliver Internet access to consumers. Companies subject to the regulation are broadband providers, like AT&T, Verizon or Comcast, which sell consumers fixed or wireless access to the Internet.