Net Neutrality Changes

Net Neutrality Image of Computers

Net neutrality is a hot topic right now due to the prospect of changes being made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to current net neutrality rules. In 2015 the FCC confirmed the current rules to ensure that all data going through the internet would be treated equally as far as providers were concerned. In general what this means is that no matter how large, or small the organization is the internet service provider (ISP) has to provide equal access to them. With the new changes being discussed of relaxing, or doing away with the rules many people are concerned it will change the open nature of the internet, and the way that it is able to be used.

Some of the typical arguments from those who wish for things to remain the same is that the current rules spur innovation, allow for equal access and provide a common good. They also say that ISP providers would favor their partners, slow access for some, raise prices and limit their competitors. For those who are against net neutrality they typically argue that more innovation could take place since ISP’s would be paid more for what they provide, it would be in their best interest not to block other providers, it is only fair that large consumers of their capacities should pay more, and the free market should dictate winners instead of the government.

So how will you be affected? That remains to be seen. In the short term you probably will not experience any drastic changes no matter what happens. In the longer term if net neutrality is modified you may see higher costs and limits on what you can connect to using the internet. Of course new technologies could be developed that would change the way information is searched for and provided. Either way it is an interesting debate and probably should be driven by what is fair to everyone involved.