Facebook, Google and Start Ups Oppose Net Neutrality U-Turn
How a Repeal Against Net Neutrality Can Affect You?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you were charged differently for different websites or blogs that you browse on the internet? What happened if you had to pay more for whatsapp or an Instagram feed? This is what net neutrality is trying to protect against.
What is net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is a tool used by governments to ensure that internet providers keep the net open and free. What this basically means is that whatever you browse on the internet, be it a youtube video or a facebook feed it all has to be free.
Internet providers cannot charge different prices for the different ways you are using the net. For example they cannot charge a higher price for whatsapp and Wikipedia and offer facebook for free. Mind you if such prices were charged they will be over and on top of money you spend on data or broadband services.
Why is net Neutrality become important now?
Netneutrality has come into focus now because of the changes of rules regarding them in the US.
In 2010 the Federal Communications Commission or the FCC in short passed an order saying that the internet should be open. This order prohibited internet providers from charging higher rates for different services on the internet or to slow down certain websites while speeding up others. Essentially the internet should be the same irrespective of what different websites had to offer. This is what net neutrality basically stands for.
In 2014 a US court said that such rules cannot be applied over the internet as internet providers were not “common carriers” like electricity companies. In 2015, after strong public outcry against fast lanes, Fast lanes is a concept that allows websites to make deals with internet providers to make their websites faster, The law was changed and now internet providers are classified as “common carriers” and therefore are subject to the same laws as them.
So what’s the big deal about net Neutrality now?
Pai who is one of the people sitting on the FCC panel is setting out to repeal against net neutrality over internet providers. This time, unlike President Barack Obama’s time he is not going to be a one man’s show. Pai is now chairman of the FCC and this time out of the five people constituting the FCC three of them are republicans like Pai. So this time around with no net neutrality there is more than a possibility that internet providers will be given free reign over the internet.
What will happen without net neutrality?
Without net neutrality, internet providers will be able to charge different prices from different websites. This means that larger companies who can afford to pay will be better off than smaller ones in a time without netneutrality. It also means that larger more prosperous companies like facebook can strike deals with internet providers and this will lead to an uneven playing field especially for start-ups.
An uneven playing field without net neutrality may mean that certain services may be even provided to the customer for free. Yes you read right FREE. But this leads to additional problems such as certain apps such as skype and whatsapp can be charged at higher rates because of no net neutrality. So while you’re getting some things for free the rest of your internet usage may be chargeable in the absence of net neutrality.