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Why does Net Neutrality need our attention ASAP?



When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience. 


Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same,and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. 

For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.

In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open, allowing you to share and access information of your choosing without interference. 

But right now this win is in jeopardy: Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward. By the end of the summer, the agency was flooded with more than 20 million comments. The vast majority of people commenting urged the FCC to preserve the existing Net Neutrality rules.

What is Net Neutrality?



Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.

Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks and shouldn’t block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t interfere with the content you view or post online.
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Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slowdown its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the Open Internet.

Open Internet:

Under an "open Internet" schema, the full resources of the Internet and means to operate on it should be easily accessible to all individuals, companies, and organizations. Applicable concepts include: net neutrality, open standards, transparency, lack of Internet censorship, and low barriers to entry. The concept of the open Internet is sometimes expressed as an expectation of decentralized technological power, and is seen by some observers as closely related to open-source software, a type of software program whose maker allows users access to the code that runs the program. So that the users can improve the software or fix bugs.

Proponents of net neutrality see this as an important component of an "open Internet", wherein policies such as equal treatment of data and open web standards allow those using the Internet to easily communicate, and conduct business and activities without interference from a third party. In contrast, a "closed Internet" refers to the opposite situation, wherein established persons, corporations, or governments favor certain uses, restrict access to necessary web standards, artificially degrade some services, or explicitly filter out content. Some countries block certain websites or types of sites, and monitor and/or censor Internet use using Internet police, a specialized type of law enforcement, or secret police.

What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?

The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.

This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.

The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities’ media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.
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Service Providers will be able to create additional packages for accessing other services. For example, a user will be paying the basic amount for internet access from now he has to pay an additional amount for accessing Social Media or other services which are available in combo packs made by the provider without the user's consent and will be imposed on the user.

Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight oppression? What would happen to, social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?

For now this is limited to USA, but in no time the whole world takes a turn towards it and freedom to express one's thoughts will be lost. 

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