Net neutrality is the principle that guides our usage and free communications online. It stipulates that internet service providers allow free access to content and applications regardless of their author or source. It also prevents the favoring or blocking of any particular product or website – something which would seriously harm marketing efforts of many brands.
Yet net neutrality isn’t black and white and as you look closely at the internet, you can see many interesting aspects of net neutrality that you might not have expected.
1. Net Neutrality Was Nearly Destroyed
In May 2014, Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, announced his plans to allow internet service providers to use a pay-to-play fast lane. This would have given certain companies an advantage over their competitors and would have changed the entire internet marketing landscape.
But the online community spoke out against this and the huge public and political outcry was enough that the original plan was shelved by Tom Wheeler on February 4, 2015. Instead he stated he was going to base new Net Neutrality rules on the Title II of the Communications Act. This would give internet users the strongest protection available. These plans were accepted at the end of the same month.
2. Net Neutrality Is The Same As Open Internet
Both Net Neutrality and Open Internet are there to enable and protect your right of free speech on the internet. In theory, service providers should give you access to open networks and not block or discriminate against any content that has been published on the internet.
This is similar to how a phone company allows you to call any phone number and say what you want or you can buy any product in a shop without fear.
Free speech is a guiding principle of the US constitution and an integral part of the nation’s identity. Therefore, commentators would suggest that an open internet is the natural course.
3. Net Neutrality Isn’t Universal
While it may seem that restricting access to content online would be expensive, there are many nations around the world that actively pursue censorship when it comes to internet user behavior. For example, North Korea actively restricts access to certain websites which are deemed too western.
This isn’t the only place. Even in America some sites are deemed improper and taken offline. The majority of these sites are often related to Islamic extremists or illegal activities. At the same time, some websites have been blocked by service provides when the site in question has offered pirated material and breached copyright laws.
So while the government does pursue an active interest in Net Neutrality, there are instances when the internet is censored.
4. The FCC’s Open Internet Order
The 2010 order by the FCC was created to prevent broadband service providers from blocking or interfering with web traffic. In essence it was supposed to encourage a ‘level playing field’ for all content providers.
However, in January 2014, a court ruling stated a questionable legal framework in the design of the order and a lack of FCC authority to enforce the rules. This means that technically, net neutrality is at risk.
The court was not against the principle of the open internet; it just means that there needs to be a reclassification of net neutrality and new ways developed to protect users and content publishers.
5. Net Neutrality Is Important For Your Business
Open internet and net neutrality is an important issue for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. You rely on the internet to create a market and advertise your products to an ever increasing audience. Without net neutrality, those organizations with significant financial resources and who are already established would have a massive advantage over you.
This could be disastrous for business as well as sustainable economic growth. Therefore it is important you campaign for an open internet and net neutrality.
Have you campaigned for net neutrality? What are your opinions about open internet?
Netari Global Communications Group
Netari GCG is a leading IT consulting firm and technology services distributor offering design, sourcing, and lifecycle management for your IT infrastructure. We provide a network of over 250 global suppliers specializing in diverse technologies including: Security, Internet, Network, Voice, Data Center, Cloud, Enterprise Applications, and Managed Services.
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