Net Neutrality is an important issue, but it’s hardly ever discussed in news. That’s why many people aren’t even familiar with the term. Net neutrality is “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites,” as defined by google. This means that all websites are treated equally and are not required to pay extra to deliver their content to internet users. With net neutrality, independent websites can be just as successful as large, well-established businesses. If you’re a visual learner, here’s a good representation of the issue and why it’s important.
This seems like a fair concept, no? Why would major news sites be so hesitant to discuss the issue? Well, because it benefits them, or rather, the big companies that own them. That’s why independent media covers the topic so freely. In fact, a survey found that satirical news organizations have informed the public more than some of our most trusted mainstream sources in broadcasting. John Oliver is one such comedian who recorded an amusing yet informative video about net neutrality. Jon Stewart dedicated a few segments to the issue as well, as did Stephen Colbert, who also brought in expert Tim Wu to discuss neutrality.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, who proposed to move away from net neutrality, is more than a little biased on the issue. Prior to working with the FCC, he was president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, as well as the CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet association. Put more simply, he was a lobbyist for the companies he is now supposed to be regulating. Even though there has been considerable pushback regarding Wheeler’s proposal, the topic is still up for debate.
What can you do to help? This website has everything you need to know about saving the internet.