A few months back, you may be sitting in your office, home or at some cafe, surfing the internet when suddenly your feed started to be overwhelmed with two words: “Net neutrality”
You may have read a few articles on it, talked to your friends about it, and even sent a few emails to your internet service providers asking about it.
The truth is, not everyone knows much about net neutrality. It is mostly due to lack of time & lack of clear definitive information about it. We realize that not everyone fully understands the concept and therefore we have taken the responsibility to try to explain it to you.
What is net neutrality?
Okay so, let’s start with what is net neutrality.
Net neutrality is defined as the idea that the Internet Service providers should treat each user, website, app and other internet elements fair and square with absolutely no partiality. It means that the internet should be free, and accessible to everyone. It means that a person using the internet in Africa should have the same access to the web as a person using the internet in the USA will have.
Isn’t the internet already like that?
Aren’t ISP’s the most innocent ones alive?
Isn’t the internet equal to everyone?
Unfortunately no, no and definitely no.
There have been many instances in the past where ISP’s were caught meddling with websites and user’s data. Some ISPs even forged packets of the internet to slow, block or manipulate the internet bandwidth & protocols.
They have tried before
That’s what the FCC has been trying to combat for many years. The Federal Communications Commission wants the internet to be open, legal and accessible to everyone. But with so many giants monopolizing the online world, it isn’t an easy task.
In 2010, FCC tried to come up with a new set of rules that would define an ideal internet for everyone. Unfortunately, it was far from being ideal and had some loopholes in it. Verizon challenged the rules legally & FCC in return had to take back the rules and started working on new ones.
Millions of people raised their voices
But this time, it wasn’t just the FCC that raised its concerns for an open and free internet, millions of users from all over the world showed their concern & support for net neutrality. You may be familiar with the hashtag #netneutrality. It almost became a rage on every social platform. And it worked. Governments involved in the matter and it had to be taken much more seriously than it might have otherwise.
These millions of people all over the world forced the FCC to speed up the process and come up with rules that will force the internet giants to ensure a free and open internet. And it was mainly due to this mass public activity that FCC came up with new rules that many actually supported.
Unfortunately, they stepped back
However, these rules didn’t prevail for long. Due to reason unconfirmed, the Chairperson of FCC revoked those laws just two years later. Even though the FCC faced a lot of criticism from millions of people, small businesses and other entities that would be affected by the revoke of those laws, they still didn’t stand with those laws.
There’s still much hope
However, all is not doomed yet. The FCC has been challenged in court & chances are that the rules can be once again implemented. If it does so, the internet will be a better place to be. Congress can act accordingly and once the court approves, the Congress can overturn the FCC’s order. But in order to ensure this, Internet service providers must be transparent in their processes. They shouldn’t be vague about how they handle the internet.
All we want is to have an internet that was promised to us. An internet that is FREE, OPEN and not biased. This treats us with equality and to ensure this, everyone involved needs to be responsible for their duties.