The Debate Over Net Neutrality

The expanding presence of the internet in today’s world is beginning to spark serious conversation on how its traffic is handled. The current set of standards allow for the free flow of information, whether it is related to social media, email, streaming video, or video games. This amount of freedom is creating a problem for internet service providers, because some services are taking up substantial amounts of bandwidth. The proposed solution is to begin creating different packages based on the services users access.

Instead of paying for access to the entire Internet, consumers would pay for different groups of services à la carte. The ability to access streaming video would be a separate paid package from a connection to social media sites or e-mail. This has led to some consumer frustration due to the amount of censorship power that may be given out over what they can access. The use of services such as Netflix put a lot of stress on an internet service provider, so their concept of offering separate packages is to help alleviate that problem.

The FCC recently allowed comments on their website in regards to keeping the Internet a neutral playing field, and there are currently over a quarter of a million responses. The concept of net neutrality allows and promotes the spread of information, while empowering all users with an ability to learn, create, and exchange ideas. The internet is considered by many to be the largest technological innovation of our time and some people believe that changing how it works will harm that spread of information. They may not realize that the internet’s capability to efficiently distribute data is not limitless.

Users of the internet are being given an opportunity to speak their opinion to the FCC until September 15th, 2014. While some believe major internet service providers should allow paid prioritization and discrimination, others are set on making sure that the internet stays open and neutral. You can share your opinion about this topic by writing to your state congressmen (http://www.house.gov/representatives/), and leaving your comments with the Federal Communications Commission (http://www.fcc.gov/comments).