All you need to learn about the challenges on how to treat the online information – internet service providers may not be allowed to block any kind of data and line up others. The fundamental idea of net neutrality is that internet providers such as Xfinity, Mediacom Xtream internet, and Verizon must treat all the information floating on the internet transmitted through their cell towers and cable without any biases. This also means that the internet service providers must not be allowed to slide in some data through their fast lanes without discriminating any other source of information and blocking anything irrespective of how substantial that is or not.
In more simple words, telecom service providers should not be able to slow down other services like Hulu or Netflix in order to indirectly discouraging them to sign up for an alternate video-streaming service and keep the cable services activated rather – or not allowing the access to certain apps like Skype.
The Federal Communications Commissions have spent ages for carrying out net neutrality protections under Bush and Obama administrations both. A sequence of legal defeats against the broadband service providers later, in 2015, FCC finally passed a net neutrality order. However, in 2017, the now Republican-controlled FCC to discard that Net Neutrality Order (2015), allowing internet service providers to block and regulate the online content as per their preferences unless the courts or Congress their choices.
Advocates of Net Neutrality have been debating for quite some time now that the internet should be an open and unbiased platform for all which is significant for growth and innovation both. The partiality from broadband providers will not let others and new contenders in the market grow if they cherry-pick things for their customers. If we go back in the 2000s and assume that internet providers have had restricted content or straight-up blocked websites, we would not have gotten YouTube and Netflix today.
Furthermore, advocates emphasize the implication of net neutrality in terms of freedom of expression, where letting a couple of big telecom providers lead the entire internet market. This brings an unjustifiable and huge power to the ISP which can be used to suppress certain viewpoints or may restrict the online expression of those who are paying them.
A great majority of the ISP assured they will not restrict nor block online content since the ruling, also the FCC debates that conventional antitrust laws may revoke the providers from stumbling upon their market competitors. However, the advocates of net neutrality are afraid that we may soon see fast lanes appearing online. Chances are these broadband service providers who may even start charging companies for offering priority treatment. The concern arises when with time, organizations and/or companies that can neither afford the priority treatment nor can get access may drop from the line.
Future predictions for Net Neutrality
Moving forward, the net neutrality now depends on the courts, Congress and the states. Congress, at this point, is considering around three proposals regarding net neutrality. The proposal which is supported by Democrats may overturn the decision FCC took in 2017, thus leaving the previous 2015 ruling in place. The law passed in the Senate already with three Republicans in support and rest of the Senate’s Independents and Democrats. Republicans outnumbered Democrats 235 to 193 in the House of Representatives will decide next with votes. If it takes place in the House, it shall require the approval of President Trump’s, or a great number sufficient enough for Congressional vote to overturn his veto.
Why we need Net Neutrality?
Imagine a scenario where spectrum slows down your video stream from Fox News turning into pixelated content and endorsing their own show’s stars. Or, in another situation, Verizon that owns the Huffington Post charges you extra if you visit any website of their competitor. Now the fear is and probability says that it can be a real scenario which is why activists and advocates are fighting to get net neutrality law passed.
The standards of net neutrality imply that internet service providers must treat online traffic without impartiality, irrespective of the content or its owner, or any political or social affiliation. No one’s cellphone data should be able to revoke them from using Skype or any other application of their choice. The broadband internet at home should also not be able to slow down Netflix or any other live-streaming app nor should it discourage in any way on which website the customer should visit or not.