What is Net Neutrality? Will Net neutrality end in 2018
Net neutrality is the concept that all online traffic should be treated equally whether it’s an email, a social media post, a voice call, a shopping purchase or a YouTube video. It effectively means web access without restriction and discrimination, and it ensures that the internet remains free and open – not only by preventing broadband providers from
blocking content but by stopping companies paying more to benefit from faster data delivery. It is currently under threat in the US and some of the biggest names in tech are trying to save it.
Will Net neutrality end in 2018?
The US Federal Communications Commission has repealed laws protecting net neutrality–the idea that all types of data sent via the internet should be treated equally, with no artificial blocks, slower speeds or charges. Despite the FCC’s repeal, change will be gradual and any moves by major US ISPs deemed to be detrimental to net neutrality will face protests and legal challenges. In other words, the fight continues. Here in the UK, net neutrality is protected in our laws and in EU rules, which are likely to become law here, even after Brexit.
However, there are a few cracks where mobile operators and ISPs offer free or unmetered access to certain streaming services or apps to encourage their use. That’s problematic when large corporations offer both broadband and content – which is true of Virgin, Sky
The FCC repeal is bad news for net neutrality, but the war for the web isn’t over yet.
Does the UK have net neutrality?
Yes, at the moment. For just over a year, the EU has banned the blocking, throttling, and discrimination of online content, applications, and services. This means that ISPs are not allowed to restrict or make it difficult to access a service, and it prevents them from
slowing down certain traffic to the detriment of any other.
They are also prevented from prioritizing, for example, Netflix over BBC iPlayer or My5, which means that one piece of data can’t overtake another piece of data to get to its destination more quickly.
But are there exceptions?
There certainly are. When net neutrality was enshrined in EU law last April, it included several exceptions. For example, ISPs are able to manage traffic if they are legally obliged to, so if a court order that certain content has to be blocked, then that must be acted on.
Internet providers can also interfere with the flow of data if it makes the network more
secure or to avoid congestion at specific times. What they can’t do, however, is
slow down Spotify, for instance, while allowing Apple Music to continue unaffected, because equivalent categories of traffic – in this case, music streaming – must be treated equally.
Does the US have net neutrality laws, too?
Yes, it does. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of net neutrality, changing the classification of a broadband provider from “information provider” to “common carrier” (which means it carries traffic without discrimination and interference).
The new Open Internet rules treat the internet as a public utility and, as in the
EU, ISPs are prevented from throttling or blocking content online. But the situation is changing and the FCC is already looking to reverse the rules.
What would scrapping net neutrality achieve?
It would allow network owners to produce ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ lanes on the internet. By paying extra to ISPs, major services such as Google, Facebook and Amazon would be able to move around the internet faster than those services that pay less or nothing at all.
HOW NET NEUTRALITY COULD AFFECT YOU
If net neutrality is overturned in the US, it could have some wide-ranging, long-term consequences for all web users.
The big internet companies would – reluctantly – pay for access to the “fast lane” but the extra costs involved could end up being passed on to consumers. Services such as Netflix may have to spread the burden on American customers by increasing subscriptions globally.
Smaller companies in the “slow lane” may find they don’t attract enough users and so they may not expand to these shores in the way we’d hope. New startups will be affected because the cost of providing an optimum service will rise.
If one company – let’s choose Spotify as an example – pays an ISP a fortune, then removing restrictions that prevent broadband providers from discriminating could see rivals restricted or even blocked, and that would inevitably have a knock-on effect worldwide.
4.A tiered internet
Although changes across the pond won’t water down the EU’s net-neutrality laws, it’s still scary to hear suggestions that ISPs may seek to offer basic internet packages limited to certain content, with charges for wider use.
See if your ISP is throttling your speed
If you’re suffering slow broadband speeds and can’t figure out why you may want to check whether your ISP is to blame.
The Internet Health Test, which has been devised by Battle for the Net, an organization campaigning for net neutrality, spends a couple of minutes examining whether or not your speed is being degraded or throttled and alerts you to any inconsistencies.
Navigate to https://www.battleforthenet.com/internethealthtest/ and just click on the ” Start the Test” option.
it will give you test Result like below.
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