us news Revisiting The Ongoing Fight Over Net Neutrality It's a debate that dates back to the early days of the internet, but it's still raging. Revisiting The Ongoing Fight Over Net Neutrality Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Shutterstock
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The most prominent current debate over technology centers around the pros and cons of artificial intelligence … but there’s another story playing out in the background.

Net neutrality continues to fuel a dispute that shows no signs of resolution.

What is it exactly?

While you’ve probably heard the term “net neutrality” bandied about in some form over the past several years, let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same thing.

The term dates back more than 20 years to a research paper outlining how internet providers should (and more importantly, should not) be allowed to manage such services.

Columbia law professor Tim Wu determined that providers should be allowed to broadly restrict internet service as it pertains to their respective resources. They should not, however, be allowed to play favorites by throttling service to certain applications or sites while maintaining full speed for others.

The debate continues

As the internet has evolved in the past two decades, there has been significant back and forth over whether net neutrality is actually a good thing. Many entities — including most individual internet users — seem to agree that internet providers shouldn’t be given the ability to essentially shut down applications on a whim.

Less than a year ago, Democrats on Capitol Hill introduced new rules meant to strengthen net neutrality protections, but they encountered some pushback along the way.

Some Republicans favor a free-market approach that allows companies to handle their products and services in the ways they see fit. And internet service providers aren’t keen on allowing the government to regulate how they do business.

Instead of enshrining net neutrality, ISPs have argued that they should be allowed to charge more for preferential, i.e. faster, connection speeds.

Which side will come out on top? We’ll have to wait and see.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 19th, 2023
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