Net Neutrality For The Average Joe

Net Neutrality has been a highly talked about and controversial topic in the news. However, despite seeming like a complex topic, it is based on a basic principle. This principle is that all content on the internet should be treated equally.

Without any Net Neutrality laws or regulations in place, your Internet Service Provider would be allowed to slow down your access to certain websites or services or force you to fork up money to access them. They could also just outright block whatever services or websites they wanted.

Life without Net Neutrality is a real thing. A famous tweet from an American politician shows a page from Meo, an Internet Service Provider in Portugal. It offers various different packages made up of applications, websites, and services that are not provided in the standard plan. If you want access to messaging, you must pay up 4.99 euros per month to gain access to Whatsapp, Skype, Facetime, and a few more services. However, if you would like to use music apps, you must also add a different plan which also costs 4.99 a month...

In many countries around the world, this is not a massive problem as there is a high amount of competition. The network is open and third-party service providers can access the network and offer their own unique services to people.

However, in the US, this competition is nonexistent. 61% of American’s have access to only one service provider. 16% have access to two service providers and just 2% have access to three or more providers. This means that for 61% of Americans if one ISP begins violating Net Neutrality and slowing down/blocking access to different websites and services, they are powerless as they have no alternatives.