Net neutrality has been on everyone’s mind these days, since commissioners at the US Federal Communications Commission have voted to overturn rules that would force ISPs to treat all data traffic as equal.
“This is the right way to go,” said FCC chairman Ajit Pai ahead of the vote on May 18th, quoted by BBC. In an official statement, FCC officials added that they expected the proposed changes to “substantially benefit consumers and the marketplace”. They also mentioned that before the rules were changed in 2015, they helped to preserve a “flourishing free and open internet for almost 20 years”.
But what is net neutrality and why is it important to us, Internet users?
It’s simple. When we go online, we have certain expectations. We want to be able to connect to any site we want, without any data restrictions from ISPs, because we expect to be in control of our Internet experience.
This is basically what net neutrality is. This basic principle prohibits Internet Service Providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked, preserving our right to communicate freely online.
What is left to do
The most important part of the proposed net neutrality rollback is changing broadband internet from being classified as a Title II service back to a Title I service. Title I has fewer rules regarding how traffic over the network is treated. Under Title II, internet is regulated like a utility and requires that all data across the network be treated equally so long as it doesn’t violate any laws. Under Title I however, ISPs are free to prioritize data as they see fit and even charge more to guarantee better service. This is of growing concern as the line between service providers and content providers continues to blur.
On May 18th, the FCC decided to end a net neutrality order enacted in 2015. However, the vote by the FCC is only the first stage in the process of dismantling the net neutrality regulations.
The agency is now inviting public comment on whether it should indeed dismantle the rules. Americans have until mid-August to share their views with the FCC. This is the link you can go to and state your opinion about the initiative, by simply pushing the “Express” button and showing your support for net neutrality (do not let yourself fooled by the misleading “Restoring Internet Freedom” title, it’s quite the opposite of the FCC’s initiative).
Many voices are making themselves heard against the dismantling of net neutrality. An important advocate of net neutrality is comedian and political commentator John Oliver, who dedicated an entire episode of his show, “Last Week Tonight” to the issue:
How CyberGhost can help you
Since the data between your device and the CyberGhost VPN servers is encrypted, your ISP has no idea what websites you are connecting to. All your Internet provides can see is that you are sending encrypted data to a distant computer so they can’t slow you down based on the sites you are contacting.
Download CyberGhost VPN at this link and get the benefit of a truly neutral and private Internet experience. All you need to do is connect to a CyberGhost server from a country where net neutrality still reigns (so the only exception from our country list may be the United States in case net neutrality is indeed fully dismantled).