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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
of years, but there’s a lot of misinformation on what it really is. Now that President Barack Obama has come out in support of net neutrality, cable giants like Comcast are desperately trying to put on the brakes. Is that because they stand to gain from a non-neutral Internet?
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality guarantees that Internet service providers, commonly called ISPs, treat all data equally. That means they can’t charge different amounts based on what they’re delivering. A non-neutral Internet would allow ISPs to charge more for streaming video, for example, or tell people that if they want to shop online, they’ll have to pay a premium.
Sure, we can all vote with our dollars and avoid shopping online or watching videos through Netflix or Hulu through our PlayStations, Wiis and other devices. But what about the inconvenience a non-neutral Internet would cause in the meantime?
Do we really want companies controlling our access to the online services we use every day by charging us more to use them? We already pay for high-speed, high-definition and other services. Should we be forced to pay for the hours we use, the types of websites we can access and other things that we’re currently allowed to do at one flat rate now?
On November 10, Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, “’Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.” That tweet drew backlash from conservatives everywhere who do understand net neutrality, which is simply an effort to ensure that cable and Internet companies aren’t allowed to price-gouge (much like gas stations used to do during natural disasters).
What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on net neutrality and whether you think it’s a good thing. Share your thoughts here or over on our Facebook page and join the discussion! Carlos Gamino, a lawyer working in Milwaukee and Waukesha, is a bit of a techie – and with all of the debate on “net neutrality,” it’s important that the American public understands what it really is and how it could affect all of us.
The term net neutrality has been tossed around political circles for the last couple
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Net Neutrality - What You Need to Know
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