Net Neutrality, what is it and why it’s important!
Net Neutrality, at it’s core.
What is net neutrality? When the internet started to take off in 1980s and 1990s, there were no specific rules that asked that internet service providers (ISPs) should follow the same principle. Most countries have rules that ask telecom operators to provide an unfiltered and unrestricted phone service. The operators did not block the access to a number and they did not deliberately delay connection to a particular number, unless forced by the law. Net neutrality is an idea derived from how telephone lines have worked since the beginning of the 20th century. This is where net neutrality comes into focus.
What this means
Users can access any legal website or web service without any interference from an ISP. But, mostly because telecom operators were also ISPs, they adhered to the same principle. When a web user connects to a website or web service, he or she gets the same speed. In case of a telephone line, you can dial any number and connect to it. Some countries have rules that enforce net neutrality but most don’t. It does not matter if you are calling from operator A to operator B. It doesn’t matter if you are calling a restaurant or a drug dealer. This principle is known as net neutrality. An ISP does not control the traffic that passes its servers. Data rate for Youtube videos and Facebook photos is theoretically same. Instead, the principle is followed because that is how it has always been. It is more of a norm than a law.
Why it is important
A free and open internet is the single most important technology of our day. The internet should not be ruled by corporations and should be treat as a utility. Net neutrality as creates competition among ISP’s and prevents unfair pricing practices. However the single greatest advantage is that net neutrality protects freedom of speech. Without it corporations would have control over how users access the internet and internet services.