What is Net Neutrality?

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What is Net Neutrality?
What is Net Neutrality?
12-04-2020 06:00 pm
(Jumping Trout, LLC. 2020) Net neutrality had its day a few years back when people started to question how much power broadband companies have over other markets. Recently, the chairman of the FCC (Federeal Communications Commission), Ajit Pai, announced that he will be stepping down from his position. He was originally appointed by Trump, and with the recent nomination of Biden, it's no wonder he's leaving his post. 

With a new appointee, Democrats will pave the way for the FCC and the rules of the internet road. Why does this matter? Well, net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally, reguardless of the company. Companies like AT&T, Time Warner or Comcast can't favor their own content over competitors. In other words, just because these companies control a large part of the internet does not mean they get to alter or control what people see or what's available to them. 

The current debate is all about the FCC's power and authority over the broadband market. Whoever ends up being the newly appointed chairman could potentially have the authority to police the internet. In 2015, the democratic chairman Tom Wheeler, prevented broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to the internet or charging for faster access. These rules would also give the FCC authority to police braodband absues, such as weak privacy practices and fraudulent billing. They'd also give the agency more authority to promote competition by doing things such as preempting state laws that prohibit municipalities from offering broadband services. 

The FCC is there to protect consumers from large companies trying to monopolize the market. Without the FCC, the internet would show favoritism. Right now, we all just need to be a little bit more neutral. 

For more information on net neutrality and the decisions made by the FCC, click here. 

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