Lately you may have heard the term "net neutrality" being used by various news sources… but what is net neutrality?
Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the Internet that advocates no restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed, as well as communication that is not unreasonably degraded by other traffic.
The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for a given level of access, that the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access.
Basically, you pay to access the internet, and you get what you pay for.
But the big ISPs don't like that, because they don't think they're getting enough money. What they want to do now is ALSO charge the websites that provide content to you (Google, YouTube, Flickr, Yahoo, etc), and whoever pays the most, gets to send their information to you the fastest. The thing is, these companies already pay bandwidth costs to be able to provide you with the information you seek, and your ISP already charges you to access the information. The Internet Service Providers want to DOUBLE-DIP, and want to be able to say "you didn't pay us off enough, we're going to slow your data down."
Every good explanation needs a car analogy, so here goes:
Let's imagine that a bunch of private companies own all the roads around you (even though most of them were built primarily with funding from your taxes). You pay the companies that own the road to be able to drive on them for a month. Now you buy a car to be able to drive on those roads. You buy a Hyundai.
Once you get on the road, you notice that the Speed Limit signs are HUGE, because they list a different speed limit for each brand of car. Honda: 55mph; Toyota: 60mph; Hyundai: 25mph. WHAT?! The speed limit for your car is less than half that of the other brands… because Hyundai didn't pay off the company that owns that stretch of road.
It's ridiculous. And it completely breaks the internet we've all come to know. Obviously no one would be in favor of such a bat-shit insane idea – except the ISPs that would stand to make extra money for doing absolutely nothing new… and John McCain.
That's right, the "Maverick" himself, the guy who admitted he doesn't even know how to use a computer, has introduced a bill to allow service providers to not only gouge their customers to be able to access the internet, but then charge THE INTERNET itself to be able to deliver that content to us.
I'm going to end this post here, because I fully intend to follow up on it sometime in the near future. (But without any more wordy car analogies)