What is net neutrality and what does it mean to you and me

Imagine this, you and your partner are getting together for a night of “Netflix and Chill,” and as you start the movie for the night, you spend 45 minutes watching “the circle of death,” better known as the loading screen.

That would the reality of not having “net neutrality,” and most people don’t even know what it means and why it should be important to everyone from Bill Gates to average “joe” like you.

photo from mauroalfieri.it
photo from mauroalfieri.it

The definition of net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers like Verizon and Xfinity (Comcast) and governments should treated all data on the internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially.

That means it doesn’t matter where you are from or where you currently live. Everyone is entitled to equal internet service.

The reason that those two internet providers are listed by name up above is because they have been accused before of “throttling,” which means that they secretly slow your service without telling you. This is currently illegal, but recent talks in the FCC have included repealing the net neutrality policy which was set by the Obama Administration in 2015.

Ajit Pai, the current chairman of the FCC is the main person behind the plan of eliminating net neutrality. His argument is that under the current rules, investments have flourished leading to businesses losing money.

The main argument for net neutrality is that companies could start to charging money to use their sites. Companies like Yahoo!, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft want the people to control the data.

In Portugal, something like this happened where you have to buy a bundle to use the certain apps.  Under the current rules, a loophole can allow for this to happen but no company has been bold to do this.

So, what does this mean for you. Well, you don’t have a say in this besides voting for president. The FCC chairman is appointed by the president and after that they do their own things. This means, your words will most likely go on deaf ears.

Companies will always make their money, it doesn’t matter what the decision is, they will find their money.

And finally, nothing will really change for you. Companies will NOT start charging you money for using their websites. That’s a Federal Trade Commission(FTC) violation.

Net neutrality may have been coined in 2003 but it was just put into code in 2015. Before then, there was never really any trouble. Well besides the two instincts with Comcast and Verizon, nothing really happened.

This is once again a political battle blown out of proportion.