Net Neutrality

Once again, politics threatens to impose restrictions and changes for commercial profit which could have far reaching negative consequences for all of us.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that an internet service provider (ISP) should give consumers equal access to all legal content regardless of its source.

To put it another way, if the networks which form the bedrock of the internet were a motorway, then under net neutrality, there wouldn’t be fast lanes for cars and slow lanes for lorries. Motorists wouldn’t be able to pay to use a faster route. All data regardless of its size, is on a level playing field. So a small business website can be just as visible and load just as fast as a huge multinational corporation. This is the framework of fairness which has given opportunity to so many small businesses, and enables everyone to compete, interact and contribute on a level playing field.

Proponents of net neutrality say it’s a matter of fairness, that it limits censorship and ensures that large ISPs can’t unfairly choke off other content providers. But opponents say it amounts to an undue restriction on business, that regulation stifles investment in new technology, and that net neutrality laws are outdated.

Why does Net Neutrality matter?

The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative – a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.

Do you want your Internet censored by a foreign government? Do you want your ISP to favour one web organisation over another? Do you want the Internet slowed down for everyone apart from very large (American) corporations who can pay for a fast track? Net Neutrality is fundamental to the Internet and the World Wide Web that we use every day, lets support this precious principle.

Watch the video below for a US take on the problem, or follow the links for more information.


Opinion: In Defence of Net Neutrality | Sir Tim Berners-Lee

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