The Internet and indeed the World as we know it is facing some dramatic changes, as The US Federal Communications Commission has voted to end the Open Internet Order which protects Network neutrality in the United States.
‘Net neutrality’ requires all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally, without blocking, “throttling” or censoring services or websites.
The Net Neutrality Debate & Why Net Neutrality Matters
The future of the internet is on the line here, but it’s easy to be cynical about the conflict: What does it matter which set of giant corporations controls the internet?
Under the current net neutrality rules, broadband providers can’t block or slow down access to lawful content, nor can they create so-called “fast lanes” for content providers who are willing to pay extra.
Without Net Neutrality, the growth and innovation that fuels the digital economy will be stifled. Fast lanes or other types of network discrimination could have a big impact on the countless independent websites and apps that already exist (including yours truly), many of which would have to cough up extra money to compete with the bigger competitors to reach audiences.
Getting rid of net neutrality all but ensures that the next generation of internet companies won’t be able to compete with the internet giants.
The Internet is as awesome and diverse as it is thanks to the basic guiding principle of net neutrality, and in a time when there are already too few Online companies with too much power such as Google and Facebook – we need net neutrality now more than ever.
Its therefore our duty to participate in the battle to maintain net neutrality because its loss would be felt globally with the impact in Africa possibly being the worst given the current limited Internet access that already exists…The end of net neutrality will not only increase the cost of Internet access where its available, but in the case of Africa and other similar parts of the world, it will effectively further slow down the snail’s pace at which we are making our entry into Cyberspace.
One could take the issue further, and postulate that the end of net neutrality is an attack on Democracy itself because by limiting access, the free flow of ideas, conversation and information that has characterised the Internet will invariably be reduced.
The Internet is one of the few remaining platforms open to all Humanity, and any restrictions to access should be considered an affront to Civilization itself.
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