What is Net Neutrality?

Posted on January 24, 2018 by

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Net Neutrality preserves Americans’ right to communicate freely online. It means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, or application.

Net Neutrality was put in place by the Obama administration in 2015. In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the Internet free and open. This allows people to share and access information of their choosing without interference. But on 14 December 2017, the FCC’s Republican majority approved Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to eliminate  Net Neutrality protections. 

A former Verizon lawyer and a Trump appointee, Pai ignored the protests against his plan from millions of people, lawmakers, and companies.

The commission’s chairman, Ajit Pai, heavily defended the repeal before the vote. He said the repeal would eventually benefit consumers because broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast could offer them a wider variety of service options. His two fellow Republican commissioners also supported the change, giving them a 3-to-2 majority in the vote.

“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” Pai said. “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks.”

Many states are now taking matters in their own hands and suing the FCC. Some states are even preparing their own laws for Net Neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules on 14 December 2017,  but the FCC is still making edits to the repeal order and hasn’t yet released the final version.

Posted in: Jayra Chavarria