What is Net Neutrality?
Understanding the concept of net neutrality requires understanding the size and function of the Internet. The last decade has seen incredible growth in the Internet as a mechanism for communication and commerce. The introduction of faster, cheaper and more accessible applications and technologies designed to support communication and commerce has contributed to a proportionate rise in the number of people who use the Internet. The concept of net neutrality has emerged along with this growth, as Internet service providers have strived to control its use and Internet users have demanded the freedom to use it when, where and as they wish. In response to this apparent struggle, the FCC has voted to approve and implement net neutrality rules.
Although the notion that the Internet will be governed by net neutrality rules might sound alarming to users concerned about freedom of use, as well as freedom of speech and press, the rules are more likely to restrict the actions of Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T because of the following:
- The net neutrality rules include requiring Internet service providers to disclose information to consumers concerning their broadband capabilities.
- The net neutrality rules also prevent fixed Internet service providers from blocking safe and legal content from consumers.
- Net neutrality prevents service providers from discriminating against legal network traffic without good cause.