When Will The Fight For an Open Internet Ends?
Last week, the Senate voted for the repeal of the Internet privacy protections approved by the FCC several months ago. These rules would have required ISPs to get permission from customers first before collecting and sharing customers’ information which includes geo-location and browsing history and to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared. With this repeal, concerns on the net neutrality rise again.
What is Net Neutrality?
With the way how we use the Internet these days, the net has become a utility much like electricity, fuel, and water. As a utility, the Internet enables us the freedom of access to a lot of information and the freedom of communication. Net neutrality means that ISPs should provide us with open networks and should not block any applications or content that ride over their networks.
ISPs are run by big cable and phone companies. Because of competition, they slow down the network going to a competitor but speed up the network going to a favored website. For a competitor to keep up, it is either it pays money to speed up the network going to its site or die.
Net neutrality is important to small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, and other relatively unknowns who rely on the open Internet to launch their business, promote their products or services, and create a niche for themselves. The Internet has become a fair and level playing field for everyone. And what’s good about it, everyone is thriving.
Yet, there are some people who work their way everywhere from Congress to the courts just to oppose net neutrality.
Which raises the question, when will the fight for an open internet ends?