The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come out in full support of the idea that all websites on the Internet should be treated equally. This is the net neutrality debate. Net neutrality means Internet providers can’t speed up access to some websites because those sites pay for a faster connection. Also, the providers cannot slow down or block others that cannot pay. For example, content companies, such as Netflix, can actually pay Internet providers, such as Comcast, to get faster connections. The issue is that we do not live in a “net neutral” world. The FCC has voted to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, so that it has the power to stop Internet providers from slowing down or speeding up specific sites for money. However, companies like Verizon and Comcast say that playing by these net neutrality rules will force them to cut back on investing in new technology. For the content providers, they have wanted neutrality for a while because “paying-to play” would create a disadvantage for startup sites and smaller companies. The proposal is being voted on currently and it’s expected to pass so accessing Netflix should be just as fast as pulling up your friend’s crowdfunding project page!
Contributor: Chelsea Edirisuriya