Consumers generally connect to the internet one of
two ways. They can subscribe to a residential broadband service from a company
such as Time Warner Cable. Or they can subscribe to wireless internet access from
companies such as Sprint.
These companies have spent billions of dollars laying cables
in the ground (in the case of residential internet access) or erecting cell
phone towers (for wireless access) to ensure that customers have fast, reliable
Network neutrality is the idea that these companies should
treat all internet traffic equally. It says your ISP shouldn’t be allowed to
block or degrade access to certain websites or services, nor should it be
allowed to set aside a "fast lane" that allows content favored by the
ISP to load more quickly than the rest.
Since the term was coined more than a decade ago, it has
been at the center of the debate over internet regulation. Congress,
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the courts have
all debated whether and how to protect network neutrality.
Advocates argue that network neutrality lowers barriers
to entry online, allowing entrepreneurs to create new companies like Google,
Facebook, and Dropbox. But critics warn that regulating the broadband
market could be counterproductive, discouraging investment in internet
infrastructure and limiting the flexibility of ISPs themselves to innovate.
for the full article from Vox.