Rich Crocco

Will Net Neutrality Deliver as it Promises?

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has been getting a lot of attention since the FCC approved FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed Net Neutrality rules on February 26th.  If you’re watching the coverage of this issue as I am, you are seeing some pretty passionate arguments on both sides.  It basically comes down to who you trust; advocates against government intrusion or the government itself.  I will attempt to clear the muddy waters a bit on both sides.

Net Neutrality is supposed to be a set of rules that protect all users of the internet from being discriminated against by internet service providers or ISPs (think Verizon, AT&T, Comcast as opposed to content providers like Netflix).  This means everyone is entitled to a ‘free and open’ internet.  For instance, as an end user of the internet, your experience should not be diminished because the website you’re visiting is not paying a premium to the ISP. The most meaningful types of discrimination at the center of the debate are:

1) Blocking – interfering with or blocking certain internet traffic.

2) Throttling – deliberate slowing of an internet service to a customer.

3) Paid Prioritization – creation of so called more expensive ‘fast lanes’ on the internet which would cater to companies that can afford the added cost, arguably favoring more established companies at the expense of smaller, less established companies or content providers, i.e. small internet retailers, blogs, etc.   Read more…