Net Neutrality Today

Without net neutrality in Portugal, mobile internet is bundled like a cable package

The argument over net neutrality has not only something that we have been covering quite a bit in class but also it has been a world-wide debate in all countries. This article only briefly mentions the U.S. because its main focus is countries that lack net neutrality. The example they use is Portugal. In Portugal the people have to pay for specific packages of apps they would like to use and if they use apps outside of their package they have to pay extra. This is something that we haven’t really spoke about as a class but it is very possible for ISPs to do, clearly since some already have. Imagine only being able to use a certain handful of apps and you have to pay monthly just to have access. Not only does it hurt the people who have to pay for use of otherwise free apps, but it also hurts startups because their apps either aren’t in a package or people just won’t pay the premium to use their app. This decreases the potential for new companies to come into view or have success almost entirely because apps are obviously a large part of people’s lives. Not only do people like apps, but if you think about it almost every successful company created this millennia has an app or started as an app. How can new companies start if no one knows that their app exists.

Comcast and Verizon Want Ajit Pai’s FCC to Block States From Passing Own Internet Laws

While it may seem that the net neutrality scene is currently quiet, I personally have not been hearing much, but there seems to be some work in motion and it is not in favor of net neutrality. The large ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon have been meeting with Ajit Pai who is the head of the FCC. In his time in this role Pai has favored the ISPs so what is going to happen is currently unknown. These meetings were the ISPs’ effort to stop states from making their own internet policies so they would have more freedom from the federal government and state governments couldn’t do anything to stop them. They also spoke about changing the classification that the ISPs fall under. They are currently classified as Title II common carriers which mostly prevents them from censoring their customers content. If the classification is changed then any net neutrality that we have will basically be gone. If these companies are allowed to censor content or “pick a winner” as it is often called then the consumers would face similar issues as the people in Portugal in the above article. They would have a limited amount of options of services that they could use based on what the providers decide. This is why we need to make sure the interest of the people is taken into account. Decisions are about to be made that can change everything and if law makers focus on the corporations the people could really be hurt.

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