Bucks Writs - Winter 2018 - 29

technology

Tech Tips From
a Recovering Geek:
Net Neutrality

charge more to access websites, services, and Apps as they
see fit. Imagine having to pay your ISP monthly for Internet
access and then having to pay additional monthly fees to
access ESPN, Facebook, Instagram, and all of your other
daily pleasures. Users of streaming video services can be
surcharged because of the large amount of data required.
Alternatively, ISPs may seek payment from outside services
for preferential treatment on their networks. If Hulu is forced
to pay every ISP so its customers can properly use the App,
there is no doubt the cost will be passed onto the end user.

- By Jason R. Weiss, Esquire -
In late 2017, the Federal
Communications Commission
(FCC) voted to repeal "net
neutrality" rules set in place
in 2015. Following the FCC's
decision, I was asked by
numerous individuals what
the ruling meant and why
it mattered. As the decision
remains in the news and will
be contested by members
of Congress, it is important for the public to understand
the concept and the decision as we are all consumers of
Internet services.

While there are plenty of opponents to net neutrality, most
of them are directly involved with, or are related to, the field
of telecommunications. In the end, the decision to repeal
the net neutrality rules gives already-powerful-ISPs even
more control over their subscribers and content passing
through their networks. While not much has changed with
regard to net neutrality since the repeal, ISPs will certainly
have the opportunity to take advantage of the situation and
create more profit at the ultimate expense of the end users.
Happy Computing. 

What exactly is net neutrality? Net neutrality is the
principle that internet access should be open and equal for
all. It stands for the proposition of free speech and argues
against any type of discrimination. In short, all data and users
must be treated the same by Internet service providers (ISPs).
The rules of 2015 prevented ISPs, such as Comcast, Verizon,
and AT&T, from slowing, blocking, or creating preferential
treatment to particular Internet services such as websites and
streaming Apps and services. While ISPs could always charge
for Internet access, they could not charge users for access to
a particular service such as Netflix, Facebook, or Instagram.
In fact, various ISPs have been caught violating net neutrality
rules by blocking access to competitor's services and slowing
speeds of bandwidth-heavy services.

FAST LANE

Larger companies that pay
top dollar, or traffic from
ISP's partner brands

SLOW LANE

pay,
Small companies that can'tmcast
Co
g.
(e.
or ISP's competitors
)
slowing down Netflix traffic

Why does the recent net neutrality decision matter?
The decision essentially repeals the rules and principles
identified in the previous paragraph. Without net neutrality,
ISPs will be free to slow speeds, limit or deny access, and/or

The rules of 2015 prevented ISPs, such as
Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, from slowing,
blocking, or creating preferential treatment
to particular Internet services such as
websites and streaming Apps and services.
29



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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/BucksWritsSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2017
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