Net Neutrality

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by Olivia and Ryan

Net neutrality is what keeps the internet free and equal for all people. The world wide web is known as an open internet, meaning that users can freely access and use all the websites. The purpose of net neutrality is to keep the online world a place without discrimination towards any person, opinion, site, or application. In may of 2014, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of FCC launched an idea for companies such as AT&T and Verizon to create pay-to-play policies online. This would give these companies the power to slow down certain websites IPS’s and even block or censor their content. The FCC implemented the Open Internet Order in 2010 that prevented large telecommunications from suppressing competition and new things. The order was written to “preserve the Internet as an open platform enabling consumer choice, freedom of expression, end-user control, competition, and the freedom to innovate without permission.”

President Obama also sanctioned Title II in 2014 which allows the FCC to regulate telecommunication companies as common carriers instead.  The government, the FCC, telecommunication companies, and everyday American citizens are affected by net neutrality and involved.  This issue can impact the regular, everyday American. “The fear is that ISPs will start discriminating against content using their services; for instance, charging content providers (i.e. Netflix) extra money for their internet-clogging traffic. That extra cost may be passed on to the users. ISPs could also do more subtle yet more nefarious things, such as discriminate against competitors, limit content, or favor services that pay them better.” For year by year information pertaining to net neutrality, check out the Net Neutrality Time Line.

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