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Network Neutrality

Everything There Is to Know About Network Neutrality

We've all heard the term "Net Neutrality," but only a few of us are familiar with it. We expect to be connected to whatever website we want and to have access to whatever content we want when we go online. In other words, we expect our internet service provider to not tamper with the data and to connect us to all websites, applications, and content that we select.

What exactly is Network Neutrality?

Mark Zuckerberg didn't need to ask any internet service providers to add Facebook to their networks when he created it. He also did not have to pay these companies any additional fees to ensure that Facebook worked as well as established companies' websites. Instead, as soon as he created the Facebook website, it became instantly accessible from any internet-connected computer on the planet.

That's network neutrality in action.

Net Neutrality, also known as Network Neutrality, is a key criterion that prevents internet service providers from interfering with or blocking any content or websites that we want to use. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks and not block or discriminate against any applications that run on those networks. Our ISP should not interfere with the content we view or post online, just as our phone company should not decide who we call or what we say on that call.

In the absence of Net Neutrality, internet service providers may divide the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP may slow down or even block the content of its competitors. Few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment pay more to ISPs, forcing everyone else to use a slower layer of service, effectively destroying the open internet.

What is the case for network neutrality?

Supporters argue that network neutrality has allowed for so much innovation on the internet over the last two decades, allowing the creation of dozens of innovative online services such as Google, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, Skype, and others. Network neutrality ensures that new websites and internet applications have equal opportunities to establish themselves in the user space.

They are concerned that without net neutrality, the internet will become less welcoming to new businesses and innovative ideas. For example, if large ISPs start charging video streaming sites extra to deliver video content to customers, it may be difficult to negotiate deals with dozens of network owners for the next YouTube to gain traction.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new and stronger network neutrality rules in February 2015, treating internet access as a public utility. Network neutrality supporters applauded the proposal, but opponents claim it will lead to excessive internet regulation. The regulations are also being challenged in court, with multiple telecom industry groups arguing that they exceed the FCC's authority.

We should all support Network Neutrality because it treats all data on the Internet equally and does not discriminate or charge differently based on user, website, platform, or application. These principles prohibit internet service providers from interfering with speed or charging fees for specific websites and online content.

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