Net Neutrality -Focus
“If you care about the well-being of the Internet, you must care about net neutrality”.It’s been a constant debate now.So why should we care?Of course we should focus on the real facts & importance of net neutrality.Even in the SXSW Conference it’ been an hot debate.So World wide tweets are been promoted for implementation of Net neutrality. Net neutrality debate must not be taking place in our Geo location , but in mature net savvy countries, it is already a hotly debated topic that has polarized opinion on both sides and might turn out to be one existential debate we may have to contend with in the not so distant future.Now what it means and need to us?
What is this debate on Net neutrality?
When we log onto the Internet, we take a lot for granted. We assume we’ll be able to access any Web site we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it’s a corporate or mom-and-pop site. We assume that we can use any service we like — watching online video, listening to podcasts, sending instant messages — anytime we choose. What makes all these assumptions possible is Net Neutrality.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of content and applications online. It guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies.Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. It protects the consumer’s right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data — not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.
Net neutrality is a major issue being debated in major countries where some service providers want to promote content where they get higher revenue share and block content offered by rival operators. The Internet has more or less remained neutral because no one entity, government or corporate, owns it. But off late telecom companies, which own the network, want a share of the revenue earned by content providers and therefore put restrictions on the services available to consumers.
Thus far, to put it simply, the Internet, in the last twenty years of its existence, has remained neutral. The fact that no one entity, government or corporate, owns it and the haphazard manner in which it has grown around the world, has ensured and guaranteed its neutrality. This is not to say that there has been no governmental censorship. Sure, countries from North Korea to Pakistan ,India routinely censor websites. Yet, such censorship is not a result of the very infrastructure of the Internet, both physical and otherwise, being tweaked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or web companies themselves, to censor content.People can pretty much surf anything from most parts of the world—high culture to porn, important breaking news to boring banalities, they are all at our fingertips, at the click of a button, and the network does not differentiate between content, favoring one over the other.
So what is the problem? Simply put, the ISP’s, at least in the developed West, do not anymore want to remain providers of dumb pipes.Just they want revenue.And in their defense, they put a very seemingly convincing case of how providing infrastructure and bandwidth costs a lot of money and that they must start charging both users and content providers (at least the big ones) variable rates.
What’s Net neutrality influence in real world?
For e.g with net neutrality, Small Biz A and Large Corp B can be accessed by anyone using ISP C, at the same speed as each other.If there were no net neutrality, Large Corp B would be able to afford to pay ISP C – so that ISP C’s customers could access Corp B’s website at the highest possible speed.Because Small Biz A cannot afford to pay ISP C, users are not given the same high speed access to the website of Biz A, so it takes longer for users to load the page and access Small Biz A’s site – giving Large Corp B a massive advantage. Maybe Small Biz A’s website couldn’t even be accessed by users of certain ISPs.
This reduces the ability of Small to Medium Size Enterprises to compete online with larger businesses, turning the Internet into a fast lane for those sites who can afford to pay, and a slow lane for those who can’t.
Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?
World’s largest telephone and cable companies — who wants to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all.They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. And they want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services and streaming video — while slowing down or blocking services offered by their competitors.
Who else supports Net Neutrality?
Is Net Neutrality a new regulation?
Absolutely not. Net Neutrality has been part of the Internet since its inception. Pioneers like Vint Cerf and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, always intended the Internet to be a neutral network. And non-discrimination provisions like Net Neutrality have governed the nation’s communications networks since the 1920s.
What’s at stake if we lose Net Neutrality?
The consequences of a world without Net Neutrality would be devastating. Innovation would be stifled, competition limited, and access to information restricted. Consumer choice and the free market would be sacrificed to the interests of a few corporations.
So why should we be worried?
First, whatever happens to the Internet in the Western Countries like US, directly affects the rest of the world, as US-based websites dominate the Internet. So, if some websites run slower than others, there is bound to be a difference in speeds in your country or Geo location as well. Also, if network speeds within the US do not remain neutral and there is a bifurcation, it is bound to affect global traffic one way or the other.