What is net neutrality? Have you been coming across this term a lot these days, and most of your friends have been posting pictures about saving the internet and net neutrality? Do you have an idea what net neutrality actually means, and should you care about saving the internet? We are here to break it down for your today.
This is Net Neutrality Explained!!
Before getting into the discussion on the pros and cons of net neutrality and what’s going on in the world of internet today, let’s back up a little.
Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the internet clearly stated, “When I designed the Web, I deliberately built it as a neutral, creative and collaborative space, building on the openness the Internet offered. My vision was that anyone, anywhere in the world could share knowledge and ideas without needing to buy a license or ask permission from myself or any CEO, government department or committee. This openness unleashed a tidal wave of innovation, and it is still powering new breakthroughs in science, commerce, culture and much more besides”.
Here is A Video From NYT that explains everything is excruciating detail.
What Is Net Neutrality??
His idea completely explains the internet as a neutral medium and should be provided in a same way to all the users all over the world connected to it. His idea also supports that each packet in a network connection should be treated equally and should not be prioritized in any means or for any reasons whatsoever.
This is called Net Neutrality. In simple terms, let’s say you are from Australia and you are connected to the internet and watching Netflix in Australia. And you are also downloading an application from any download provider.
So, by the definition of net neutrality, you ISP should deliver the content at the same speed the main server sends the data to your computer via the ISP and there should be no throttling or any kinds of barrier between the content you are accessing or requesting and the provider of that content.
Net Neutrality is the principle on which internet and the Internet Providers have been working on. Providing the internet services to the users and generating revenue by providing the services to them, depending on the user’s needs.
What has changed?
Well, now the telecom companies want to revise the previous principal and law and are claiming that they also need a share on the revenue that the content providers are generating, which the users have been using or accessing via the ISP.
This can be explained in different ways.
What ISPs are really trying to do is, trying to change the way the internet is meant to be. They are simply trying to change internet into a service that provides subscriptions to different kinds of packages and you will have to buy the packages that are of your Interests. For e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Linked In might be into one package and if you want to watch videos online, then you will have to buy another package and that package might provide you YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix and other services.
This is not the end of the story, ISPs are asking the giants of the internet that cover most of the internet’s bandwidth, more money to get their services to the customers.
Here is A Infographic From SafeInternet.org. Which demonstrates a scenario with net neutrality and without net neutrality.
What’s wrong with this new idea?
Well, technically everything is wrong. The internet is meant to be free, and should be. Yes, its true that ISP’s are investing millions of dollars to set up the infrastructures and provide the internet to respective country they are based on. But they are getting paid for the internet service they provide and that’s totally up to them, how much they charge and what standard of service they provide. And the users have to pay for the services that they use.
But what telecommunications are really asking is, they are asking for a share of the revenue. Or indirectly they want to control the data that is passed through them to the user.
According to recent research Netflix covers around 30% of total internet bandwidth. So, some ISP’s have been found guilty for throttling Netflix services on their user’s connection and later on demanded extra money from Netflix promising them to improve their transfer speed. Read more about ISPs slowing down Netflix here.
Eventually their speed increased and went back to normal after they came into the deal with the ISPs.
Finally Breaking Everything Down
- Net Neutrality is good and this is the principle that defines internet as a neutral medium and should be accessible equally without any discrimination to everyone connected to the internet.
- ISP wants to make more money from the internet services and want to package the services into different categories and make the user pay for any subscription they need.
- ISP is open to the idea of throttling the data on the internet and, prioritize the data that is delivered to the user, based on the amount of money the service provider e.g. Netflix is willing to pay for.
- Being a user, you might have to pay more money to access the services that you have actually paid for in higher speed.
- Finally, this will kill the internet and turn it into a service not much different as a cable TV, where you have to get a connection and again pay for the channels that you want to watch. The worst part here is that, you will have to pay more money to watch the channels in good quality.
Despite everything, ISPs have to realize that they are nothing without the users, though they introduce this into practice, but only the major companies might be using it.
And then what?? Billions of users all around the world will not tolerate this and this act might have to be reviewed.
Till this day, this is just an idea that they want to implement and yet might not be brought into practice in the near future.
So, what do you think about Net Neutrality and the new Idea of the telecommunications and ISPs to charge for every byte that goes through them.
Having Said That, It’s An Honor And Privilege To Have You Here! If You Find It Informative In Any Means, Do Not Forget To Share!