Professor Amy Joyner
25 July 2014
America Needs Net Neutrality
America is currently under a very big threat to our nation’s freedom. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently in the process of debating whether or not to end net neutrality. Back in 2010 the FCC made a decision to enforce net neutrality, which would require all ISPs, also known as Internet Service Providers, to treat all lawful internet traffic equally. This requirement helps maintain an open and free internet, but in January of 2014 the DC Circuit struck down the FCC’s previous decision because they claimed that “the agency had unreasonably interpreted sections of the Communications Act and had regulated broadband providers as ‘common carriers’ despite declining to classify them as such” (2565). Since this happened, the FCC is now require to make new open internet rules. The problem is that now the rules are being heavily influenced by the ISPs and because of that they are in the process of making the internet a metered environment. Up until earlier this year, ISPs were required to treat all traffic equally, as long as it was legal. If the current rule sets that are being voted on in the FCC are approved it will permanently allow ISPs to charge people individually just for having traffic touch their lines. For example, if you were trying to connect to Netflix (a popular video streaming service) you would need to have internet access, which you would pay your ISP to provide. Also, Netflix would be required to have internet access, which they would pay their ISP to provide. In the current internet system, when you connect to Netflix your ISP will send data to Netflix’s ISP which will send data back to you so you can watch your show. The problem with the new rules the FCC is voting on is that your ISP would be allowed to charge Netflix for bringing their traffic to you (even though you already paid your ISP). If Netflix refused to pay those fees, the...
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"TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW - INTERNET REGULATION - D.C. CIRCUIT HOLDS THAT FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION VIOLATED COMMUNICATIONS ACT IN ADOPTING OPEN INTERNET RULES. - Verizon v. FCC, 740 F.3d 623 (D.C. Cir. 2014)." Harvard Law Review 127.8 (2014): 2565. Proquest. Web. 21 July 2014.
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