Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What is net neutrality and why is it a big deal?

By Nicolás Escobar Uribe

The way that the internet works has been something really apathic for the population around the world since its creation.

In the western culture the internet has been a place of freedom, where you can watch and post wherever you like unless it’s something illegal, that freedom and limited restrictions make what I would like to call as I refer to the internet an “organized anarchy”.

Globalization has a main role in the evolution of the humanity as a society in the last two centuries.
Iconic events like the documents leaked on Wikileaks, the resistance movement Anonymous, or even the Arabic Spring had been influenced by the information founded and shared online.

Since the creation of the internet there has been an oligopoly of companies that have the resources to exploit this market and they have been consolidated in the United States, the most relevant policy making, and restriction of this market also lies in the U.S which is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In the last 20 years, the FCC has been having a debate of great concern for the users of the internet and the countries that have similar policies with the U.S and that is the net neutrality debate.
To get started on the importance of this debate we have to explain the term, the net neutrality or the also called open internet explains how the Internet Service Providers (ISP) have a low interference in the way consumers use the internet, this means that the consumer just have to pay for the service to get access to wherever information he wants regardless of its illegal.

Under the actual legislation the ISP have the obligation of providing the access of every webpage at the same speed because you are practically free to do whatever you want with your data, however, this can change if you affect the policy of the net neutrality.

People who say that the net neutrality must be regulated claim that the customer can get access to premium speed data download in your favorite websites by just paying more, and that would incentivize the development and productivity of the websites that are successful and are not getting enough retribution.

People who defend the net neutrality current regulation claim that if the ISP can manipulate the information of the consumers preferences and eventually slow the streaming of specific websites forcing the people to find alternatives with better streaming and eventually eliminate the small opinion groups or emerging websites of the internet because they don’t have the resources for paying the ISP for a better streaming service.

In December of 2018 for the first time in the history, the president of the FCC Ajit Pai forced the initiative of ending the net neutrality and it was approved by the board of directors of the FCC, this will imply great changes in the way we use the internet worldwide because most western countries tend to adopt the internet related policies of the U.S.

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