When going online, we all have certain expectations. We expect to be connected to any website we choose. We expect that our cable or phone company isn't messing with our data and is connecting us to all websites, apps, and content we want. We expect to be in control of our internet experience.
When we use the internet, we expect Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked.
In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing people to share and access information of their choosing without interference.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the internet's guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. Net Neutrality means an internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that ISPs should provide us with open networks — and shouldn't block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn't decide who you call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn't interfere with the content you view or post online.
The internet without Net Neutrality isn't the internet.
What will happen to the internet now?
Without the Net Neutrality rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to call all the shots and decide which websites, content, and applications succeed.
These companies can now slow down their competitors' content or block political opinions they disagree with. They can charge extra fees to the few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service.