In the world of technology, internet connection is certainly an underappreciated boon. People use broadband and other services to get the best and fastest internet possible. People want the liberty to choose what content you want to view and what not. On the contrary up till 2015, Internet Service providers (ISPs) had the control of the content that could be through them. Fortunately, in 2015, Net Neutrality bound the ISP’s hands behind their back and prevent them from blocking the traffic and offering paid “fast lanes”.
Net Neutrality is a term which was coined back in 2003 by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu. Net Neutrality is a principle that abides ISPs to follow some set rules. Under which, they must treat all the content on the Internet as equal. According to the rules, they must not discriminate or charge according to user, website, content, application, platform and more. In other words, ISPs can not deliberately block, charge money or slow down certain sites and online content.
When the rule came into being, it was Obama, who was leading the country but with the changes in the reign and arrival of Donald Trump, a lot of things got changed. The latest change is revoking Net Neutrality Rules. The official vote out was held by Federal Communication Commission and with the 3-2 vote results, Net Neutrality will no longer be protecting our rights of getting internet experience the way we want. It will take a few week for the repeal to come into effect, hence the changes will not be shown right away but the consumers will notice them soon.
The repeal got mixed reactions from the users and other communities. Some of them has also thought of filling a suit to oppose the revoke. Also, there came many justifications for the revoke.
Well, we will about them a little later in this post. Lets first know what would happen after the removal of the rules of Net Neutrality.
Must Read: Net Neutrality: Why You Should Care
Effects Of Removal Of Rules Of Net Neutrality
The ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T will now have the freedom to filter the content that reaches us. The companies would compel the consumers to watch the world from their eyes. They can now slow down their adversaries’ content or even block political opinions they fail to agree with. Moreover, they also charge extra to give preference to certain content or website companies. Ones that could afford it would be treated as superior and others will have to stay in shadow.
This is the not only the matter of concern. What about the activists and people who oppose certain movements. With these laws not in action, people would not be able to express their views out in the open. How will the unprecedented business or technology come into being? These might be so many other questions arises in people’s mind.
Net Neutrality has been very important and crucial for small businesses, entrepreneurs, startups, who depend on the internet to launch and flourish their business and advertise their products and services. Without it, they will not have a fair and square game to play. Their startups would be mere puppets of ISPs.
What’s The Immediate Effect?
As the news spread, many of the disparagers declared to fight against the ban. Many Democrats on Capitol Hill called for a bill which when come into effect will lift the ban from Net Neutrality. Numerous Democratic state attorneys general would file a suit to stop the change. Public Interest Groups such as Public Knowledge and the National Hispanic Media Coalition have also assured to file a suit. Along with all these, the Internet Association, which represents tech giants like Google and Facebook also thinking to take a legal action.
One of the Democratic commissioners, Mignon Clyburn is protesting the changes and her Twitter page is full of it.
She said, ““I dissent, because I am among the millions outraged. Outraged, because the F.C.C. pulls its own teeth, abdicating responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers.”
Brendan Carr, a Republican commissioner,called it a “great day” and repudiated critics’ “apocalyptic” warnings. Mr. Carr said, “I’m proud to end this two-year experiment with heavy-handed regulation.”
We’re disappointed in the decision to gut #NetNeutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity & civic engagement. This is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix stands w/ innovators, large & small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 14, 2017
What FCC Has To Say In Their Defence?
Before the repeal, Mr. Ajit Pai, the commission’s Chairman defended the idea and mentioned that the ban would help the consumers as the ISPs would be able to provide a wider variety of service options.
“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” Mr. Pai said. “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.” This is the most fierce decision taken by F.C.C under the supervision Mr. Pai.
Will There Be Changes?
With all the wildfire and speculations, it is not certain what changes will be there or will there be any changes at all. Companies like AT&T and Comcast came forward and assured that consumers online experience would not change.
Comcast’s senior executive vice president, David Cohen wrote in a blog,“There is a lot of misinformation that this is the ‘end of the world as we know it’ for the internet,”, “Our internet service is not going to change.”
However, with this repeal, F.C.C will not be supervising the ISP’s behavior. This could have positive or negative impacts on the online experience. As per telecom experts, the companies will be a lot freer to offer new services, faster tiers of service for online businesses ready to pay for it. Although there might be negative impacts which may result in blocking the content and snatching our online freedom.
So, these are all the aspects of the decision made by F.C.C for Net Neutrality. However, these are all speculations, what will really happen is still under the wraps. Well, rest will be exhibited to the world once the time comes.