You may have seen the term “Net Neutrality” being thrown around a lot on the Internet lately. As of June 11, 2018, Net Neutrality is officially gone. But, what does that mean? What even is net neutrality? Is it good? Is it bad? How does this affect me?
Well, net neutrality is the idea that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can’t discriminate based on who you are, the kind of websites you visit, what you are using to visit those websites, or anything else. With net neutrality, everything is equal on the Internet. On the other hand, without net neutrality, your ISP can discriminate. They can charge you more if you decide you want to visit certain websites like Netflix or Amazon or any website they feel like. They can slow down your Internet if you visit certain websites. They can even completely block certain websites, so you can’t access them at all. It lets ISPs control the Internet, manipulating it as they see fit, to benefit them, at your expense.
ISPs can further use this new freedom to control what content is available and what content is not. They can block content that they disagree with, content that doesn’t compile with the ISPs rules, or the content of small businesses that can’t afford to pay ISPs to allow their content. It allows ISPs to censor the Internet. And while this is not happening now, the potential that it could happen at any momeent is a concern. The Internet has always been a place of absolute freedom, where people can say what they want and pursue their dreams. But without net neutrality, that freedom that we have all enjoyed may be in jeopardy.
So, while no net neutrality may benefit the ISPs, it has the potential to severally hurt the people, censoring and controlling the Internet how the ISPs see fit. No net neutrality is still new here in the U.S., so we shall see how it impacts the Internet. So, watch the Internet, and watch your Internet bill.