When anyone goes online, they have certain expectations: to be connected to whatever website they want, that cable or phone companies aren’t messing with the data and are connecting to all websites, applications, and content chosen, as well as to be in control of their internet experience. So when they are using the internet, they are expecting something called Net Neutrality.
So What Is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that internet service providers (ISPs) should provide us with open networks — and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Many liken it to the common expectation that your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call or what you say on that call.
What Would Happen Without Net Neutrality?
Companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon will be able to call all the shots and decide which websites, content, and applications succeed.
They can now slow down their competitors’ content or block political opinions they disagree with. They can charge extra fees to the few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment — leaving everyone else to a slower rate of service.
What Are They Trying to do to Net Neutrality?
Millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and accessible in 2015. However, on Dec. 14, 2017, the FCC’s Republican majority approved Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut the Net Neutrality protections.
Ajit Pai ignored the widespread outcry against his plan from people ranging from lawmakers, companies, and public-interest groups.
People are calling on Congress to use a “resolution of disapproval” to overturn the FCC’s vote to dismantle the Net Neutrality rules.