The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the net neutrality rules that aims at restricting the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to charge the content providers for the fast lanes for their data. This will discourage the practice of allowing the market leaders like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. to get the benefits by paid prioritization.
The FCC has reached a decision on Thursday and the subject net neutrality was a subject of hot debate lately since the ruling of the federal court back in January 2014 in favor of ISP Verizon. Since then, the supporters of net neutrality have been voicing their opinions and protest against the unfair practices of ISPs. The FCC approved the new policy by a 3-2 vote and the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that this ruling will ensure “that no one – whether – government or corporate – should control free open access of the internet.”
Want to know more about the net neutrality concept? Read our ultimate guide to net neutrality.
These strong set of net neutrality rules have reclassified the broadband networks as the “common carriers”, which refers to the basic service providers who are controlled by the government and are forced to provide fair and unbiased services to the citizens.
This ruling is being seen as a setback for the big cable companies and ISPs who have been investing billions in their networks to harness the increasing internet usage by the people. This federal ruling is expected to give rise to a long legal battle lead by the Internet service providers.
Democrats voted in favor of the policy while Republicans, Michael O’Rielly and Ajut Pai, voted in dissent. They argued that FCC was overstepping its boundaries and called this an interference in the commerce. The main argument against the net neutrality provision is that it will curb progress; the ISPs should be allowed to charge the content providers in order to improve their services and infrastructure.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, “Today is a red-letter day.”
How net neutrality law is going to affect you?
This ruling may be seen as a way to keep the internet fair and open. An open internet will increase the competition in a market which is ruled by a handful players. The open internet is going to be beneficial for the small businesses and ISPs who can’t afford to pay for these fast lanes. It could result in the increase in the total cost to ISPs which will be reflected as the increased price being charged to the customers for the internet services.
It is a current debate topic that websites like Facebook and Google are already operating in a fast lane and are using paid prioritization to remain at the top of their game.
The question that “how net neutrality is going to affect you” is still under debate and it has no satisfactory answer. Internet is a vast universe and the impact of net neutrality rules on everybody will be closely assessed in near future.
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