FCC’s Decision on Net Neutrality: In 2 minutes
It is important to discuss what Net Neutrality means.
Definition: 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.
Analogy: Net neutrality would protect unfairness and inconsistencies, both in terms of monetary value and internet latency. Without it, think of a world where your sibling gets served dinner before you, a world where taxis drive you slower than other customers, and finally, a world where there might be a special highway for luxury cars, but a slower lane for ordinary cars. While these examples had nothing with the internet, they serve to provide a crucial analogy of what Net Neutrality prevents.
Internet and Television Providers Throughout the United States
Why might the end of Net Neutrality be Good or Bad?
- This is a tricky question, because we first need to ask, who will this be good for? For the consumers, it is unlikely that they will see drastic changes anytime soon. However, this will give internet conglomerates such as Comcast, Verizon and AT@T the chance to maintain their oligopoly, and even take advantage of this excess of freedom which might negatively impact the consumers.
- If conglomerates have control over the material broadcasted, they might take advantage of the market to seek financial profit on highly viewed websites. For examples, Portugal is a country without Net Neutrality protection. In Portugal, companies pay their Internet Service Providers (ISP) to access just the basic internet, and then they pay an additional fee to view popular content such as Amazon, PayPal, YouTube and more.
- Some services have already become cheaper to consumers through so-called “zero rating” deals offered by wireless carriers. These deals include free access to high-bandwidth apps and sites like Netflix and HBO that don’t count toward a user’s mobile-data plan.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Board Members
With great power comes great responsibility. And in a time and age where the internet may unarguably be the most powerful tool in the world, it is important to consider who we should let govern the regulations of what consumers across the nation view. The end of Net Neutrality would simply mean that Internet Providers would have the freedom to act in their self interest.
People are for and against this, but before picking a side, it is important to dissect this entire conundrum and go deeper into how this effects you, the consumer.
That’s 2 minutes! See you next time!