Net neutrality has been a huge part of the news lately, this is because of the passed proposal that repealed it in November 2017.
Net Neutrality is a huge part of our ability to have a free and open internet. It is the principle that individuals should be free to access all content and applications equally, regardless of the source, without Internet Service Providers discriminating against specific online services or websites. In other words, it is the principle that the company that connects you to the internet does not get to control what you do on the internet.
Commissioner Ajit Pai was appointed Chairman of the FCC in January 2017. In response to his plans to eliminate net neutrality, there was a public outcry in support of net neutrality. Chairman Pai circulated his proposal for repeal in November 2017, and the proposal was passed in December 2017, overturning the Open Internet Order. So, what does all this mean and are their any pros to net neutrality being overturned?
Benefits of Net Neutrality:
- It makes everything equal
With net neutrality in place, internet service providers have little say on what passes through the mechanisms that are used by customers to access the internet. There are controls in place for illegal activities, but companies like Comcast or AT&T wouldn’t be able to change how a customer’s data is delivered to them.
- It protects growth
Although there are companies which have made billions of dollars because of their access to the internet, they were able to get started on the same ground as anyone else. Fair access to the internet allows people to offer information in a way that best suits them.
- It allows everyone to be free
Blogs, services, businesses, and any website that can operate legally is able to do so and be available because of net neutrality. There isn’t any censorship available as long as the content being offered meets legal obligations.
Trying to find or think of any pros of net neutrality repeal is tough. When the internet becomes a place where profitability is the primary concern, the idea of providing free internet access to those who cannot afford it goes away. Providers could charge whatever they wanted and restrict access to anyone. This could lead to demographic discrimination, or prioritize content to the wealthiest who are willing to pay high prices for the fastest streaming.
Luckily, it’s not too late to speak up about net neutrality. Do some research for yourself and let us know what you think!