Using the internet comes with certain expectations, like the ability to access any website you would like to visit or any content or application you would like to use. As an internet user, you expect that your service provider—more so the government—will not mess up or meddle with your right and freedom to consume the internet the way you want. That is the essence of net neutrality.
If this is your first time to encounter this hotly discussed issue in the recent times, then here are the most important facts you need to be aware of to see if your beliefs align with this position.
1. Net neutrality advocates free and open communication online
Net neutrality protects and enables our freedom of speech on the internet. This is the basic internet guiding principle that makes it possible for you to freely access and share any information you choose without anyone keeping you from doing so. This means that internet service providers or ISPs should not slow down, speed up, or block any content, app, or site that you want to view or interact with. It is how the internet has always worked.
2. Internet could be prone to abuse without it
Internet is all about open connectivity—without a set of reasonable net neutrality rules, the internet will lose what it is essentially. It will turn into a closed network controlled and manipulated by ISPs in various ways, like charging higher fees to content companies in exchange for favorable treatment or slowing down the content of competitors. If your ISP disagrees with the opinions expressed on your site or blog, it could be blocked.
3. Net neutrality is in danger
In a historic move, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted net neutrality rules in 2015 after so much lobbying from activists. Two years later, net neutrality is in danger of getting killed. The current FCC chairperson pushes to end this internet guiding principle, and the agency decided to allow the plan to push through.