Why Net Neutrality is Important

Net Neutrality LogoNet neutrality. You've probably heard of it (as its in the news a lot lately). A lot of people and companies, organizations, and people are arguing that Net Neutrality is good and very important to maintain. Yet, Net Neutrality appears to be 'under attack' recently.

So what is Net Neutrality?

Here is the definition according to Wikipedia.

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.[1] The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier, which was used to describe the role of telephone systems.

So in a nutshell, Net Neutrality's premise is that access to all (or at least the vast majority) is very important. If access to the Internet is controlled by any entity such as government or corporations, it's argued that the ability for everyone to access the Internet will be greatly hindered.

Simply put...

Net neutrality is the idea that all Internet traffic should be equal.

The United Nations has stated that Internet access is a human right!

But in today's politically charged environment, some argue that Net Neutrality is 'bad for business'. From what I've read many of those against Net Neutrality argue that it's against free market principles. Many argue that Net Neutrality stifles free competition. To quote one Jessica Meligun in a posted commentary on PalmBeachReport.com "A vibrant broadband industry will address the potential concerns of net neutrality advocates without the downside of oppressive regulation." (Yeah... this site almost looks like "fake news" but when I researched it the site is run by Cox News, which is a company that appears to be a legitimate company based out of Atlanta).

Net Neutrality. The Pros and Cons! Where do YOU stand?

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But I digress...

So why are so many tech firms, like Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet (a.k.a. Google) making pitches to keep Net Neutrality before US politicians try to change laws squashing the concept?

Net Neutrality Cartoon

Photo Credit: Blue Fetch

Let's have Steve Wozniak (the "woz"), co-founder of Apple explain why he feels Net Neutrality is so important.

My Stance?

I'm Canadian, eh. I benefit from universally provided services like health insurance. (Yes, I can truly state from my personal experience that I do benefit from excellent health care in Canada without the concern of going bankrupt if I get sick.) And I'm also a business owner. I understand the concept of enterprize and business competition that can benefit consumers.

But when it comes to the Internet, I do believe that some regulation that provides a more universal online access is worth fighting for. I am pro Net Neutrality. I also believe that it's up to each individual to learn more about Net Neutrality and make up their own mind. You can choose to back it or argue against Net Neutrality but sooner or later you may find that changes to laws that alter how we access online will affect you... for better or worse.

How About You?

Are you for or against Net Neutrality? Feel free to add your comments below.

More resources?

The Guide to the Open Internet ... aruging for "NN"

Net Neutrality from Blue Fetch Mobility ... a post highlighting pros and cons.

 

Roy McClean
Jul 12, 2017
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