I was last week watching a piece by John Oliver about net neutrality and I wanted to write something about it. You are reading a blog, that probably means that you don’t care too much about tech. but wait, don’t close me and start watching cat videos on BuzzFeed. Please don’t, I promise this is something you want and need to read.
Well again you are reading a blog post on the internet right now, that also probably means you spent way to much time on the internet. I don’t blame you for doing that. That is the same what I do and millions of others all around the world do.
The internet is a wonderful thing, the internet is a place where everybody is equal. It doesn’t matter if you are a big corporation like apple or someone with a blog with a hand full of followers, on the internet you are both as accessible as each other.
It is not like TV where you need to have money to be aired on, if you have an idea you can put it up on the internet. This is all because of net neutrality.
Net neutrality makes it so that websites can’t be restricted by law.
There was this big debate about net neutrality a few years ago, but it was agreed on that the internet should stay the lovely free place that it is full of cat videos. Now the new Trump administration is talking about repealing net neutrality.
What is net neutrality and why should you care about it?
Think of your internet as a bunch tubes where all the internet flows trough right into your computer, mobile phone or any piece of tech that has an internet connection. Every tube is coming from a website (or web server, but let’s not get too nerdy) and brings the data from that website to you. Now under the net neutrality rules, every tube is equal. The internet providers maintain these tubes, but they are not allowed to maintain any tube better than the other.
If net neutrality is repealed internet providers can maintain some tubes better than other. That doesn’t sound like all that bad until you remember that internet providers are companies. Suddenly they can charge websites to make their internet tubes better and make websites with no money not accessible at all.
This means that a group of rich people can decide what is on the internet and what is not.
Now if I started a website to translate text from dutch to English my website would be as fast as google translate. If net neutrality is repealed google could pay to speed their website up, and everybody would still use the online translation services of google. Maybe mine was better at translating sentences then google, but that doesn’t matter because google has the money.
If net neutrality is repealed the internet would change from a free and open space to a space where rich people get to say what is on it.