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What is net neutrality?


On December 14, FCC, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Ajit Pai passed a set of rules to repeal the net neutrality.

What is net neutrality and why do we need it?

The internet, as we know today is because of the net neutrality. Net neutrality makes sure that every internet user and the content provider is treated equally by the Internet Service Providers.

This means that your ISP cannot block your access to a particular website or force you to visit a website they want you to.

Under the net neutrality, the ISPs does not discriminate between 2 websites, so the data of this website and of any other website is treated the same.

Without the net neutrality, it's like the ISPs decide what you watch.
Suppose a content provider (say Netflix) pays the service providers a fee to ensure higher speed, the ISPs may block access or slow down the speed of Youtube and other video streaming websites and also ask you to pay more if you wish to access any of those websites.
This will eventually lead to the loss of Youtube and other websites who don't pay the ISPs.

Previously, few such issues have taken place. The most popular being the Netflix issue.
According to the CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings, few major ISPs asked his company to pay them the interconnection fees to ensure speed and quality of their data.

So why did FCC take this decision?

According to the Chairman Mr. Ajit Pai,

"Investments in high speed networks had declined by billions of dollars. Notably this is the first time such investments had decline in the internet era.
When there is less investment, that means fewer next generation networks are built, that means less access and less competition. This means fewer job for Americans building that network... "
And he also highlighted the difficulties faced by the broadband providers.

A blog post which explains why Ajit Pai is right

So it's clear by his words that the reasons behind this drastic step are

Some advantages of FCCs new plan (as stated by them)

  1. Network providers will have stronger incentives to build more networks especially in unserved areas...
  2. ....and also to upgrade networks to gigabits speed in 5G.
  3. More competition among the broadband providers.
  4. Transparencies among the ISPs.

So, will the internet change?

May be, or may be not.
Ajit Pai says that his rules won't change the internet as we know it, it won't kill the democracy and the free expression online.

About 80% of the Americans are against the FCCs decision and even tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook have joined the people to fight in support of net neutrality.
Net neutrality is very important. It's a need for innovation, it's a need for invention. It was due to the net neutrality that Sir Tim Berners Lee could invent the World Wide Web. And it's due to net neutrality that you are able to view this website.

Tweeted by Sir Tim Berners Lee in support of net neutrality.

I hope this doesn't discourage the Americans to come up with new and good things on the internet.

Let's hope for the best!