Wednesday 18 February 2015

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality – Guiding Principle of Internet

Net Neutrality is the guiding principle of Internet and preserves our right to freely communicate online which is defined as an open Internet. It is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.In other words it means an Internet which allows and protects free speech wherein the internet provider provides the user with open networks and should not block or discriminate against any content or application which rides over the networks.

It is the principle which Internet service providers as well as government should treat the data on the internet equally without discriminating or making any charges differentially by user, site, content, platform, and application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication. Tim Wu, Professor of Columbia Law School states that the best way to explain network neutrality could be as a principle which could be used while designing a network which a public information network could end up being useful for all content, sites and platform, are equally treated.

Absence of Net Neutrality 

With the absence of Net Neutrality, phone and cable companies could carve the internet in fast and slow lanes while an ISP could slow down its rivals’ content or block political views disagreed upon. ISPs could also charge additional fees to the few content companies which could afford to pay for preferred treatments reducing the others to a slower tier of service thereby affecting the open internet.

Several debates are on with regards to Net Neutrality being required by law, especially in the United States. Lawrence Lessig, advocate of net neutrality has raised concern with regards to the ability of broadband provider using their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications as well as content and to block out competitors. Neutrality advocate claims that the telecom companies need to impose a tiered service model to control and remove competitors, create artificial scarcity as well as oblige subscribers to purchase other uncompetitive services.

Important as Preservation 

Many are of the opinion that net neutrality is primarily important as preservation for current freedom and prominent supporter of net neutrality comprises of Vinton Cert, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol as well as Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web.

It is crucial for small business owners, entrepreneurs as well as for start-ups, who tend to depend on the open internet in order to launch their business, advertise their products and services, create a market, and distribute products to their customers. The need of open Internet is essential for job growth, competition as well as innovation.

It also tends to lower the obstacle of entry for entrepreneurs, start-ups and the small businesses by making sure that the Web is a fair and a level playing ground and the internet is used to reach the audiences and showcase their goods, services and applications. Interference from any company should not be permitted with this open marketplace. According to definition, ISPs are the gatekeepers to the Internet wherein without the Net Neutrality; they would take then every possible opportunity in order to profit from the gatekeeper control.

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