What is Net Neutrality and Why Should You Care?
Ever since the advent of the internet, we’ve been introduced to countless new jargon. While we’ve acquainted ourselves with some, some are still beyond a layman’s understanding.
One jargon, in particular, has been gaining a lot of traction these days and that is Net Neutrality. Although Net Neutrality sounds like it has got a lot of complicated analogies lying within, it works on some basic rules. Rules that aren’t too difficult to grasp and ensure that internet users don’t experience any bottleneck while using the internet.
When you’re online, you expect to browse, surf and stream without experiencing any roadblock in the way. You want to make sure that whatever website you’re typing in the search bar, your internet connection leads you there.
However, in some bizarre situations, Internet Service Providers intervene between users and their wish of accessing the internet. Little do those users realize that the intervening ISPs can cause some serious and deliberate bottlenecks that act as a barrier between them and the content that they wish to see over the internet.
This shouldn’t be the case. While accessing the internet one should get a service that is free from all sorts of bottlenecks – an experience that is termed as ‘Net Neutral.’
What Exactly is Net Neutrality?
To explain it in the most simplified way, Net Neutrality is what keeps the internet neutral. It’s not like there’s anything about ‘picking sides’ involved, rather it is a principle that restricts Internet Service Providers from:
- Slowing down the internet
- Speeding up the internet
- Blocking unrestricted websites or applications
- Implying hidden and unannounced charges
Let’s go back in time a little to 2015 when Net Neutrality was officially adopted. To keep the internet fair, so users could exchange their information without any unsolicited third-party intervention, which was the motto that Net Neutrality abode by.
The time when net neutrality wasn’t a thing, not only the websites that contained heaps of illegal content suffered but the websites that were safe to use and contained no harmful content faced a little heat too. This confirms that before neutrality was adopted, the internet was as unjust as you could possibly comprehend.
Is Net Neutrality Beneficial?
Net Neutrality keeps things in the realm of the internet, fair and free from bias. Internet Service Providers become transparent and they don’t include website blocking or data modification into their stream of practices. Speaking of transparency and honesty, have you thought of giving Spectrum internet, a shot? When it comes to delivering transparent internet speeds, no lagging, and data caps, Spectrum internet bundles are the epitome of what Net Neutrality abides by.
Pivoting back to our initial discussion, another benefit that Net Neutrality serves is that it promotes freedom of expression. If the internet were strict and suppressive, then obviously, the ideology of ‘speaking up’ would’ve remained as a piece of imagination only. There would’ve been no opinions and views, and people’s thoughts would’ve remained unvoiced and unheard.
Does Net Neutrality Matter At All?
In 2017, Net Neutrality became endangered when the Trump Administration decided to call it off. However, thankfully, in 2018, the law was finally repealed. Of course, now in 2020, the internet has reached a point where the application or removal of net neutrality doesn’t really matter since the top Internet Service Providers are working relentlessly to make the internet get faster and affordable.
However, the only area that will suffer if net neutrality is repealed is freedom of speech. The consequences will fall in the court of people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and the minorities. Net neutrality has always been of great help to such people for voicing their thoughts. Now, when the survival of Net Neutrality is still a big question, it is unclear as to what the future holds.