You’ve probably heard the term floating around recently, especially with today’s protests, but what exactly is “Net Neutrality”? Otherwise known as “open internet”, Net Neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should give its customers equal access to all content online. This means that no content would be given favorable speed, or conversely, no content would be slowed down intentionally.
Although we currently have an open internet, net neutrality has recently been challenged. Wireless and broadband companies have lent their support to remove the regulations they’ve abided by, while consumers and advocated alike lead an outcry in the name of transparency, accessibility, and censorship.
The chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai announced plans to roll back what Obama’s administration put in place to retain net neutrality. He explained,
“Repealing Obama-era Internet regulations will benefit all Americans. It will restore Internet Freedom by ending government micromanagement and returning to the bipartisan regulatory framework that worked well for decades.”
While Pai said he doesn’t believe ISPs should slow down speed for certain sites or specific content, he is not proposing an explicit regulation to ensure this doesn’t take place. Pai and broadband companies both argue that once the regulations aren’t in place, investments will shoot back up (which he says have been declining).
For those advocating for net neutrality, the potentials benefits come attached with a serious threat. They believe innovation and restricted competition due to a more expensive entry barrier, will transform the internet as we know it to look more like TV today. Meaning your ISPs would dictate what content you can access online, leading to diminishing availability of what you can see.
No matter what side of the debate you fall on, it’s important to show support for those fighting for your beliefs. Explore issues and the politicians on your side on PolitcalBank.com
Lauren Murrah is a social media manager at Political Bank. She strives to bring valuable & informative stories to voters & politicians alike.