Internet neutrality in basic principle suggests that all traffic or packet of data traveling across the web should be treated the same at each level of the process. This means that whether a particular packet of data is audio from Spotify, php from the Mashable or any other data format from any website should have the same priority all along the way. No content generator has ‘premium access’, or a “fastlane”. This concept is based upon long-standing practices of internet protocol but had never been officially included in a government rule or regulation. In fact, in 2005, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) specifically declared that broadband web service was not a “telecommunications service” and thus not subjected to mutual-carrier rules that make variations in rates and services. Unlike traditional mobile companies and electric utilities, broadband service providers would be free to establish their own business projects in the marketplace.
Why it matters
Over the last few months pro-net neutrality spokespersons have gotten louder. News articles trying to create awareness around this subject have gone on to claim large scale discrimination on the internet. One particularly dramatic viral poster shows ISPs becoming like a cable companies: charging additional bucks each month for access to particular websites or other internet services – Imagine paying $10 extra for online gaming sites, $15 for Wikipedia and so on.
It sounds scary without any doubt but not unlikely. In fact the grounds for such reforms have been created for quite a while now. For the Internet Service Providers its simple to block all stuff other than the allowed content, or just directly charge people for providing access to particular websites. It won’t be easy to challenge FCC about the legality of such changes. After all there are pretexts such as pirated content sites etc. that will be used to justify the abandonment of net neutrality.
Why do I stand for net neutrality
Supporters of net neutrality don’t want to give the Internet Service Providers much power as it could easily be abused. Imagine that Comcast or Verizon don’t like the concept of WhatsApp messenger, because it enables you to send and receive text and even digital messages for free using your internet connection. Your mobile carrier could block WhatsApp messenger from your smartphone so you’re pushed to pay for a text plan from them. Or, they may notice that a large number of people are using Twitter on their smartphone or desktop, so even if they can handle the bandwidth to carry that traffic from Twitter, they decide to charge you some extra bucks for using it just because they are well aware of the fact that people are addicted to social media and they can make a profit easily. These are just examples.
Who are against net neutrality
Mostly internet companies and big media is ready to pump-in money to gain superior access to users. In a way they have had enough of the viral phenomenons. Why should a lonely teenager with a video camera and some creativity make money on the Youtube while TV shows suffer? Creation of a premium category of user access will enable ISPs to charge the content creators to pay up for reaching the audience. Of-course ISPs are going to love it! Say goodbye to your favourite free websites.
Net neutrality is also a roadblock for large internet gateway providers to create competition. Free market supporters are against the concept of net neutrality, noting that companies like AT&T and Comcast should be able to compete freely by going against conventions to maintain standard internet protocols. An official stand against net neutrality by the governments will allow them to do just that. The logic is that they themselves aren’t “the internet”— they’re merely a gateway to the internet, and if they’re each permitted to arrange their networks differently, you’re more likely to see competition between ISPs which is apparently better for the customers. If you don’t like the fact that YouTube is slower on AT&T than it is on Comcast, you can switch to Comcast. Whether that is true or just an excuse is for you to decide.
Petitions against FCC’s decision
In a world where access to information is seen as a basic human right, letting corporations decide what we surf on the internet is akin to giving them control of the air we breath. Surely, FCC called for people from all over the world to voice their concerns on this matter. They did receive more than 1 million petitions on the issue of network neutrality during a five-month period that ended in July. Let see what happens in the near future.
Some Videos on Internet Neutrality: