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 See dumb network and Freedom to Connect.
References in periodicals archive ?
org, which aims to bring free Internet access to the developing world, has faced backlash with activists alleging that it violates network neutrality, the idea that all online traffic should be treated equally.
Network neutrality (Net Neutrality for short), in its most basic terms means an Internet that enables and protects free speech, and ISPs that provide consumers with open networks--without blocking or discriminating against any content that flow over those networks.
I discussed that order in these pages in late 2011 ("The Economics of Network Neutrality," Winter 2011-2012).
proposals were defeated: network neutrality report, political spending
The meeting's first full day kicked off with a Fun Run, after which telco executives and chief executive officers gathered for a policy discussion of a number of hot topics, including the recently issued FCC order regarding network neutrality rules and Universal Service Fund (USF) reform.
Network neutrality advocates see the success of content and
A) Initial situation The since 2011 with positive feedback discontinued technical dialogue network neutrality has highlighted in its course, that the net neutrality debate be an end in itself and isolated from other aspects of the digitization of the economy can not be performed.
A recent report on Network Neutrality and Network Services includes data on how components of Internet infrastructure and usage (pricing, competition, network management, etc.
The first nine chapters examine institutions and networks of governance and include discussions of the roots of Internet governance, ICANN and the domain name system after its issuance of the "Affirmation of Commitments," Internet addressing, lessons for information governance from the Google Books experience, the legitimacy and accountability of the Internet's governing institutions, network neutrality and network management regulation, policy and regulatory requirements for a future Internet, contract versus statute in Internet governance, and the contributions of technical activism to Internet governance.
Telecom companies may not be so easy to convince by the move to guarantee network neutrality, which would mean ending restrictions on Internet communications services.
Herman, Opening Bottlenecks: On Behalf of Mandated Network Neutrality, 59 FED.

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