Right now, a battle is being waged over Net Neutrality and how you can use and access the internet. We all thought this was settled a few years ago. The internet was protected and people went about their day. No one asked for it, but recently the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a rollback which would throw us right back to where we started, totally gutting Net Neutrality protections. So, let’s be clear, this affects everyone that uses the internet. Of course, many of you might be wondering what net neutrality is and why it’s such a big deal. Well, we’re here to give you a rundown on what it is, what the fight is about, and how you can get involved. Here are 25 Things You Need To Know About Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is a principle that says internet service providers (ISP's) should treat all web traffic the same. Many have argued it directly affects their right to Freedom of Speech if networks can throttle and control internet traffic.
A fierce battle ensued in 2015 over Net Neutrality, and the FCC decided to reclassify the internet as a "common carrier" like telephones. In doing so, the FCC cemented its authority to regulate broadband ISP's and protect Net Neutrality.
With this new authority, the FCC can issue fines to broadband networks that throttle, block, or discriminate against content on websites. They can also penalize broadband networks that charge fees for faster rates of data for only specific websites.
Prior to Net Neutrality, a wide range of examples exist of broadband networks blocking content. For instance, AOL Time Warner blocked all emails that had "www.dearaol.com," which advocated against AOL's pay-to-send email scheme. Bellsouth also blocked its users from accessing MySpace.com in Tennessee and Florida.
Net Neutrality does not mean big internet companies like Yahoo! and Google get a free ride and don't have to pay higher prices for higher bandwidth. Net Neutrality merely ensured broadband providers don't play favorites.
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