Will Net Neutrality Save or Destroy the Internet?
Back in 2015, a set of rules designed to protect us from unfair Internet practices called Net Neutrality was put into place but as of June 11th those rules have expired. Net Neutrality is based on a principal that all Internet service providers treat all Internet traffic equally and don’t favor any one business or service over another in regards to speed, availability or blocked content.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led the battle against keeping Net Neutrality in place stating “Now, on June 11, these unnecessary and harmful internet regulations will be repealed and the bipartisan, light-touch approach that served the online world well for nearly 20 years will be restored.” In April, the Senate approved a measure to preserve net neutrality rules using the Congressional Review Act, and are waiting for the House’s consideration. More than 20 states have also filed a lawsuit to stop the repeal.
Experts are saying that without Net Neutrality it will only be a matter of time before ISPs will start censoring sites and services and even charging extra for users who want to access those sites or services. Plus they will have the ability to charge companies like Netflix more for the bandwidth they need to be able to stream high quality video into their subscribers homes.
The service providers such as Comcast and Verizon say it’s not fair for the government to micromanage their operations and that they should be allowed to utilize their bandwidth as they choose while companies such as Google and Facebook are concerned that they will be spending more money trying to maintain their current state of business if a service provider decides they want to offer preferred services to one of their own businesses. For example since Comcast owns NBC Universal and is in competition with Netflix for subscribers so if they want to speed up the connection to NBC Universal and slow down the connection for Netflix they can do that . Then Netflix would end up paying more to have the same bandwidth they did before and have to pass on those costs to their subscribers.
In the end it all comes down to trusting the companies that run the Internet and have control over speed and content. Without Net Neutrality rules we will have to rely on them to do the right thing even though they have the right to do whatever they want so for now we will just have to wait and see what happens.