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What is Net Neutrality?

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Defining Net Neutrality

Net neutrality has many different meanings. Depending on who is ask businesses, individuals or government, net neutrality can mean anything from the movement of data from one computer to another computer to the amount of access to the Internet given to individuals. Although a complex concept, net neutrality is how data is distributed and what data is exposed to the masses. Net neutrality allows everyone to be able to access the internet as well as compete on the internet, as a little company, with other big companies.

Information on the Internet is sent from computer to computer by packets. Packets are put together to form a file, a website, an email etc. When transferred, packets can be in pieces and become a whole once it gets to its destination. When streaming video packets are sent in sequential order so that the information received is in the correct order when it reaches the receiver. Files that do not include streaming can be distributed in little parts and do not have to be in order because the user do not receive it little at a time they receive this data all at once. Internet Service Providers control these packets being sent from computer to computer. Efficiency is determined by the amount of bandwidth network may have. Some common examples of whole packets are webpages and emails.

Net Neutrality Complex Definitions

Net neutrality is the belief that these packets should be distributed equally no matter the bandwidth size or the company’s influence on the Internet Service Provider. Internet Service Providers have the ability to limit where these packets are distributed. Net neutrality eliminates the ISPs ability to choose what companies get exposure. To the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) net neutrality is the regulation of Internet network. The FCC considers how information is being transferred, regulation of data and if ISPs have the right to control data. The Internet user would consider net neutrality their freedom to search and obtain any information they desire. Jason Hope explains the principles of net neutrality a bit deeper in his series of articles that you can find online.

Internet Service Providers Proposal

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Internet Service Providers wants to provide more data to those who can pay premium prices. This will create a two-tier system, one for those who can afford to pay premium prices and one for those who cannot. Smaller companies who cannot afford to pay would be invisible to buyers. This would give an advantage to those companies that can afford to make premium payments and cause smaller companies to lose business. Those who are against the Internet Service Providers proposal believe that the Internet should either be regulated by the United States government or left the way that it is currently. They believe that charging premium prices will limit consumer choices.

Internet Taken for Granted

Essentially net neutrality means equal accessibility to all, not limiting increase speeds to certain websites and not choosing some sites over other sites. Many people are used to having free access to the Internet whenever they choose. Internet users rarely think about the use of their internet, if it is regulated, if it is limited or if information is controlled by others. Net neutrality late Internet users continue to enjoy the variety and wealth of information offered by the Internet.