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Net neutrality is under attack once more and although the situation is looking grimmer and grimmer with each passing day, there may still be time to change things around. For those who are unfamiliar with what this is all about, net neutrality basically means that internet service providers aren’t free to discriminate in the way in which they allocate bandwidth to sites.
Needless to say, a lot of these companies believe that this is significantly hurting their profits, deliberately pushing aside the fact that these regulations were meant to protect internet users and small businesses from corporate abuse. Here are a few more reasons why net neutrality matters and why it is a battle that concerns us all.
Where it all began
If there is one thing that appears to be universal it is that there are no limits to the greed of major cable companies once they get a backup from a government system. In 2014, the FCC tried overcoming the idea of net neutrality which would allow for the internet in the two-tier system. What this meant is that the major internet companies would be allowed to provide a faster service for those who paid more. Luckily, this insane proposal caused an outrage of the online populace which swarmed the FCC’s website demanding that their rights for the fair and unrestricted internet.
While this outrage resulted in a temporary setback for those who wanted to end net neutrality, it was in no way an end to their schemes. You see, earlier this year, instead of abandoning their plans to kill the internet as we know it, they simply found a way to make leaving comments on the FCCs website more difficult. What they did was make the several-step process much more complicated in hopes that not a lot of people will bother to go all the way.
Of course, people once again proved them wrong. Seeing as how they exhausted all these legitimate options and losing all hope of ever winning a public debate on the topic, they simply decided to ignore the will of the people, showing as little regard for democracy as they do for free knowledge and freedom of speech.
The problems for free market
Now, while some officials tried to justify this idea by claiming that these two tiers won’t be the fast and slow but fast and a hyper-speed lane, it is more than clear that this is no more than a euphemism. One of best things about the internet is that it is a breeding ground for perspective startups and business ideas. In other words, it is a place where David is trumping Goliath day in and day out, simply because they have a better idea or a new solution to a major problem.
Without net neutrality, however, this would no longer be possible, due to the fact that whenever a smaller company starts creeping in on their larger competitor, the larger company can simply pay more for a faster internet and keep their competitor significantly behind. Needless to say, this causes problems for both aspiring companies and the consumers that now won’t have an access to a clearly superior service.
A united front
One of the best indicators of just how serious this problem is can be seen through the fact that it got major corporations, small businesses and individual internet users all on the same side. Just the fact that a major conglomerate like Google is showing the same amount of concern for this problem as a small family business or a Reddit regular is simply shocking.
The truth is that the people are simply concerned with just how little their opinions and their well-being actually matter to both their government and their internet providers. Furthermore, no one believes that things will end here.
In order to raise the overall awareness on this topic, a number of major TV hosts and YouTubers have spoken out. The most prominent commentary came from John Oliver, who gave perhaps the best coverage on the topic, all the way back in 2014 and has repeated this several times over these couple of years.
If there’s one good thing that has come from this, it is that it pointed towards the positive sides of using social media for raising awareness. If not for this, major internet providers and their lobbyists would have a much easier time sweeping this under the rug.
Why should it matter to you?
One of the most common misconceptions about the net neutrality is that this is something that concerns U.S. citizens alone, seeing as how any FCC doesn’t have any international jurisdiction. On the other hand, if you decide to look at what’s going on in the United States as the testing ground, you can easily imagine how such a thing could soon become a frightening Worldwide trend.
Moreover, some medium-sized businesses like people behind SEO Reseller Hub believe that it is much better to fight this problem in its infancy than wait for it to grow out of its proportions. Either way, it is more than clear that this is the problem with a potential to change the world and not for the better.
At the end of the day, the key thing here is that the issue of net neutrality is something that affects all internet users equally. Now, since everyone has a stake in this fight, it is simply hypocritical to let someone else fight for your interests, while you sit idly minding your own business. Furthermore, it is outright naive to expect these major reforms to stay landlocked on the North American continent. After all, corruption knows no borders and doesn’t respect any obstacles.
Guest Post: Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.