If you’ve been reading news sites or have watched TV news, you’ve probably heard the heated political debate about net neutrality. The first thing to understand is, what is net neutrality? According to Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as “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.” Wikipedia defines it as “Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.”
With that being said, the basics behind it are that the users should be treated equally for all data on the internet, regardless of what they’re using it for. Whether you want to use it for surfing social networks, online gaming, or streaming Netflix all day, you should be treated equally. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) shouldn’t be able to throttle your internet speeds because of what you’re doing. They shouldn’t be able to force you to see ads before going to certain websites, and they shouldn’t be able to completely block you from sites.
The latest debate started when Senator Ted Cruz posted the following on Twitter:
"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
A blog called The Oatmeal put this tweet in perspective and created some graphics displaying what it would be like if there was no net neutrality. They went to the extreme to show you what could happen if the ISP’s had complete control over the internet.
Yesterday, President Obama released a statement with a plan to assure the internet would stay free and open. The plan still left some questions, but overall, it actually covers most of the current issues with the debate.
As the President made in his statement, the decision and future actions have to come from the FCC. There have been protests and many blogs posting about net neutrality, so please, do your research and do your part to encourage the FCC to enforce net neutrality so we can keep using the internet like we always have.
Update: Another good article to read about Obama’s plan was posted by The Verge: Obama just did the right thing for the internet — and made life hell for the FCC