The internet has irrevocably changed nearly every part of our lives. From the way we communicate to the way we do business, the instantaneous access to information and connection has made more possible than we could have imagined just twenty years ago. One of the best things about the internet is that it levels the playing field. No matter who you are, where you live, or how much money you have, you can introduce a new idea on the internet as long as you have access to a computer or a mobile device.
With the concept of net neutrality introduced in 2003 and later voted on by the FCC in 2015, rules were put in place to keep that playing field level without any intervention by big businesses or broadband providers. That may all come to an end, though, since the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality on December 14th. Some say the fight’s not over. Here’s what you need to know about this historic issue.
What is Net Neutrality?
With net neutrality, we have free and easy access to whatever content we want to view or disseminate online (as long as it’s legal). No one, including service providers like Comcast and Verizon, can speed up or slow down any connection based on what is being viewed. They also cannot block access to a site because they don’t agree with what is being put on the site. Net neutrality is our guarantee that we can communicate freely online and are not punished because our ideas and values may not fall in line with those in power.