What Is Net Neutrality?

Today "Red Alerts" have been posted on some big named website to protest for Net Neutrality. The FCC in America want to remove the rule called "Open Internet Order" tha Obama set up. 

Read what happened last year here for Internet Freedom Day. 

What is Net Neutrality? 

Have you heard the phrase being used? Don’t want to feel uneducated by asking what it actually means? Fear not, here’s a simple overview of what it is, and why it’s super important!

Net Neutrality is usually only mentioned occasionally in the press, when something big story wise brings up the topic. However, behind the scenes, away from the mainstream press, lots of changes are afoot, that are trying to kill off net neutrality for a variety of reasons.

Let’s start off with understanding what Net Neutrality means. I always love a good Wikipedia quote for this…

Net neutrality is the principle that governments should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.[4] For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.

So basically, Net Neutrality, is keeping the net NEUTRAL, not allowing governments, Internet service providers, hackers, or hosting providers to control what you can access or see, and how much or how quickly you can access it. 

Here's an example of what the internet could be like, if it's not neutral (Net Bias)...


This example (above) from Wikimedia, shows an example from Portugal from internet provider Meo. You have to pay for different packages should you want to use Facebook *and* Youtube. This is NOT Net Neutrality. This, in my opinion is wrong and goes in line with breaching Freedom of Speech. 

Internet Neutrality is about how internet traffic should be all treated equally. Emails or Video Streaming, should be treated equally and not throttled or blocked for certain types of internet usage. 

Here's another explainer... 

So what does that mean for the Net Neutrality in UK?

In the UK, we are under different orders, thankfully!

We are at the moment under the EU regulation for Open Internet Access.

However, when Brexit happens, we need to be careful this doesn't get cancelled, just like America now has the problem with the FCC. Theres lots of groups you can get involved with to keen an eye on these (see the groups section).

Search Neutrality

Then in my SEO interests there's Search Neutrality - all about keeping the search results organic, and not just what Google, or other search providers decides is more *important* over something else as equally relevant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_neutrality 

Groups to Follow

Electronic Frontier Foundation - https://www.eff.org 

Open Rights Group - https://www.openrightsgroup.org 

Save The Internet - https://savetheinternet.eu

European Digital Rights International - https://edri.org