Net neutrality is the biggest debate going on around the internet today, and the governments of some countries are even getting ready to vote on it.
Today we will know what Net Neutrality really is and what effect it can have on you.
What is Net Neutrality in Hindi?
Net neutrality is the concept that online traffic should be treated equally, be it emails, social media posts, voice calls, shopping or YouTube videos.
This means access to the web without any restrictions and discrimination, and ensures that the internet is free and open – not only preventing broadband providers from blocking content, but allowing them to have faster delivery of service to make more profit. Stop asking for more payment.
But now it is currently under threat in the US and some of the biggest names in tech are trying to save it.
How does the Internet currently work?
Currently, Internet service providers are not allowed to provide preferential treatment to certain types of data. No matter what kind of web site you are opening, whether it is Google, Facebook or any other small website, your Internet service provider treats these connections equally and sends data to you at the same speed. They are not allowed to slow down or speed up any particular traffic.
Which means that one set of data cannot overtake another data set to reach its destination quickly.
This is how the Internet has always worked most of the time, and this rule is currently in place. Net Neutrality should be thanked for this.
But what are the exceptions to this?
There are definitely a few things here, which are exceptions. When net neutrality was incorporated into EU law last year, it included several exceptions. For example, ISPs are able to handle traffic if they are legally bound, so if a court orders that certain content is to be blocked, action must be taken.
Internet service providers can also interfere with the flow of data if the move makes the network more secure or if they fear it may cause more traffic at specific times.
However, they cannot do some things at all, such as slowing down one music streaming and continuing the other music streaming without any effect. They should be treated equally for both.
Internet service providers are currently classified as “common carriers”, which means to carry traffic without any discrimination and interference.
Why is Net Neutrality in the news?
Republican Ajit Pai, who was given the presidency of the FCC by President Donald Trump, believes the implementation of net neutrality has slowed consumer access to faster broadband connections.
And this has reduced investment in network expansion. They are supported by US cable companies who want to be able to grant preferential treatment to content.
They say innovation has been suppressed and the amount of money invested in broadband has been reduced by as much as three percent. Pai supports “voluntary” compliance with net-neutrality rules, which state that there should be no discrimination, blocking or tree priority.
US networks Comcast and Verizon have said they need to charge some companies to help them deal with congested traffic.
What do the supporters of Net Neutrality say about this?
As you’d expect, they’re afraid that ISPs will try to interfere with content delivery. Comments from four lakh people were posted on the open internet and its supporters are not ready to bow down without a fight.
They all want the same speed for data and they want all legal content to be treated equally. Of course, they are opposed to any move that would allow ISPs to set up fast lanes to better speed and prioritize content providers. They argue that rolling back Open Internet rules hinders innovation and that ISPs, rather than users, will be able to determine which companies to win and which to defeat.
But what have the big tech companies done about it?
Some of the Internet’s biggest companies celebrated ‘Day of Action’ on 12 July to protest against it. These included Amazon, Kickstarter, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, Mozilla, Netflix BitTorrent and Vimeo.
How will Net Neutrality affect you?
If net neutrality is eliminated in any country, it could have some broad long-term consequences for all web users.
1) Extra costs:
Large Internet companies will reluctantly pay more for “fast lane” access, but the additional costs will be charged to users.
2) Less choice:
The ‘slow lane’ can be found for smaller companies that attract very few users and therefore cannot expand as expected.
3) Blocked content:
A company can unblock its content and block the content of its competitors by paying more money to an ISP. Inevitably it will have a worldwide impact.
4) A tiered internet:
While it may be scary to hear the suggestion right now that ISPs will only offer certain content or limited internet packages, these days cable operators like Airtel, DishTV are offering packages for only a few basic channels.