Net neutrality is a hot-button issue all across the board. It is an important issue that will forever change the way we use the internet and the way we view the world wide web. Ever since the 90's with the boom of e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay, the internet has had an enormous role in society, bringing consumers and businesses face to face at the click of a button.
Today's business world has companies dependent on computers and the internet for nearly every function. This gives jobs to software developers, engineers, and staffs numerous IT departments. If the free and open internet policies change then, so will these businesses and their practices. Having a fast lane for some companies and a slow lane for everyone else will change the climate of most industries. With such a hot-topic issue, it's really important to stay informed.
1. Anti-virus Software Started Non-neutrality
Oddly enough, there is already a form of non-neutral internet policies. You've probably heard of it being used by countries outside of the United States. This is when governments issue censorship over certain websites in favor of other websites. This type of discrimination was originally developed by antivirus companies around the year 2003. It seemed impossible to discriminate data over the internet in the early days. However, this software was developed to filter out malware. It was called deep packet discrimination. Deep packet discrimination worked like a charm at discriminating certain data from the rest. Then, this type of software was what governments used to develop internet censorship. This is similar to how ISPs will to discriminate data.
2. The Developing World Has It Already
We all know that some foreign governments are guilty of censoring the internet that we love. In many parts of the world there are sites that are allowed to get a much larger share of bandwidth at a lower cost such as Facebook Zero and Google Zero. These special sites are called "zero rating" sites, and they are actually given reimbursement for the traffic they generate. As previously stated, non-neutral internet is happening in other countries, but "zero rating" sites are typically used more in developing nations.
3. Freedom Over Innovation
Many people are for net-neutrality because of the innovation that is promoted by having a free and open internet. With a non-neutral internet everybody who logs on through an ISP will have to go through that ISP's portal as if it is the gatekeeper. In this case only the bigger companies will be let through because they can afford to pay, while small businesses are essentially out of the game. The most popular resources and websites will continue to have traffic meaning that all growth outside of the popular vehicles will be stifled. Try to imagine all of today's top developers attempting to walk through the same three doors to get into a building. With a non-neutral internet our geniuses will have to wait in line to get their ideas moved into the public eye.
4. Non-neutrality is Downgrading Services
When you think about it, how much faster can the internet get? We can already load any site at the drop of a hat, so those sites likely won't be getting any quicker if net-neutrality were to end. No, the companies that can pay for the fast lane would get the same service they do now. However, any company that can't pay the toll to enter the fast lane would be slowed down by the ISP being used. People wouldn't really get a faster connection to any site, but they would receive a slower connection instead.
5. This Will Affect Everyone...Seriously Everyone
Since we are so reliant on the internet as a society, this will easily affect every sector of every modern industry. Shipping clerks will have less choices of where to pick up orders, or they will have to pay to use bigger companies. IT Engineers and developers will have less choices about how they operate and might have more difficulty doing their job, such as network performance monitoring with slower lanes of internet. All parts of our social, economic and political structure currently revolve around using the internet in its current free and open form.
It's important to understand net-neutrality issues because it impacts our lives. It is something our society is thinking about changing, so you need to stay ahead of the curve and learn about it. Make up your own opinions, do your own research and if you want your voice to be heard then, speak up.