Net neutrality. We’ve all heard the term, but what does it mean? It’s the principle that internet service providers must treat all data on the internet the same. Under the so-called net neutrality rules passed in 2015, internet service providers were prohibited from intentionally blocking, slowing down or charging money for specific websites and online content.
There are different opinions about the impact of recent changes to net neutrality regulations.
Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says the repeal was needed to return to a free, market-based internet.
But it’s not that simple, says Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. The primary practical concern for NTCA has been and still is what can happen in the absence of any rules or regulatory framework at all, Bloomfield says.
“Without basic ‘rules of the road’ of some kind to guide how companies interact with one another in the communications marketplace, there’s the potential for chaos that will adversely affect rural consumers and smaller providers who need clarity and certainty to overcome the challenges of their markets,” she says.
Read some of the different opinions in links to various stories listed below.