net neutrality

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net neutrality

(NETwork neutrality) A uniform playing field for Internet transport. Net neutrality is the absence of restrictions placed on the transmission of content by the major ISPs that provide service to millions of homes and offices. It means all packets are delivered on a first-come, first-served basis regardless from where they originated. Net neutrality became an issue as ISPs began to carry more movie streaming and voice traffic from competitors that delivered the same services they offered.

A Very Contentious Topic
Since its inception, the Internet has leveled the playing field for all participants. However, major ISPs such as Verizon, AT&T and Comcast have lobbied the FCC to be able to charge a website based on traffic. Although it might seem reasonable to charge sites that disseminate huge amounts of content, Internet users already pay ISPs for access. In addition, proponents warn about the implications down the road if net neutrality were abandoned. For example, owners of all websites might be forced to pay extra fees to prevent their content from bogging down in a low-priority delivery queue.

The July 2010 issue of "The Hightower Lowdown" said: "Forget the technology, net neutrality is about democracy itself-- the latest battleground in our nation's historic struggle for freedom of speech, a free press, and the free flow of information that We the People must have if, in fact, we are to be self-governing."

The Rulings
In 2010, the Open Internet Order of the FCC ruled that carriers cannot block or interfere with traffic because it conflicts with their financial goals. However, in 2014, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the order, stating that the FCC did not prove it had the legal authority to enforce such rules. Later in 2014, the FCC proposed allowing ISPs to create pay-to-play fast lanes; however, that was abandoned after a huge public outcry.

In February 2015, the FCC voted to regulate Internet service as a public utility. Based on certain provisions in Title II of the Communications Act, the new rules treat both wired and wireless Internet connections as a telecom service rather than an information service. No sooner was the ink dry that members of Congress who favor the ISPs' position began to propose legislation to counter the new ruling. Stay tuned! For more information, visit www.SaveTheInternet.com. See dumb network and Freedom to Connect.
References in periodicals archive ?
Open networks and Internet neutrality are required for both the Internet media companies to advance further and in general for continuing market innovation, economic growth, social discourse and the free flow of ideas.
Federal regulation of Internet neutrality is a bad idea whose time will hopefully never come.
In that light, the debate over network or Internet neutrality, Net neutrality, for short is a power play, with involved parties using bandwidth issues as negotiating tactics for divvying up the pie.
Presented in partnership with Trade Fairs & Conferences International (TFCI), the conference will focus on the many legal technology issues surrounding globalization, including recent trends in mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property rights, employment law, legal outsourcing, Internet neutrality, telecom and media issues, and more.
April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- John Sumpter, Vice President of Regulatory at Pac-West , will participate in a panel that will discuss Internet neutrality hosted by the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley and Santa Clara University.
Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, made a strong case last week when he announced that he would ask his fellow commissioners to adopt what's known as the "Title II" approach to Internet neutrality.
Within this context, OTT services and Internet neutrality are burning issues expected to be extensively discussed in the coming years.
Within this context, over-the-top services and Internet neutrality are becoming issues of considerable significance in the dynamic Brazilian market.
Will they agree with publishers and contribute to a regulated web or make a stand for Internet neutrality and free access?
public sphere; public access, programming, and participation; and Internet neutrality.
During a summit on internet neutrality, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said it is important to ensure that the Internet remains an open, innovative and competitive place as the internet traffic is growing at a fast rate.
Finally, though Internet neutrality is to be maintained, the ultimate interest of the public should not always be seen as incompatible with price discrimination for information services.

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