What is Net Neutrality?
- Net Neutrality helps ensure Internet traffic is treated equally
- It gives online businesses of all sizes a chance to reach customers and succeed
- It prohibits Internet providers from slowing or blocking sites or messages they don’t agree with
- Entrepreneurship and innovation benefit, plus an open Internet helps to make our lives easier supports the economy
- Without Net Neutrality, the Internet would look a lot more like cable TV
- The consequences would affect social movements, disruptive technologies, emerging companies and marginalised communities that media outlets have misrepresented
At the upcoming December 14th vote, the FCC is expected to reverse the previous classification of Internet providers as utilities, which subjects them to stricter regulations.
Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Airbnb were among the firms that signed a letter warning FCC Chairman Ajit Pai not to roll back net neutrality. Other tech companies have spoken out about this topic too.
Automattic, the web development company behind WordPress, stated: “Automattic strongly believes in a free and open Internet and it’s hard to imagine a truly open Internet without Net Neutrality.”
Recode reported that Chris Riley, the head of public policy at Mozilla, said: “Paid prioritization is a practice that needs to be [banned] outright.”
Richard Hill, CEO of Mind Doodle said: “Net neutrality is a fundamental human right, like suffrage, education and healthcare. Reversing it is Orwellian, and not something that belongs in a modern democracy. If the vote succeeds, it will remove people’s right to free speech. Beyond this, it will unfairly prejudice small companies and start ups and ultimately harm the economy. What sort of world do we want to live in?”
Why is Net Neutrality important for business?
Save the Internet, a coalition of individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations led by Free Press and working for the preservation of network neutrality, states:
“The Internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the Internet. Unlike the open Internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.
“Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the Internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.”
What can you do about this?
The FCC will vote on Pai’s proposal on December 14. You can join the millions who have already spoken out against it.