The FCC’s much-debated Internet neutrality rules are set to go into effect on Nov. 20. This will be a major milestone in the Internet’s history. From Day One the Internet has thrived because of its unique open platform that supports endless innovation and robust speech.
The concept of Internet neutrality assures us access to whatever websites we want to visit. It lets us use any services we want — watching videos, listening to streaming radio stations from around the world, tweeting play-by-play updates from sporting matches — at any time we want. Internet neutrality guarantees that all happens on a level playing field. Internet service providers (ISPs) are not allowed to play Internet “traffic cop,” meaning they cannot pick and choose what websites you can visit, nor can they speed up or slow down content from any particular website or service.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has asserted that Internet neutrality is “the First Amendment issue of our time,” and that is not just political hyperbole. The soapboxes of the 21st Century — not to mention the printing presses, libraries and political campaigns — are now accessed via the Internet. That is why the Internet neutrality rules are so important.