What is Net Neutrality?
Internet in the United States has been freely accessible ever since it was created. That could change, however, if big communication companies get their way. Net neutrality is the idea that anyone can post information on the Internet, and that information can—in turn—be accessed by anyone. Big communication companies
like Comcast and Time Warner are now threatening to compromise net neutrality.
If the big corporations get their way and are able to successfully compromise net neutrality, how would that affect the average Internet user? Essentially, your communication company would be able to control which websites you are able to access. For many people, there is only one Internet service provider available due to regionalized monopolies. If you are subject to one of these local monopolies, you’re essentially at the mercy of what they choose to censor. There’s no telling how strictly these communications companies will choose to censor the internet. While it is very unlikely we will see anything like the censorship in countries like China, there could be a noticeable difference in the browsing experience if net neutrality is ever compromised.
On the same note, internet service providers could limit your access to the internet by selling internet packages the way TV channels are sold. For example, Comcast could sell you a standard internet package that gives you access to a list of popular websites. If you wanted to access anything outside of that list, you would have to pay an additional fee.
While the United States still currently has net neutrality, seeing that unlimited access being compromised by big communications companies isn’t something that’s entirely out of the question in our future internet landscape. As the push by these companies continues and they look for new ways to monetize the internet, expect the topic of net neutrality to come to the forefront of every day conversation and debate.