What is Net Neutrality and Why is it Important?

what is net neutrality?

Net Neutrality is a concept related to the internet, which allows you to see all the lawful content online without any interruption. Net Neutrality looks simple process; however, it is a complicated term. Net neutrality is somewhere like the concept of how telephone lines work. Like if you dial a number from your telephone, and you are dialing another operator different from yours, so it should not matter, and the call should connect. Or if you are dialing the number of a criminal or a doctor, but the phone line will connect you with both, despite the fact that whom you are calling. Unless and until the law will not force you or stop you from connecting to that number, the telephone line operator stops you. This means that the telephone line operators have to provide an unrestricted service until and unless there is no law related restriction. In the same way, the net neutrality also works for web users. It does not discriminate between what a user is watching or which internet service the user is using.

Net Neutrality Concept

Net neutrality is a bit of a complex concept, where all the internet traffic should get equal treatment. This means, that internet service providers cannot favor any particular internet source. Or cannot stop the user from opening any particular website until there is no restriction from the government or law. The internet service providers cannot block any internet site on their own, neither they can throttle the speed of the internet for particular websites. They will allow the internet to flow smoothly without any interruption from their side.

In simple words, Net Neutrality is basically the open internet. This means that all the internet service providers will not discriminate in between the different types of data and the different websites, besides what those websites are displaying. It does not make the user watch all the lawful and unrestricted content, but it also helps in watching all type of content at the same internet speed. Whether anyone is watching Netflix or is watching any video on a random site, or whether anyone is using a particular chat site or a popular social media site like Facebook or WhatsApp, the internet speed will be same for all. This of course has implications for different types of content. Pornography sites and sites such as craigslist personals along with other fuck sites have expressed concerns over the power of censorship due to throttling. Of course one might consider other political or economic bias’s of the powers that be as well.

How ISP’s used to work when net neutrality was not there?

When the net neutrality was not there, the Internet Service Providers were not following the above-mentioned concept. The internet service providers used to provide the data from popular companies or popular websites at a really good speed. Like if someone is watching Netflix or a YouTube video, they will get good internet speed. However, if someone is watching any random website or any random video on the internet, the speed used to be very low. Internet service providers used to throttle the speed of the internet and data.

Even the internet speed discrimination was in between the paid services and unpaid services also. Like there were some websites or some data which was paid and the internet service providers used to provide a good internet speed for that data or for those users who paid for it. But the users who have not paid for it or the data which is not paid, used to get low streaming internet speed. So, internet service providers were biased towards different internet websites and users. But now, the net neutrality has been introduced, and it has changed this concept.

Net Neutrality Functions

By reading the concept of net neutrality above. You would have got the idea about what net neutrality actually is. Now, let’s know about its different functions.

  • Net Neutrality helps in transferring or providing information through the internet without any biases.
  • Net Neutrality also helps in stopping the discrimination between different websites and webmasters. As earlier, the ISP’s used to discriminate between different websites. But net neutrality helps in representing all the websites or content providers equally.
  • Earlier, when net neutrality was not there, the internet service providers used to charge some amount from the internet subscribers for providing fast speed for a particular website or for enjoying the uninterrupted videos or games on the internet. However, now ISP’s cannot charge extra for providing extra speed. If a user is using the 4G internet connection, they will get 4G speed for all kind of data available on the internet.
  • Net Neutrality has removed the concept of Internet service providers where they used to support big companies by providing good internet speed. And ignoring the small companies by not providing the same internet speed for them. With the help of the net neutrality all the companies be it a big company like Netflix or a random small company, they will get equal speed.
  • Net Neutrality has provided the freedom to internet users to load any video, any website or any application equally, without worrying about the hosting or content location.

Importance of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has helped all of us a lot, especially the websites which were neglected before. Here, there are a few things which will explain the importance of Net Neutrality in today’s world.

  • The internet access of a user will not be blocked, nor the internet speed will be slowed down depending on who has the access points or what is the location of the access. So, users can freely access websites from any location.
  • No restrictions are there on the uploading and downloading of any content. Even there is no restriction on the different communication methods also. So, if the content is lawful, no internet service provider can stop you from uploading the content on a particular website or from downloading the content from any website.
  • All the website owners will be able to grow equally. Their growth will not be restricted by internet service providers. No matter whether it is a small website or a big website, they all will have the same rights. Their growth and popularity will be based on the content which they are displaying and not on the internet service providers who used to throttle the speed for these sites before net neutrality.
  • Privacy will not be invaded, there will be no capitalism or censorship, and a consistent speed will be provided to all the internet users.