When you use the internet you expect to be connected to any website of your choice. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shouldn’t be messing with data, applications, and content, the user should be in control.
Net Neutrality made this happen which prohibits ISPs from speeding up or slowing down, obstructing any content, apps or website you want to access. Every customer is treated equally.
Back in 2015, millions of American urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to embrace the Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open.This allows people unrestricted access and sharing information of their choice.
On Dec. 14, 2017, Commissioners Pai, O’Rielly, and Carr approved the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” which dismantles the “2015 Net Neutrality Rules.”
What will happen now?
Large ISPs like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast say that internet operation will be the same as before. They will have a free hand to innovate by investing in new technologies. But critics think otherwise and paints a gloomy scenario.
The ISPs call the shots and decide which websites, content, and applications succeed. The moneyed companies can block their competitor’s content. They can charge more to the companies that can afford special treatment relegating the rest to slow lanes.
Disruptive products and services will not thrive since the internet will be reserved for the Biggies who’ll have access to the fast lanes.
Marginalized communities like the LGBTQ community, colored people, and religious factions rely on the unbiased internet to communicate, fight back against discrimination, and organize. Without Net Neutrality they won’t be able to voice out their views and opinions and fight oppression.
ISPs will seek higher fees for services which are excessive data consumers like Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, these costs will be passed to patrons.
ISPs will take advantage of their position and will create an uneven playing field. SMEs and startups won’t be able to show their wares online if ever they do it will be pricey. Websites who can’t afford are going to load slower, they can’t get to a customer faster and might close shop.
The internet will function like a cable TV offering bundled packages of services rather than focusing on improving their service.
What the Ayes say?
Many ISPs say they support FCCs Net Neutrality Rules, but what matters is when the rules are repealed. They won’t support the despicable practices that naysayers are warning about. On this issue, most companies are tight-lipped on the policies that they’ll keep in the future. In fact, they supported the move to eliminate the existing rules.
FCC Chairman AjitPai is insistent that after alterations in the rules are implemented it will be business as usual for American users.
FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielley said, “Claims that the net neutrality repeal will destroy the internet are a scary bedtime story for the children of telecom geeks.”
Free Press and its allies will take the FCC to court and launched a campaign to demand that Congress overturn the FCC order. Although countries are not affected by the US issue of Net Neutrality Rules they are eagerly awaiting the winner of the internet battle – the ISPs or consumers?