February 26, 2015 marks as a historic event for internet users. Thanks to a 3-2 vote, members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new set of rules in favor of supporting net neutrality. With this regulation, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are prohibited from favoring companies that are willing to pay extra so they can get their content to more consumers.
This development comes as good news, especially since the issue has been debated for over a decade. With net neutrality in place, the little guys get to be protected. Instead of focusing on providing internet services to large companies, ISPs will be forced to provide fair and equal service to all its consumers; not just to the ones that pay a larger sum.
Now that net neutrality has been decided by the FCC, broadband providers are no longer able to be the ones to make rules for the services they provide. Considering the internet is now as important as free speech, it is important for all individuals to be able to express what they feel and think. The idea of an ‘open internet’ means that lawfully requested content will be delivered to all consumers at the same speed.
On the other hand, net neutrality opponents insist that with these new regulations, competition will be difficult. Network providers will then be less profitable and it could also discourage investment. To this, net neutrality advocates believe that by implementing the new rules, the playing field will be leveled for more projects. It could also set the ground for different providers to start offering their services.
While the FCC’s vote may mean good news for internet users, it still is not final. As a matter of fact, it still awaits refinement from both the courts and Congress. Additionally, the FCC can expect a number of lawsuits from ISPs.
This is only the start. There is still a tough battle that needs to be fought.
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