Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Net Neutrality is in general the practice of prohibiting Internet Service Providers, Telecommunications Providers, and Networking Services from giving favorable access or download speeds to entities they wish to give advantage via preferential treatment relating to agreements or other considerations. End users would under Net Neutrality be afforded with equal access to material unconstrained by their service providers.
The vote is scheduled for February 24th of this year.
In an article by Deutsche Welle, Felix Treguer, a co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based Internet advocacy group that is a part of the Save the Internet campaign said “What we are discussing with the net neutrality debate is the fate of the Internet and the important legal principles that will shape the future of its architecture, allowing telecom operators to make deals prioritizing content from big providers, such as Google, Facebook or Amazon, would fundamentally change the Internet by providing faster access to some services and slower access to others.”
He continued “What is at stake is making sure that the open platform for innovation for competition for freedom of communication, for freedom of choice for Internet users is preserved. To deal with congested networks you need to buy more routers and buy more bandwidth – that is how the Internet grows and develops.”
Some have countered the nature of the Internet is such that growing technologies and network protocols might be stifled by definitions of Net Neutrality that are not necessarily in alignment with electronic and network functions. According to Deutsche Telekom spokesman Philipp Bank in an interview with Deutsche Welle “The strict equal treatment of data packets is certainly not sensible and does not meet the demands of mainly new services being created. Even in the Netherlands, where there is a net neutrality law, services can be treated differently because services are different.”
“There are services that have higher quality requirements, there are services that are more sensitive than other services, such as telemedicine or a video conference. These are services that will only be accepted when they work correctly and there is a justification for them to be transported in a higher, guaranteed quality.
He stressed that Deutsche Telekom was committed to free access for consumers stating “Deutsche Telekom is definitely on the side of an open and free Internet that lets people use all the services they choose to use. That is our understanding of net neutrality and that has to be maintained.”
Whether it is one of not constraining technology doe to artificial requirements of law or controlling the internet remains to be seen. But many activists fear the lack of net neutrality will lead to further legislation or abuses by large companies who seek to control access toward that which is more profitable or results in less networking overhead costs to them. But given the cozy relationship to large corporations many elected officials have against the will of individual citizens who view the internet as a free and open service of great importance it will be interesting to see how this debate plays out.
Source: Deutsche Welle
By Darren Smith
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