blog post 1
What makes the Internet great? Is it the endless information readily available? Is it the infinite connections people make around the world with a click of the mouse? Is it Netflix? Or it is the hilarious videos of Charlie biting his brother’s finger? The Answer is D, all of the above. The Internet is great, and where I spend most of my time, because of its free and open concept. There is little censorship online and every website is accessible equally. The Internet was always meant to be an open and free flow of ideas, and Net Neutrality keeps it that way.
Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. Without Net Neutrality, Internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast, can give faster Internet service to whoever can pay more and block or throttle (slow down) their competitors. This will stifle innovation; new upcoming websites will have a very difficult time growing or becoming successful.
Think about it if AT&T and Comcast could charge more money for poplar sites to run faster they wouldn’t or slow down the speeds of any website that was talking bad about their company if they could. Of course, but Net Neutrality prevents them. Also, if Net Neutrality was no longer here new better websites would never gain popularity. If Myspace was running at speed 100 at its prime and Facebook was only running at 50 would anyone would have switch over? Facebook innovated social media and improve upon the user experience, but if upcoming websites like Facebook did not have these opportunity the internet progress would have slow down.
The sad part is the Internet cannot survive in this beloved form without Net Neutrality, but the average person has no idea what it is or that Net Neutrality was a threat. The big service providers and Congress have been trying to pass laws to censor the Internet and make it legal to give special fast lanes to websites for five years. Some big bills they tried to pass without the knowledge of the public were S.O.P.A and A.C.T.A. Thankfully, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a stand to make the Internet a public utility so that Net Neutrality would be protected under law, specifically Title II. This response to the net neutrality issue is the first big step in the right direction. However, Internet service providers are not giving up, AT&T and Comcast are filing lawsuits to remove this law.
The public’s response has been lacking, but building momentum. Mainly the public awareness has been growing because of the Internet campaigns like Save the Internet and Battle for the Net. As of 2014, Save the Internet has received over 1 million signatures and is growing exponentially. Also, large websites like Netflix, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and Google are actively supporting Net Neutrality and are actively lobbying against Internet companies.
Although the response to the Net Neutrality issue has been growing, it is not where it should be. Ideally, through education and awareness this issue will become more relevant and be resolved in the next couple of years. Having Net Neutrality projected for the future generation is very important to the growth and success of this nation. Please sign the online petitions, contact your Congressman or woman, and spread the word about this undervalued issue.
“Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now.” Save the Internet. Free Press, 2014. Web. 06 July 2015.