I wrote this earlier today to explain to a friend in layman’s terms what net neutrality is and why it’s needed. I started with how the Internet works, described how it might operate without net neutrality and then touched on a few other counterarguments and points. I figured it might be useful to some other people, so I’m posting it on my blog.
As I’ll cover in a separate post tomorrow, the Internet community has done a good job of condensing this complex technical subject into simple terms and actions. That simplification is what has allowed so many people to voice their support for net neutrality. Those in opposition to net neutrality cry foul over this fact, but I don’t see that the reduction in technical language has in any way misrepresented the debate. However, it does mean that many people who support net neutrality may not fully understand the subject. Hopefully this explanation may help enlighten anyone interested.
The good news, of course, is that the FCC passed strong net neutrality rules earlier today. Reclassifying the Internet as a public utility will preserve the open Internet we’ve enjoyed for over 2 decades for the foreseeable future.
As a disclaimer, I wrote most of this based on what I’ve read and understood about net neutrality. I don’t have any particular academic or professional technical background in this, so there could be errors. That said, I have read extensively on the topic over the years and I’m fairly confident in my understanding of the material.