The Internet is a powerful thing. It can be used to buy anything from a cup of coffee to an entire service company. But like any other right, the Internet must be protected if we’re going to keep it that way. That’s where net neutrality rules come in. They ensure all internet traffic receives the same treatment and that internet speeds do not change based on who you are or what you’re doing online. This means internet service providers (ISPs) cannot block websites or slow down your connection to the rest of the Internet. It also doesn’t allow them to charge more for faster service or display faster content. These protections were put into place almost 20 years ago when the World Wide Web was still in its infancy and many ISPs did not offer web services at all. However, as more and more people have become accustomed to using the internet every day, net neutrality has become a hot-button issue for people of all ages and across many different political views. Many companies have made efforts to either oppose or support net neutrality rules, but there has never been anything like this before — until now.
The Net Neutrality Debate Goes Strong
In early 1990, a group of researchers and engineers at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan developed a technology called the Internet protocol — better known as the Internet Protocol — that would become the basis for the modern Internet. The protocol is what makes the Internet work and allows it to send and receive data without any noticeable speed or latency fluctuations. While the Internet was still in its infancy, the researchers also developed what is now known as the Internet’s underlying protocol — the TCP/IP stack. The TCP/IP stack allows the Internet to function in many different applications, including email, web browsing, file transfer, and more. As the Internet grew and the number of users on the network grew, so did the need for better, faster Internet service. In the early 2000s, a number of ISPs across the United States adopted new technologies that added faster DSL and Fiber-to-the-home service, but these services were not available to all consumers. That’s when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stepped in to regulate the entire internet as a utility on July 18, 2006. The FCC’s rules established four “net neutrality” principles. These rules ensured equal access to all internet content and prevented ISPs from blocking or slowing down websites or slowing down your connection to the rest of the Internet. They also allowed the FCC to take administrative action if they felt any of the companies providing internet service were violating the rules. 19. The internet protocol, which is what makes the internet work and allows it to send and receive data without any noticeable speed or latency fluctuations, was developed in the 1980s.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules Are Passed
The internet protocol and the TCP/IP stack were developed in the 1980s, but the FCC did not pass any rules regulating them until the early 2000s. This delay was due to a number of issues: The FCC wanted to ensure the rules would apply equally to all providers of broadband internet service, as well as cable and telephone companies; the telecommunications industry was lobbying against the rules, and the FCC was experiencing a technical problem with its own internet speed tests. (These issues have been resolved, and the FCC has passed new net neutrality rules in numerous updates since.) The FCC passed new net neutrality rules in October 2012. The new rules, which are now under court review, are: In order to protect the open internet, internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all web traffic that comes into their facilities the same, and they must prevent ISPs from discrimination or discrimination-based queuing theory and its discontents: A comment on the “discontents of the Theory of Queuing” in a recent article about the Internet.
The FCC Delays Its Net Neutrality Rules
In early 2016, the FCC delayed its net neutrality rules again. The FCC said the rules would be updated to reflect technological advancements, but the updated rules would not apply to the internet access providers (IAPs) that subscribers purchase from their cable or fiber providers. Instead, the updated rules would apply to internet service providers that provide content, like cable and fiber TV providers. The update also allowed the FCC to better reflect the evolution of the internet and the technology it supports.
1996: The Cable and Telephone Bureaus Try to Stop the Regulation
In early 1996, the cable and telephone companies united in a lobbying effort to stop the adoption of net neutrality rules. The lobbying effort was led by the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and the Campaign for Liberty. The cable and telephone companies had one goal: to kill the rules. On May 18, 1996, the day the rules were supposed to take effect, the FCC issued a notice that it was about to finalize the rules. The notice was a preamble for the rules, which forbid “discrimination or discrimination-based queuing theory and its discontents: A comment on the “discontents of the Theory of Queuing” in a recent article about the Internet.
What Does Net Neutrality Mean for You?
Before we look at what it means for you as an individual, let’s look at what it means for the companies that would be impacted. It’s important to remember that the internet is a public service, and the companies that provide it don’t get to pick and choose which services get prioritized over other services. ISPs are required to provide service to all customers in a timely fashion, at a price that doesn’t exceed the current market rate for the service in that area. If someone in a different part of the country wants to get the same service as someone in the same city, the company must provide it to that person in the same region at the same price. This is known as “equal distribution.”
Where to Start Understanding Net Neutrality in Your State
The easiest place to start understanding net neutrality in your state is with your internet service provider (ISP). If your ISP has not commented on net neutrality rules, you can complain to them and ask them why not. If they have commented, you can also submit a complaint to the FCC. You can also check out this FAQ sheet to get started.