Net Neutrality: What It Means and Why It Matters

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Photo: Boing Boing

This Tuesday, it was revealed that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to strip down regulations known as “Net Neutrality”. Most software companies oppose the FCC’s recent moves.

What exactly is Net Neutrality?

Although net neutrality effects any person who uses the internet, it isn’t really a commonly known thing. Net neutrality consist of a set of regulations set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that ensure equal access to the internet.

To dig a little deeper, the net neutrality regulations classify boradband access as a telecommunications service. This means that internet is to “common carrier” provisions that prohibit service providers from discriminating against how it is used. The regulations were passed in February 2015 by the FCC.

Ajit Pai’s Position on the Issue

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC, says he supports an “open Internet.” Pai believes that less regulation in this area is more beneficial to market growth. The Internet is “the greatest free-market success story in history,” Pai wrote in a Wall Street Journal. Regulations “designed in the 1930s to tame the Ma Bell telephone monopoly” are hurting investment, he argued. In short, Pai’s view is that broadband shouldn’t be regulated like a utility.

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