Why is there Buzz around “Net Neutrality”?

The internet has absolutely revolutionized how we access information, making us possible to instantaneously find and view content on the web. While you can access all content types on the internet, there are also certain restrictions and regulations as well. However, the principle of Net Neutrality centers on eliminating any type of discrimination in data transmission and access of online content. In short, it means treating all internet data equally and not charging separately by mode of communication, application, platform, content, or user. 

To have a clear understanding around the buzz on Net Neutrality, knowing how it came about is important.

How did the term “Net Neutrality” spring up?

Tim Wu, a professor in Columbia University first created the term “Net Neutrality” in 2003 while writing on the topic broadband distribution in a scholarly paper. This concept advocates that internet traffic must equally be treated. All internet services providers should facilitate Internet as an open marketplace where there is no discrimination when it comes to data transmission and data access on their networks. 

Understanding Net Neutrality in more detail

 The primary concept behind net neutrality is the equal privilege and access to Internet. It creates issues when internet service providers happen to unjustly monitor the online content or charge more for accessing certain services. Countries like Chile, Netherlands, etc, have already enacted the net neutrality a law. Also in United States, there has been extended debate whether there should any law governing net neutrality. Then in Feb 2015, aftermath the Comcast case concerning the restriction of traffic in their network, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released net neutrality rules by reclassifying broadband access as a telecommunications service and executing the Title 2 of the Communications act of 1934 to the Internet services providers.

Many people still haven't fully understood the real issues concerning net neutrality and why there is a need to put legislation in place. Those with agreement with net neutrality legislation believe that such lack of understanding can create big problems if broadband providers would settle on putting restrictions or gain upper hands on how you access online content at some point in the future. On the other hand, there are also many people who oppose to putting any legislation, saying that such an exercise would be futile. There has always been controversy and discussion over internet censorship; so the more educated you are on the concept, the more you can conclude on where you stand concerning net neutrality.