Sr. Forensics Consultant Christopher Schulte talks to Minneapolis' Channel 5 News about a recent Court of Appeals decision which upholds the concept of Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) must allow access to all sites and services on the internet without favoring certain websites or internet traffic. This is a good thing for everyone who uses the internet to shop, surf the web, and communicate with others.
The cable and telecom industries argue that they should be able to throttle traffic and charge consumers more for access to certain sites. This would have a dramatic impact on every business that uses the internet.
For example, if a business relies on videoconferencing for communication, it could be charged more to use this technology. Or perhaps an ISP has a deal with Skype allowing access for that product but not a competitor such as Apple's FaceTime.
The continued classification of broadband access as a utility has a positive impact for all internet users. If ISPs are allowed to send traffic to one service but not another, they are able to effectively create "winners and losers" on a whim, rather than allowing a marketplace of ideas to determine that outcome. If an ISP was able to block traffic to YouTube when it was first brought online, we would likely not enjoy the numerous streaming content services that are available online today.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement following the ruling, "Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire Web, and it ensures the Internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth."
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