Net Neutrality is a phrased coined all the way back in 2003 by Tim Wu, a Columbia University media law professor. The main premise of Net Neutrality is that every piece of data, no matter what it is or where it comes from is equal.
An example of Net Neutrality is if you wanted to stream a movie from Netflix, it would be treated the same as if you wanted to stream a movie from Amazon Video.
This has been integral to the success of many companies that are now household names, services like Netflix or Spotify, could not have existed if not for Net Neutrality.
If Net Neutrality had not been implemented when these companies were trying to make their mark, major ISPS could have easily have blocked or throttled access to any service they wish, suffocating small companies trying to gain a market share until they fade into obscurity.
In April 2017, the FCC under its new chairman, Ajit Pai, have stated they are going to remove Net Neutrality as a bona fide law and make it nothing more than a suggestion within the United States. Mr. Pai has been in opposition to Net Neutrality for several years now, so it is no surprise that his main mission was to remove it from the FCC guidelines.
What this means is that ISPs can now choose to throttle certain types of data from services that compete with their own interests. ISPs can now also choose to slice up their packages even more and offer an “unthrottled” option for popular services, as an example. The possibilities are endless really.
Net Neutrality was initially designed as way to protect consumers, the abolition of Net Neutrality does not benefit regular everyday users, only companies that stand to profit from their service being the only one available on a major ISP. It creates the environment for monopolies to take place and a monopoly means that the scope for innovation is highly limited.
Many are pushing back against the FCC’s decision to remove Net Neutrality but it seems these complaints are falling on deaf ears.