A lot of things have been written about Net Neutrality and the FCC Net Neutrality repeal that was passed back in December 2017. This week there was a new twist in this saga but I’ll come to that later… first lets take a look at what Net Neutrality actually is:
Firstly, Net Neutrality affects us all, whenever we are utilising the internet. The basis of net neutrality is that all ISPs must treat all data on the internet the same, there should be no discrimination and ISPs are not allowed to block, slow down or charge for specific websites and online content.
When I first heard about the repeal, someone explained the change that was being implemented as being similar to a highway. In the net neutrality design, everyone is able to utilise all lanes of traffic and all lanes are equal. With the repeal in place, this gives companies the capability to slow down lanes of traffic unless they pay for access to the ‘Fast Lane’, meaning that the few people who are willing to pay for this access will have faster access with everyone else suffering. So in this design, it could also mean that large media companies could come to exclusive agreements with ISPs to have their traffic pushed down the fast lanes and have other media companies restricted.
This further shown in the picture below:
As part of the repeal, the FCC also stated that no state in the US would be allowed to create their own laws to circumvent the repeal. The repeal is set to go into force on 6th June 2018.
So, one of the interesting items that has occurred over the past few days is that Washington State has become the first State to pass its own law to protect net neutrality. Oregon has also taken steps to protect net neutrality but Washington is the first State to add additional legislation on ISPs to demand that they disclose information on their management practices etc.
This is going to roll on and on, as there are likely to be law suits raised against Washington state from ISPs trying to protect the repeal and there is already a law suit being pursued against the FCC challenging the legality of the repeal plan based on constitutional grounds.
In theory, if you are located in Europe or the UK, then this may not affect you so much due to net neutrality already being written into law, although if the data that you are accessing is located in the US, then this could still be affected by the ISPs in the US.
Some sources of more information:
Blog-a-Week 2018 Posting (BAW):
In previous years, I have had periods throughout the year where I have been unable to post an entry to my blog. During 2018, my aim is to post a blog entry each week of the year. I’m hoping that the blog entries will all be useful bits of information or items that I’ve been working on recently but if the standard of the entries drops, I apologise now, as this could have been a busy week and I wasn’t able to put in as much time as I would have liked into the post