What is net neutrality?
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Some Internet service providers are throttling our connection speeds, for various reasons.
This has sparked a recent push for “net neutrality,” which is a fancy term for attempting to put the Internet back the way it was, where all of the Internet received the same level of access and speed.
First, let’s go over what Internet throttling is.
Essentially throttling can be used for good, and bad. Throttling for good controls the amount of data transmitted to ensure servers don’t crash from data overload.
The same is employed within an office setting, not only protecting the servers, but also allowing other computers in the local area network the same amount of network speed so the system remains stable.
However, when an Internet Service Provider notices you are using an inordinate amount of bandwidth, then throttling can become a negative practice. It’s also been said to occur in reverse for specific sites that pay extra money so they are not throttled.
It could be looked at as an understandable practice; a company sells you a service and expects you to use only a certain amount. Which is fair, but why not just charge extra? Some companies have taken to billing extra for what they deem overages, which in some cases could be more than 250 gigabytes in data usage a month.
But when compared to other services, such as cable and satellite, too much use sounds like another excuse to collect more money. Cable and satellite companies don’t mandate how much television you are allowed to watch, so why should ISPs be able to limit Internet usage?
Now the Federal Communications Commission is getting involved.
What is scary about the FCC getting involved is how things tend to get worse once a federal agency moves in to “fix” a problem.
As the character Dr. Alan Grant said in Jurassic Park III, “Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.”