Net neutrality is a principle that says Internet service providers should treat all traffic on their networks equally. This concept implies that companies like Verizon should not block or slow down access to any website or content on the Web to benefit their own services over those of competitors.
- Net Neutrality considers Internet as a utility to which all the people should have unbiased and open access.
How ISPs affect Net Neutrality?
Internet Service Providers(ISPs) harm Net Neutrality by charging extra for services, by creating “fast lanes” ,censoring content, blocking websites, slowing down small company websites, slowing competitors website if they don’t pay extra and even outright blocking access to their competitor’s products
For instance there are two online shopping site (Say A and B). A is owned by a large corporation with a lot of money and can pay the ISPs for increased bandwidth, faster loading time and higher priority in speed but B is owned by a startup company that may not be able to afford all these expenses . This favoring by ISPs to A than B will potentially end B’s business and the company will eventually die.
Take Netflix for example, It recently had a conflict with Comcast but ultimately agreed to pay the company extra for the data of its steaming service to reach customers smoothly.
- These guys can afford to pay for fast lanes”—the priority treatment that ISPs will soon be permitted to charge for—“they can afford to pay access fees, but the smaller companies will die.
What is Zero-Rating?
It is a service in which ISPs or telecoms provide free access to certain apps and services, with the cost of the data traffic being borne by the partner.For example if Wal-Mart signs zero-rating contract with AT &T , you won’t be charged for data used while accessing Wal-Mart and AT &T will charge Wal-Mart for that session.
While this might sound great to the people ,experts say that in the long run it is against consumer interests since consumers are more likely to use free services. They say smaller companies who cannot afford to provide free consumer access to their website and services are likely to lose out, ultimately blocking out innovation in the country. This directly affects the consumers as they will have fewer options in the long run. Also when those companies opt out of free service consumers will already have been habituated to their service and they can charge you as much as they want, by taking advantage of the fact that there are less alternatives for the consumers.
- Even Facebook’s Internet.org operates on a similar principle, and ties up with telecoms to offer consumers free access to their services.
Who Regulates This?
At a global level things are quite complicated and the short answer would be no-one. Internet is not an object or a business or a large organization , it is large global computer network that provides data ,information and communication facilities and we pay in order to access the content in side this vast network called internet.
- In different countries different government regulatory organizations may control “all internet access” within the country, but as a whole there is really no organization that controls or regulates the Internet.
That’s it about Net Neutrality!!!
Be vigilant and stay in the know about what your internet providers are doing with your service.