Net neutrality is fundamentally the basic premise that all online data should be treated equally. In a nutshell, this means that information should flow freely without, discrimination, blocking or throttling internet usage by all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) or any governmental intervention; uncensored access, equal access, and unrestricted access for everyone. As Senator Franken (D. – Minn.) has been quoted, “Net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time.” The Internet was designed as an open medium of communication, in which all users are able to access all content without being restricted from doing so (with obvious exception being given to certain legalities related to certain types of content that fall beyond the scope of this blog post).
There are many arguing that net neutrality no longer exists. The FCC’s previous rulings on the matter were recently struck down, but in light of the publicity that the “citizens of the internet” have brought to this issue (including protests), the FCC is taking steps to create new net neutrality rules and ostensibly working to keep the public’s desires at heart (a first for the FCC, one could argue!). The FCC’s actions are not entirely altruistic, being concerned with the creation of monopolies and the like, but, the fact of the matter is that net neutrality is not yet dead… and that means that it’s not too late!
If net neutrality ceases, we could be looking at an internet bogged down by fees, where users must pay to access certain types of content. One in which the various streaming services available today, from NetFlix to Amazon would be imposed additional tolls that of course would then be passed onto the end users of their services. This would not affect just streaming services, but all content. Say you wanted access to the news websites, you could be charged a fee, and another fee could be charged if you wanted to look at internet memes. The sky would be the limit if net neutrality dies out completely. So yes, pay attention to anything involving net neutrality, and remember, as we said back in 2011 – “We here at HostGator support a free internet. An internet in which free information and unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right.” We still stand by this statement and we believe that you need to know what’s going on in the world of the internet today!Image Source: Color Lines. (2014). Net Neutrality. [image online] Available at: http://colorlines.com/assets_c/2013/09/net_neutrality_081310-thumb-640xauto-629-thumb-640xauto-9121.gif [Accessed: 27 Mar 2014].