What would it be like to be forced to buy from a particular website, say for example – snapdeal.com, when you want to go with flipkart.com? Or suppose you want to browse BBC website, but your service provider insists that you try New York Times instead. Also, consider the prospect of paying a fee for visiting particular websites whereas other websites remain free to browse. Certainly, you will not want these unfair business practices to come into being, as these would significantly harm the free Internet. This is exactly the cause of Net Neutrality, and liberals worldwide are fighting an epic battle to ensure net neutrality, as is described in more basic terms – “save the Internet”.
What is Net Neutrality?
The guiding principle of Net Neutrality seeks to protect the rights of the online community by ensuring free online communications. It calls for the propagation and protection of free speech on the Internet. Basically, it implies that Internet Service providers (ISPs) should deliver open networks, and should not be biased against any particular web application or any type of content that is being channeled on those networks. In the same manner as your phone company does not have the right to suggest who you should call or what to say over the call, similarly your ISP should not have any type of powers to dictate the type of content you browse or upload online.
Why is Net Neutrality Important?
For the online community
Since its inception, the Internet has played a significant role in the broadcast of free speech and ideas. There have been many instances where people living in the remotest parts of the world have been able to share their true stories with the world. This has contributed significantly to the deliverance of justice on a global scale. The broadcast of free speech and ideas has also allowed people to develop new perspectives, leading to increased tolerance and respect for each other. This eventually has played a pivotal role in promoting world peace. It acts as a counter balance to the nefarious intentions of unscrupulous powers such as specific political groups, militias, dictatorial leaders, etc. by letting them know that their wrongdoings will not go unnoticed.
The Internet has been a boon to small businesses and startups, who have utilized it to launch and market their business on a global scale. The Internet provides a level-playing field to all businesses, which leads to healthy competition and improved goods and services for the consumers. However, if Net Neutrality is jeopardized, it would create a bias and potentially lead to monopolistic trade practices, wherein a few businesses would call the shots for product quality and pricing. This would not be good for a healthy market and certainly not good for the consumers.
How you can help?
You can do a lot to help prevent the potential harm to Net Neutrality. First, get a good hold on the subject so that you are in a better position to fight off the counter arguments of the other group. Secondly, utilize your social media channels such as facebook, twitter, etc. to spread the word and seek support for the cause of Net Neutrality. Thirdly, you can post your comments and pledge your support on sites like savetheinternet.in. Your vote and support will go a long way in safeguarding Net Neutrality and eventually your own interests as well.