If you keep up with the news at all, there is a good chance you have heard the phrase net neutrality. If you are not sure what it is all about – and whether it concerns you – we are here to help you better understand this complex Internet issue. The 21st century is like no other in that there are many social issues arising that weren’t a problem in past centuries.
Today, with the Internet continuing to grow all over the world, the idea of net neutrality has become a hot debate for those who are paying attention. Some may tell you that it is a complex issue, but it really is not. In fact, there are two basic views or standpoints – one that gives freedom to the people and one that gives more power to the corporations.
Basically, Net Neutrality refers to Internet service providers not discriminating between different kinds of content and applications online over the network. Network Neutrality guarantees a level playing field for websites and is what the foundation of the Internet is based upon. In the early 21st century, large corporations began to try to lobby to get legislation passed that would allow them to more heavily control the Internet.
For example, corporate media sites might load fast and offer video and images while blogger websites would load slower and not be able to handle the bandwidth fees for large images and videos. Think this is far fetched? It’s really not. A debate has been brewing for years now, with both sides of the battle winning some and losing some. At the moment, the debate continues with corporations lobbying congress to change laws to allow for a stricter and more controlled Internet – open to the highest bidders.
If the issue of net neutrality seems important to you, this is good news. The more people who become passionate about keeping the Internet free for everyone who plays by the rules the better chance we have of achieving something truly special with the Internet. From signing petitions to contacting politicians to informing everyone about network neutrality and why it’s an important issue, there is a lot that can be done to stop the large corporations from gaining too much control of the Internet.
Whichever side of the debate you fall on, net neutrality is truly one of the most important social issues in the 21st century so far. With effects that will reach around the world, will the Internet in the West become more like the Internet found in China and other countries around the world? If net neutrality is kept in the forefront by people on the Internet, there’s a good chance that freedom on the Internet will prevail. With companies ranging from Google to Microsoft to the government itself, there are a lot of groups who want more control over the Internet.