How does Net Neutrality impact you?

When the internet was invented, the sole purpose was to bring the world closer and make information easily accessible at your fingertips. With time it has become a vital part of our lives, to the extent that we depend on it for the smooth functioning of our daily lives. As users of the internet, you would expect free consumption and communication through it. That is what the internet stands for. Thus, no content would be tracked or discriminated. An organisation should not have the right to obstruct or decide what content should you have access to or which webpages should you visit. Net neutrality makes all usage of the internet transparent. This damages businesses like that rely on the volume of website visitors.

In the United States, net neutrality has been a topic of contention since two decades. Throughout the early 21st century, both parties for and against net neutrality have lobbied in the Congress. The FCC or the Federal Communications Commission has titled broadband as a common carrier not an information provider. In 2004, it has promoted internet for freedom without regulation. This freedom meant freedom to access content, run applications, attach devices and obtain service plan information.

Thereafter, there were various court trials between FCC and many internet service providers during which many regulations were laid down and repealed. Then from 2005 to 2010, the FCC was adamant on enforcing net neutrality in the United States which included open applications, devices, services and networks. The Open Internet Order was passed in 2010 by the FCC and went into effect in 2015.

The change of parties and regulations began in 2017, when the Trump administration appointed Ajit Pai as the head of the FCC. Modifications and appeals to change the existing rules were made. Bringing internet service under Title II order and then repealing the net neutrality policy and bringing in new policies. Further on 14th December 2017, this repeal was approved. After which, there have been multi- state protests against illegal rollback of net neutrality.

Loss of net neutrality means you will now have to pay a subscription fee to have access to various resources and websites online. This also means, you will no longer be able to look for the recipe for the amazing dish you had earlier in the day on YouTube or network with people from within your area of expertise on LinkedIn, or post that amazing pic you clicked while on vacation if you haven’t paid the appropriate fee. Every website or application that you use online will be regulated and accessible only so long as your subscription lasts.

Right from small business owners to large businesses like Netflix, this decision affects all online businesses. Let us know what do you think of this decision taken by the government in the comments section below. Read more about other trending topics here.

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