Net neutrality is all about equally treating the internet traffic data. This also means that the internet service providers won’t be able to drop some network data into fast lanes.
The service providers won’t be capable enough to block the user from accessing to various sites and Apps like Skype, or slowing down Netflix or Hulu, in turn, to urge the users to pay extra money for different video-streaming service to make their access easy.
The idea is not new in fact, the government had taken measures in keeping the networks open prior to 2003. During the late 1970’s and early 80’s, the Federal Communication Commission has enforced regulations on telephone companies to stop them from impairing contest in computer networking, for instance, providing users with the permission to use modems on their landline.
Federal Communication Commission:
The Federal Communication Commission has spent years to impose net neutrality regulations during both Bush and Obama regimes. However, after facing several legal defeats by the broadband providers, the FCC for the first time passed net neutrality commands in 2015. But again in December 2017, the newly elected government of that time, whose representative was FCC’s chairman voted to abandon the commands, releasing the broadband providers either to block or throttle content as they see fit until the Congress or the court of law blocks the agency’s verdict.
The advocates of net neutrality have debated that for innovation and improvement internet should be kept as an open playing field. If the broadband providers will select their favorites online so, the new companies and technologies will never have the chance to rise.
Other supporters of net neutrality emphasize that net neutrality is essential because of various reasons such as various telecoms companies dominating the broadband market, which puts a great amount of power to put down particular views and restrict online speech to those who can pay the most.
FCC During Bush-Administration:
During the Bush-administration in 2005, FCC passed anti-discrimination guidelines/instructions for the internet. The FCC declared that the internet service providers are forbidden from blocking any legal content or stopping the users from connecting the devices of their choice to their network connection.
Later in 2008, FCC ordered Comcast to prohibit the slow connection which used the peer-to-peer file-sharing software BitTorrent, which was used for digital privacy but also had legal uses. Comcast prosecuted the FCC, disagreeing that the agency had violated its limits. However, a federal court has agreed that FCC had been unsuccessful to make the legal case that it had the power to implement the 2005 policy statement.
FCC During Obama Regime:
Later in 2010, during the Obama regime, the FCC once again passed thorough and comprehensive net neutrality directives which were hoped to meet up the level to legal scrutiny. But unfortunately, a legal action was taken by Verizon against the agency, while in 2014 the same court ruled the agency didn’t have the right to enforce net neutrality regulations on services which are not considered as common carriers under Title II of the Communication Act, similar to traditional telephone services.
The FCC later that year presented another new idea that net neutrality supporters worried would permit internet fast lanes. This idea drew the anger of comedian John Oliver, who fortified the viewers of his show Last Week Tonight to file comments to show their support for net neutrality. The agency received 21.9 million comments on the issue which crashed the FCC website.
Later the ones who head FCC changed the tactic and decided to reorganize the broadband providers as Title II carriers with fewer compulsions than the telephone operators. In 2015, the FCC again passed comprehensive net neutrality directives but was again brought to the courts by the telecommunication companies. The same federal court which reports the FCC’s previous attempts at net neutrality regulations, at last, showed their agreement that the 2015 regulations regarding net neutrality were legal.
How Things Got Changed After 2016 Elections?
Due to the elections of 2016, the ruling body of FCC was changed. As a result, the newly appointed FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai declared to annul and negate the net neutrality orders of 2015. Again the FCC was flooded with comments but this time many of the comments opposing net neutrality were filed by bots.
The FCC 2017’s rules drop the status of a common carrier for all service providers, all along with any kind of constraints on blocking and throttling the content. Within the new net neutrality regulations, the service providers have to reveal the information about their network- management practices. In 2018, a bill was passed in the parliament regarding net neutrality.