Net Neutrality (n.)– a concept that advocates unrestricted data access from Internet Service Providers and governments on content, sites or platforms and equal treatment of all sources of content.
On Monday, August 9th, Google and Verizon received criticism for possibly violating the principle of net neutrality with their latest proposal for internet regulation. While the proposal is mostly consistent with Google’s stance of unrestricted internet usage, the rift came on the proposals outline for mobile cellphone networks. This includes exceptions made to health care monitoring, entertainment, gaming and advanced educational options that could potentially be grouped into a paid service that has a faster transmission time.
Supporters of net neutrality worry that exclusion of wireless and other online services could create a loophole that would allow internet providers to “circumvent regulation meant to ensure openness” according to the NY Times. Despite these concerns, however, Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (F.C.C.) stated, “…any deal that doesn’t preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable.”
Online net neutrality is a notion we often take for granted when browsing the internet. The fact that all content can be viewed equally without additional costs or varying loading times is something that comes as naturally to us as tying our shoes. This comes in stark contrast to other communication mediums such as television, in which viewers can pay extra to view cable programming and premium networks such as HBO and Pay-Per-View. Implementing a two-tiered system for Internet access would create complications for both users and entrepreneurs alike.
Jason Hirschhorn, former president of MySpace, emphasized this disparity, “Imagine a world where ABC, Comedy Central, MTV, any of these brands, were on some other network, and then there was open Internet.” The availability of unrestricted web access for everyone is a principal highly valued by our Los Angeles graphic design studio and we certainly hope the issue is resolved accordingly.