The term net, or network, neutrality is the idea that internet providers should treat all internet content equally. Net neutrality prohibits discrimination based on the content, user, platform, etc. This principle is based on the idea that the internet providers should be considered as common carriers. Common carriers provide a service without discrimination to the general public, whereas contract and private carriers can refuse to provide a service to consumers at their own discretion. The term network neutrality was coined by Tim Wu, a Columbia professor in 2003 (Wu 2003).
Pre-dating the actual term itself, there has been a debate as to whether or not net neutrality should be maintained. This debate is at the forefront of society today regarding the pending merger between internet providers Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Depending on how this debate is resolved could prove very costly for our society.Net neutrality is the main principle behind maintaining an open internet. An open internet allows its users to access all the different content from the internet without any interference from an outside party. Without net neutrality, the internet would be subject to interference from internet providers and governments.Order now
In a closed internet, not all internet content is treated equally by internet providers.In 2004, Michael Powell of the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) stated that the consumer is entitled to “Internet Freedom”. There were four distinct freedoms that Powell talked about: Freedom to Access Content, Freedom to Use Applications, Freedom to Attach Personal Devices, and Freedom to Obtain Service Plan Information (Powell 2004). Powell believed that “Net Freedom” needed to be preserved, as it would serve as an insura. . internet content.
If net neutrality is not maintained the consumer like myself would be left with much higher prices for internet service, which could result in a decrease in internet content which would be good for no one. On the other hand, if there is complete net neutrality, there would be little to no desire to innovate new higher-speed broadband methods, which again could be a problem. The goal of the FCC is to find a middle ground somewhere in between the two sides of this argument, but as it stands if either side gets a complete victory there will be large and horrible consequences. If not compromise is found, terrible consequences could result. While complete net neutrality probably will not be able to be fully enforced, it is important in the coming years to keep an open internet as possible in order to protect the public from abusive internet providers.