Net Neutrality - Blog post #1

Before I dive into the topic of net neutrality, I'd like for you to think about how quickly this page loaded. Chances are it loaded pretty quickly. As of right now, pages on the internet load at the speed they do for three large reasons: How data dense the page is (i.e, what kind of content is on it video, images, text, etc), how fast your internet connection is, and how much traffic their is/how the servers are handling it. This is net neutrality. In short, net neutrality ensures that all information accessed over the internet is accessed impartially and no website be given an advantage in how their data is delivered to internet users.

Without net neutrality, ISPs (Internet service providers) could block legal sites (particularly ones that host competing ISP advertisements), and sell a 'fast lane' for the content of websites willing to buy access to that fast lane. Allowing this to happen would cause a lot of problems, perhaps the largest of them being that the internet would be broken up into a class system of websites, premium and non-premium. The premium websites would get more traffic because their service is better, and only people who are truly devoted and willing to forgo long loading screens would stick with non-premium sites. But that's not all, once the premium sites start offering the same service as the non-premiums, then there's really very little reason not to switch over, thus removing a lot of the competition on the web.

Thankfully, the FCC  (Federal Communications Commission) issued the Internet Policy Statement (seen here) laying out basic rules/groundwork to ensure net neutrality. As of right now, it has been proposed that broadband internet be classified under title 2 (common carriers) of the Communications act of 1934 in an effort to make ISPs follow rules similar to those of telephone companies. But even with these rules in place, ISPs are still fighting back. Verizon, the US' largest mobile phone company challenged the FCC's authority by taking legal action against the FCC's decision to ban ISPs from prioritizing and banning certain websites (seen here). 

While net neutrality seems to be here to stay, it's important that we take action to ensure that. To help the cause, you can visit and spread the word, as well as sign the petition on their site (linked here for your convenience).