Net neutrality has become quite the hot topic in recent months due to the fact that it may affect what we get to do on the web. Right now, there are no restrictions of any kind on access to content on the internet, we can download or upload content freely, and have no restrictions on communication methods such as email, chat, instant messaging, etc. Net neutrality ensures that access to the Web and its content will not be blocked, slowed down, or sped up depending on where that access is based or who owns the access point.
Most households in the United States have access to only one, maybe two ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in their local area. If net neutrality came to an end, internet service providers would have the authority to regulate Internet access, and since the consumer would most likely be unable to choose a different service provider, they are now put in a position where they have to pay their designated ISP more money to gain access to the internet “fast lane.”
If you take away the openness of the internet, it ceases to be the internet. It becomes clickable cable television and we will find ourselves buying our subscriptions to certain blocks of websites. Obviously, businesses have a right to influence free speech, but should the telecom companies own all of the internet just because the content has to cross cables and equipment that were developed with massive government support? NO.
In the year 2014 the internet is essential, if not required, for conducting business, communication, education, etc. If the internet disappeared in the US only tomorrow, we wouldn’t be able to compete with other companies on a global level any longer. That same principle should apply if equal access to the internet was not granted for all here in the U.S.A. Think about all the electronic banking/financial transactions that take place on the web? If the internet wasn’t so important the NSA would not be monitoring it either. Bottom line: The internet needs to remain a neutral arena.