Net Neutrality means that ordinary people get to use their internet access however they want. Facebook, Reddit, Amazon, Netflix, whatever – nobody’s going to stop you or charge you extra on top of your subscriptions.
It seems like a pretty good thing, that essentially EVERYONE is in favor of right? But who would be against a relatively free internet? Somebody must be against net neutrality, or else we wouldn’t have a designated day (July 12th) to remind the world that the current way the internet works is GOOD, and that we shouldn’t roll back the Net Neutrality regulations that are currently in place.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are opponents of the free internet – the internet we have today – and I’m sure you didn’t need another reason to dislike them. ISPs (Comcast, Verizon etc.) want to be able to control the content in their services as a way to charge customers more for specific, premium services (streaming, gaming, uploading etc.)
Essentially, some things that you use the internet for are more resource-intensive than others. Streaming content on Netflix or Hulu is harder than going through your email or browsing Facebook. Streaming services are a perfect example of what ISPs hate, because it requires a lot of resources from them while Netflix just needs to keep updating their library to rake in their monthly subscriptions.
With that in mind, it makes sense that Comcast might want to charge you extra for streaming Hulu too often since it’s resource-intensive for them. However, the customer should get to use their internet subscription however they want to. If you’re paying for a certain internet speed, they can’t tell you that you can’t use that to binge-watch The Office. That’s for the customer to decide, because you are literally paying for that right.
Essentially, these big companies want to roll back the current net neutrality agreement so that they can charge premiums for access to certain content. Facebook, Reddit, Amazon, Netflix, Yahoo, etc… you might need to pay more to get what you want! Right now you pay your internet bill, and your Netflix/Hulu subscription or your Amazon Prime, and that’s it. But if we get rid of the regulations in place, you might get hit with a paywall before you can access some of your favorite websites. Or they might just cap your download speed if you’re streaming something too long – which leads to buffering which leads to headaches. But you’re paying for a high enough download speed that you shouldn’t have to buffer to watch Game of Thrones and they shouldn’t be allowed to throttle your download speed just because they don’t like what you’re using it for.
A customer is entitled to receive what they pay for. You can’t tell somebody who is paying their bills that it’s suddenly not good enough. The internet access that we have today gives us the freedom to use our internet access for whatever we want. We don’t need to pay extra to the cable/internet companies because we’re going to a website they deem “premium”.
At the end of the day, the current regulations are what we need. It’s what we currently have, but we need to make sure that it stays. Once we cross that line, it’s hard to go back.