What is Net Neutrality? Archives
What is Net Neutrality?

The principle that net neutrality advocates is that all internet providers should not discriminate or charge differently for any sort of data, including platform, user, content or any other category. With open internet, services providers such as Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and others would not be allowed to charge for faster connections for customers. Net neutrality supports the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally, and it is closely related to the concept of open internet. Open internet deals with the accessibility of information to all users. Advocates of net neutrality say that any discrimination is internet censorship, and the resulting lack of transparency will lead to restricted access to certain sites.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had previously regulated how service providers could manipulate the data received from consumers, and limited the providers’ ability to slow down or charge extra for speed or access to different websites. Open internet rules stop discrimination and abuses from service providers.

In 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Verizon v. FCC that the FCC did not have authority to enforce the entire Open Internet Order 2010. Instead, the order could only be applied to common carriers. Only the transparency section of the order was upheld.

Following Verizon v. FCC, the FCC had to change the rules and adopted new regulations on February 26, 2015. These new rules include: no blocking, no throttling (slow down access) and no paid prioritization. The legal aspects of net neutrality continues to develop in the courts.