HOW THE LOSS OF NET NEUTRALITY IS AFFECTING THE INTERNET USERS?

TAKE SIDES, NEUTRALITY HELPS THE OPPRESSOR, NEVER THE VICTIM.

  • ELIE WIESEL

We’re probably neutral on the net, neutrality is right now.

Net neutrality, or the open internet, is the idea that internet service providers (ISPs) are considered common carriers or public utilities. That means that ISPs must provide access to all websites and data equally, regardless of their content. Let me say it in an easier way, you are streaming your favorite show from a website 1, watching sports on a website2, reading the news on a website 3. Under the current regulation, ISPs are legally required to provide those sites to you at the same speed. Opponents of the current regulation claim the ISPs would recognize that you like the website and allow the website or the consumer to pay a premium to fast track the streaming from that site.

FEDERAL COMMISSION

Ajith Pal is the chairman of the Federal Communication, which regulates communications by wire, Tv, radio, satellite and cable. He thinks rolling back the regulation will help investment, innovation and job creation by creating more flexibility for ISPs. Supporters of the current regulation claim ISPs could take that information and slow down streaming, what’s called throttling, of your favourite show from website 1. That would encourage you to watch shows on website 2 or 3, where you previously preferred to watch sports or read the news. The FCC has voted on Dec 14th, 2017 to dismantle rules that require internet providers to give consumers equal access to all content online. Net neutrality means companies that comprise the backbone of the internet. Internet service providers or ISPs must treat all data the same. They can’t make deals with big companies to create a ‘fast lane’, where their data gets sent faster than other competitors’ data.

IS NEUTRALITY A GOOD THING?

The FCC votes in favour of strong net neutrality rules to keep the internet open and free. FCC is an agency where decisions regarding the internet are taken care of. The FCC had created new rules to protect net neutrality and ensure that neither the cable company nor the phone company should be able to act as a gatekeeper and restrict what you can do or see online.

The rules need to be followed are:

No blocking: — consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISPs should not be permitted to block it.

No throttling: — ISPs should not be able to intentionally show down some content or speed up others, this process often called as throttling. It is based on the type of service or your ISP's performance.

Increased transparency: — the connection between consumer and ISPs is not the only place, some sites will get special treatment.

No paid prioritization: — none of the services should get stuck because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping will undermine the level playing field which is essential to the internet’s growth.

If carefully the above rules are followed then there will be no burden for ISPs and can have clear monitored exceptions for specialized services. But by combining these rules which means everything for preserving the internet’s openness. The 3 biggest providers in the US are Verizon, AT and T and Comcast. They spend three times as much as their opposition. And the opponents include Google, level 3 communications and Microsoft. These companies are doing business as non- access providing ISPs. More than any other invention of our time, the internet has unblocked possibilities, we could just imagine a generation ago. Most internet providers are treating internet traffic equally.

India said yes to net neutrality on July 12th, 2018, Telecom Commission approved net neutrality recommendations from TRAI. When net neutrality takes off, then everything will be fundamentally changed about the internet.

-Keerthana Reddy R

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