Net neutrality sometimes called network neutrality, internet neutrality or net equality, is the principle that all data on the internet should be treated as the same by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government regulatory commissions by not discriminating or charging differently per user, content, application, site, type of equipment attached or the mode of communication.
There have been many debates with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) about Net Neutrality. Net neutrality will come out as a winner in a historical voting if it gets three out of the votes to be cast by the five members of FCC. Agitators of net neutrality will be overwhelmed with joy if this result comes true. This result will indicate that the FCC has taken over the legal authority of the Internet service providers and will work to make sure that free internet services become equal with those that are paid.
This is already shaking the cores of companies like Verizon and Comcast because they will be obliged to regulate and follow the new rules that will be set by FCC. Some ISPs (Internet service providers) have strongly stood against the idea of Net neutrality, making claims that the idea will greatly endanger and prevent processes of innovations in the digital world. But since broadband have been classified under Title II under the Telecommunication act, it will be very difficult for them not to follow the regulations and rules put in place by FCC.
Coming Thursday will be the end of the debate on Net neutrality. The fate of millions and internet users will be decided by the FCC voting panel. Shivers is already going down across the USA while thousands of Americans will sleep through it; others know the decision is going to change their lives forever. It will have a direct impact on the availability and prices of the services offered on the internet. Net-neutrality agitators have taken to twitter to motivate themselves while hoping to hear positive news.
While the wait is still on, the FCC panel has brought up new issues and rules on which the voting will be carried out.
Tom Wheler, who is currently the FCC chairman, proposed set different rules and issues that will be discussed on Thursday and voted on. Ajit Pai, the FCC Commission who stands as opposition to net neutrality thinks the control over the internet will go straight into the hands of the FCC. Some of the issues and rules proposed by Tom Wheeler are;
- ISPs will not be allowed to block any content or website that is legal and does not pose a danger to anyone.
- ISPs will not be allowed to accelerate the internet connection speed of users when they are viewing other websites. This rule will put an end to Throttling.
- ISPs will stop supporting their favorite websites and streaming services because as of now there is no rule set that is preventing ISPs from providing additional benefits to a website that pay.
- ISPs will always ensure that they do not unintentionally or intentionally harm consumers.
- The transparency of the internet which will help understand how various corporations and companies are managing their cyberspace and the impacts it poses to the common man will be discussed and voted on.
- ISPs will be responsible if contents are not distributed equally. This will make it mandatory for ISPs to treat all streaming websites equally.
At the end, the 26th of February, 2016 is previously tackling so many speculations. It suggests that all three republicans may vote in favor of net neutrality. Although the public may enjoy the result, at first, it may haunt them in the future because if a bill is passed, ISPs won’t be allowed the favoritism they are currently enjoying and thereby people can be asked to pay more for the internet services they are currently using at cheaper rates.