The Internet's Future and the Possibility of Net Neutrality
Its hard to imagine life without the Internet. In fact, a whole generation has grown up with Internet access as its norm. The Internet has changed dramatically throughout its relatively short existence, thanks to the limitless contributions of people worldwide. But what would the Internet look like if those contributions required financial backing in order to be readily seen by users?
Understanding Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality means that the Internet is a level playing field, offering the same opportunities to the small guy as the big multinational companies. To date, it has served the web well by fostering equality.
- The premise is that there should be no gatekeepers between users and the Internet.
- All websites should load equally quickly and be equally accessible.
- Those surfing the Internet should be able to move about freely, discovering the many things the web has to offer.
- Users who want to create websites should be able to do so easily and without interference from large organizations.
- Large corporations who could afford to pay extra to increase the visibility and speed of access to their websites should not be able to do so.
Is Net Neutrality Weakening?
Recently, there have been proposals from Internet providers about the possibility of charging a fee to the owners of websites. Such a fee would speed up access to those sites. This would guarantee that websites that have paid the fee would be more quickly accessible to users than websites that have not paid the fee. It would rock the very foundation of net neutrality. Such proposals led to a standoff vote held in late February by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC Has Determined the Fate of the Internet
With its vote on February 26, the FCC upheld the Net Neutrality of the Internet by a 3-2 vote. This ensures free open access to the Internet for big and small companies and all users. Internet service providers are required to provide neutral gateways to the Internet service, not tiered ones based on cost. It is seen by many as a win for free speech.
Were thrilled with the reaffirmation of Net Neutrality. It helps to protect users, businesses, and investors, who would have been vulnerable to the whims of online giants like Facebook, who could easily afford the Internet fast track.
Now that web content will remain equitably accessible, the only thing that affects the speed of your Internet usage is the provider you choose from your Internet service. Consider changing Internet service providers in your neighborhood and get the fastest, most reliable service to meet your needs.