Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now | Free Press
Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know Now
In May 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a plan that would have allowed companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to discriminate online and create pay-to-play fast lanes.
Millions of you spoke out — and fought back.
Thanks to the huge public and political outcry, Wheeler shelved his original proposal, and on Feb. 4, 2015, he announced that he will base new Net Neutrality rules on Title II of the Communications Act, giving Internet users the strongest protections possible.
The FCC will vote on Wheeler’s proposal at its Feb. 26 meeting. If all goes well, it will be a watershed victory for activists who have fought for a decade to protect the open Internet.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.
Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t be concerned with the content you view or post online.
Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.