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What is Net Neutrality?

by Matthew Payton

Net Neutrality? What is it? Is it a good thing, or a bad thing? Net Neutrality as a concept attempts to revolve around fairness, however, as a practice it’s problematic, being more political than technical.  Net Neutrality or “Open Internet” is a principle which states Internet Service Providers also known as “ISPs” should provide access to all legal content on an equal basis, thus circumventing favoritism such as political throttling of bandwidth or blocking select resources. In theory it would prohibit ISPs from charging content providers for speedier delivery of content through the allocation of additional bandwidth, and/or priority placed on said traffic, which intentionally throttling or “slowing” content from resources which may compete with said ISP.

 Net Neutrality regulations would aim to ensure that all content is treated equally, be it streaming video, audio, or alternatives by ISPs. Some have asked how this will affect their services personally, when they’re employing services at work or in the home. Hypothetically, the only aspect which is subject to change will be new regulations prohibiting ISPs from discriminating against content.

Question remains however, how will balance be determined, and what authority is empowered to enforce it? In the past some judges have expressed concern regarding portions of open internet rules directly pertaining to common carriage rules. Nonetheless the notion that ISPs cannot incorporate political, corporate, or economical based sociological opinions, effectively ensuring that ISPs assess the protocol, SIP vs HTTP as an example, is a sound one, if not potentially politically implausible.

This casual writer, and IT Professional wonders how Holliston feels about how this would affect their internet related services, what concerns they may have, and gauge overall opinions regarding Net Neutrality. 

Comments (3)

I believe the concept is selectively choosing web content that your service provider will lower your internet speed while accessing. Example, you pay for a certain connection speed that is relatively stable through all websites, though when you access Netflix or another streaming content provider, your internet provider will artificially lower your speed while accessing that single site rather than across the board.

Ted Dooley | 2016-02-01 07:15:22

I'm a little confused what you're saying John and I'm curious which "politicians" you have in mind - should multi-billion dollar corporations like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast determine what you can access and how fast or slow, especially since we're already paying them for the right to access

Lee DeSorgher | 2016-01-31 22:58:53

If net neutrality is as wonderful as some politicians say, why don't we have mail neutrality. Lets eliminate priority mail, no sense in letting someone pay for faster service. If that sounds stupid then net neutrality sounds stupid. It seems to me that the only use for net neutrality is to give politicians something to talk about and seem that they are on the side of the "little guy".

john greendale | 2016-01-31 07:01:46