Over the past month, many have gotten worked up over the issue of net neutrality. Congress is even set to vote on potentially breaking down requirement of net neutrality in the coming weeks. If you’re like the majority of Internet users, you may not fully understand what net neutrality even is, or how it affects you. It’s important to be informed about these things, seeing as millions of Americans and billions of people across the globe are, in many ways, dependent on and connected by the Internet.
The Internet began as a sort of digital ‘Wild West’, in that there were no rules or regulations on how users could take advantage of the internet connection they were given. Many tend to believe that the Internet will remain as free as it has been in the last few decades. However, this is not the case. Ever since the public began paying for an internet connection, it’s been a regulated commodity, much like your standard household utilities or cell service. It’s a business, and a big one at that.
Many Americans get their internet connection from a select few broadband companies. These are AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, CenturyLink, Cox Communications, and Charter. These companies control how fast or slow your connection is, often by the internet package you buy. However, once you have access to the Internet, there is no variation past that. Every website you visit is essentially equal-access, with the same connectivity speed and availability. Plus, anyone could get online and buy a domain name and have access to the same amount of potential web visitors in a given amount of time. The net is, you could say, neutral. Ergo, net neutrality.
In a situation where net neutrality was lifted, access to certain sites may be increased or decreased based on the parent company’s preferences, and the speeds of certain sites may depend on their owners or your willingness to pay for fast access to them. In a business sense, this could make many big companies see dollar signs, but for the small internet businesses out there, things would not look so good, as a digital ‘fast lane’, analysts say, could develop, fast-tracking consumers to websites who will pay for faster response times and connections. And yes, this could affect media and access to various viewpoints, if things got that crooked. It’s up to you to decide if you think this is a good or bad thing as an American voter.
In the meantime, Rocky Mountain Computer Specialist continue to offer the very best IT Services for a fair and competitive price to you or your business.