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What makes it good or bad? A Brief look at the life of Net Neutrality
If you love reading news, one way or another you must have bumped into news about net neutrality or related article. If you are not tech-savvy or you have never heard about net neutrality and by now you wonder, what is this recent ‘net neutrality’ commotion in public is all about? Than rest assure! By reading this article you will learn what net neutrality is and what is its role or need in my daily life. Brace yourselves! While we explore this side of internet technology together.
The ‘net neutrality’ as a theory was first formulated by Prof. Tim Wu from Columbia Law School. In 2003 his paper ‘Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination’ was published, in which for the first-time term net neutrality was coined. The term states that there should be no discrimination in data sharing on the bases of its charges and it’s availability in any of its form.
Afterward, net neutrality became mandatory for Internet service providers by governments, encouraging the equality for all modes of data transmission. It covers user contents, websites, applications, and method of communications. In simple words, it means internet service providers are not allowed in any case to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
However, the original flavor of net neutrality is eroding away with the time. With the advent of internet technology and broadband companies which began to provide users with high-speed internet, started to exploit net neutrality loopholes and challenged the integrity of net neutrality. During the Bush and Obama resigns, the US Federal Communications Commission fought back hard with defaulters to stop the exploitation net neutrality and successfully triumphed in preserving the freedom of internet usage, making internet (including broadband networks like Charter Spectrum internet etc.) as a ‘Public Utility’ instead of ‘information service’ which gives tower companies and broadband to play with internet according to their well. The law of ‘Net neutrality’ has also become a political game between the representative of Republicans and Democratic chairs which take a role in the Federal Communications Commission during a different political era.
In 2017, yet again net neutrality laws were challenged, even though now the situation is currently under control; it’s a matter of time when the uproar will start again. Now that you have at least learned a little bit about net neutrality. In next headings, we will dive deep to find out what makes it good or bad.
Good about net neutrality
Imagine a life, for one day you wake up in the morning and you find out that one of your favorite websites are replaced by a message “Dear customer! To visit this website, you have to pay ABC amount to get XYZ time to get access to this site.” Or suddenly you see that some of the websites are becoming slower than other. Don’t worry! This hasn’t happened yet, at least today is not that day. Thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules which are currently effective.
Imposing tiered pricing by internet service providers on internet content is still illegal. This makes the internet a place for everyone, labeling it a public utility that can be used by anyone anytime. So the internet is still cheaper for the general public, instead of paying the amount for special speed and access, you can use it normally with just a single bill payment. Due to net neutrality, your high-speed internet is still a common thing throughout all of your internet services and continuing to have its name like that.
Because of net neutrality, every website or business (even the new or smaller) get a good ground to grow up. Instead of being prevented from growth by monopolies from other huge business giant and websites.
With net neutrality laws still in place, your internet privacy is still intact. You have complete freedom to protect the secrecy of your data that you don’t wish to reveal. If the network neutrality had not been a thing, very concept of high-speed internet is at the risk of becoming invalid. Also, you would have been giving more access to the internet service provider to control peek into your personal records. They would have seen what type of sites you used most and monopolized it.
Bad about net neutrality
Due to the freedom-oriented nature of the internet (because of network neutrality), anyone can post anything to do anything. Even though “freedom of speech” is a good thing, the absurd things are uploaded or posted under a disguise of this term, consequently making insensitive content easily find their way on the Internet.
Talking about freedom, net neutrality may have given us the freedom, but uncontrolled full freedom has its own cons. Internet service provider is not allowed to ban anything. From anything also mean the illegal activities on the internet. For example, one shopping website can sell “non-ethical” things, if someone asks the Internet service provider to throttle the website sale of non-ethical on the internet. Under the net neutrality law, they cannot just stop the sale of bad things online. They can easily say “Look we can’t do anything about it, as long as it’s legal.”
Net neutrality has its fair share of lingering minor imperfections. For instance, the heavy user on the high-speed internet is equal to a casual user, and both are subjected to pay the same amount of a bill for the same type of internet. This law does not compensate for the casual user.
Net neutrality imperfections come from its theoretical nature. It does not possess a solid definition. That’s why it still needs amendments. It is not technically feasible but political. This is one of the big reasons that almost every critic and an individual have its own understanding of net neutrality. It can still not bring people on the common ground of understanding which means the complexity of the issue makes its discussion a waste of time.
Conclusively, net neutrality is a complex theory which is still an important affair that can change the very basic structure of the internet as we know it today. It has many of the pros and cons. However, we have tried our best to deliver you the information on why net neutrality is a matter.