The Importance of Net Neutrality

    Network Neutrality (also known as Net Neutrality, or Internet Neutrality) is the ruling that all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are to provide equal support of all websites, regardless of financial compensation they may provide. ISPs oppose net neutrality saying this won't let them offer "fast lanes" so their clients can receive the most popular content faster, while slowing down the less popular sites. Large websites, most notably Netflix, also oppose net neutrality, because the "fast lanes" increase their data transfers, thus Increasing customer satisfaction.

    Recently the FCC banished the ruling, allowing for ISPs to provide increased speeds to sites they like you using, but also slowing you down on sites that they don't like, such as YouTube. Most American Internet Service Providers are also cable providers. YouTube heavily competes with cable television, offering a free entertainment alternative. Because of this ruling, they can now slow down the data transfer, causing buffering, ultimately leading to you leaving the program. This is called bandwidth throttling, a tactic being used for several years by ISPs.

    The Internet was meant to be open, without net neutrality it closes the doors to freedom. We are not allowing everyone on the Internet to have an equal and respected voice. Net Neutrality allows small startups to grow, without having to pay outrageous rates to get their content to users at the same rate of billion/trillion dollar corporations. This can also prevent people from protesting Internet Service Providers.

    Imagine this, I make a website called "". On this website, I talk about the things that bothers me about my internet provider. My hypothetical website is getting millions of hits a day, consumers are outraged by the content, and bombard their customer support lines, demanding they stop their prejudice actions. The local internet provider identifies the source of the angst as With net neutrality not in effect, they put the website in the "slow lane". Users speeds are so slow that they can't even see what is on Because of this, users get frustrated, now unable to see what their cable provider is hiding.

    Just like that, a person's voice is silenced, a protest is stalled. This is what net neutrality can (and will cause) if we do not act while we can. As a web developer, I consider net neutrality essential to express my work to the community. Since the lift of the net neutrality law, many protests have began across the world. Such as protesters surrounding the FCC headquarters with information in favor of internet neutrality, and campaigning citizens to call their local congressman/senator explaining why they believe net neutrality should be reinstated. Ultimately, only large corporations are benefited by the absence of net neutrality. They are able to satisfy their customers, however the cost will be passed on to the consumers.

    The internet will be important in the twenty-first century for organizing protests. By allowing ISPs to stall the speed of websites, silences protests. As a nation distinguished by our citizen's freedom of speech, we should allow everyone an equal voice. We shouldn't be regulated on what we see by a corporation, everyone should be able to speak freely regardless of status.

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