Net Neutrality, What Does It Mean For You?

The Federal Communications Commission has voted for net neutrality rules’ enforcement preventing the internet providers as well as cellular carriers to throttle or block traffic and prioritize Web services for a certain payment. It took place last November 2014 at the White House wherein the public input took responsibility in the debate for net neutrality.

The Real Controversy

The decision made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gained great controversy which is reclassifying mobile and fixed broadband to be one of the telecommunications services. It encompasses the issue on the providers that should be regulated as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act.

Such decision took internet service providers into a similar kind of regulatory regime which is experienced by the mobile voice and wireline telephone service. It took place although the FCC forbears from a stricter utility-style rule that can be applied under the Title II. It came after one year of public interest and the FCC has received about 4 million public comments coming from trade associations, individuals, advocacy groups, and companies. President Obama asked the FCC to embrace such rules through Title II as a legal underpinning. Such vote resulted to 3-2 in which the Republicans were against and the democrats voted in favor.

How Net Neutrality Impacts People

There are basic concerns that people need to know regarding how the net neutrality affects households as FCC passed its “open internet rules’. These include the following:

  • The aim is to stop providers from making “fast lanes” for paid internet.
  • Net Neutrality refers to the principle implying that internet providers must provide consumers an access to any application or content on equal basis.
  • Others say that through such action, the government drives up internet bills
  • This also means that Netflix, for example, cannot be slowed especially if it is competing with ISP
  • Others argue that this guarantees free content flow online

The Distinction Between a content provider and an ISP

Internet service providers refers to the companies providing an access to the internet. Great players include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon and AT&T. Amazon and Netflix have been content providers. ISP is also considered as a content provider like Comcast which is owning NCBUniversal.

Effect to Smartphone Users

Wireless carriers also fall under Title II of the proposal. Thus, mobile phones become a primary way for people to watch videos online, shop, read and play games. The FCC estimated that almost 55 percent of the internet traffic are travelling using their mobile broadband networks. The video service could never be slowed down or blocked, for instance, since it is competing with a certain offering from a carrier.

This proposal has extended to application. T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T have been developing a particular mobile payment system which is called as Softcard. It blocks access to a rival payment application like Apple Pay.

The Net neutrality, along with the FCC vote, is considered a controversial issue that must be addressed by the responsible sectors. Currently, there are still concerns that must be addressed and cleared.

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