The recent repeal of the rules surrounding Net Neutrality in the US may affect us. Here’s how…

No more Netflix and chill???

No more Netflix and chill???

Feel like streaming a movie with bae[1]?  Or binge watching the latest season of GoT? (that’s Game of Thrones for all you people with real lives).  Your life in the lap of television luxury may soon cost double or even triple your monthly Showmax subscription, or even worse, come to an abrupt end.

At the end of last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. repealed the rules of net neutrality, and these net neutrality bans may soon plummet south, over to us.

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally irrespective of whether they are data messages, files, music, videos, games etc.  By treated equally, we mean that the speed with which they travel through cyberspace should be relatively similar.   Net Neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) are not able to intentionally block, throttle, or charge specific websites and online content.

What does the ban on Net Neutrality mean?

It means that ISP’s will now be able to favour their own sites and content over others, unless these others pay of course.  ISP’s will be able to charge content creators for specific services by discriminating what data is counted against bandwidth caps.

This is particularly detrimental for small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are extremely reliant on open internet to create content that is accessible by anyone.  Net Neutrality allows these people to launch their businesses, advertise their products and services, and reach a worldwide database of customers.  The bans on net Neutrality will allow ISP’s to abuse their authority and destroy the equal treatment afforded to anyone on the internet.

Net Neutrality can be likened to a communist economy, where one sole body (namely, ISPs) determine what goods or services are accessible via the internet; the cost of advertising those goods and services; as well as who is allocated the most internet coverage: i.e the service provider with the most money.  Banning Net Neutrality essentially relinquishes all control to ISPs.  Is the really the direction we want to head in?

[1] Your partner – literally meaning “before anyone else”
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