Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A view on Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality and why should it matter? 

Net neutrality is the guiding concept behind everything that we get to do on the Web. Right now, there are no restrictions of any kind on access to content on the Web, no restrictions on downloads or uploads, and no restrictions on communication methods (email, chat, IM, etc.). Net neutrality is the assurance that access to the Web and its content will not be blocked, slowed down, or sped up depending on where that access is based or who owns the access point(s).
In other words, it is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

Main concerns:
  1. Discrimination: The Internet was designed as an open medium. The fundamental idea since the Internet's inception has been that every Web site, every feature and every service should be treated without discrimination. That's how bloggers can compete with CNN or USA Today for readers. That's how up-and-coming musicians can build underground audiences before they get their first top-40 single. That's why when you use a search engine, you see a list of the sites that are the closest match to your request -- not those that paid the most to reach you. Discrimination can endanger the basic Internet freedoms.
  2. Double-dipping: Traditionally, network owners have built a business model by charging consumers for Internet access. Now network owners want to charge for access to the network, and then charge for the things you do while you're on-line. They may not charge you directly via pay-per-view Web sites. But they will charge all the service providers you use. These providers will then pass those costs along to you in the form of price hikes or new charges to view content.
  3. Stifling innovation: Net Neutrality ensures that innovators can start small and dream big about being the next EBay or Google without facing insurmountable hurdles. Unless we preserve Net Neutrality, start-ups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web. On a tiered Internet controlled by the phone and cable companies, only their own content and services - or those offered by corporate partners that pony up enough "protection money" - may enjoy life in the fast lane.
Some opponents of net neutrality argue that prioritization of bandwidth is necessary for future innovation on the Internet. Telecommunications providers such as telephone and cable companies, and some technology companies that supply networking gear, argue Telecom providers should have the ability to provide preferential treatment in the form of tiered services, for example by giving on-line companies willing to pay the ability to transfer their data packets faster than other Internet traffic. The added revenue from such services could be used to pay for the building of increased broadband access to more consumers.

Where we stand
It remains to be seen if net neutrality will face serious opposition or support via legislation, since both sides have a vested interest in seeing their proposals written into law. Net neutrality is gaining increasing exposure as an issue that merits careful consideration by all Web users.

What are your thoughts about this topic?

If you enjoyed this article, please consider tipping me using Bitcoin. Bitcoin Address: 1CZMXfdyJzquJaagpHixzizuN2SxFbefTP

Image: http://www.tubefilter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/net-neutrality-600x369.jpg

Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in London, UK. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.