New Net Neutrality Laws in California
In 2018, California tried to pass its own Net Neutrality laws after the FCC repealed net neutrality. However, it was challenged in court by the Trump administration. They said it’s a federal issue, not a state issue, so there’s nothing California can do.
Phone carriers also challenged the attempt. They said they weren’t going to do anything bad, so the laws weren’t necessary. The court decided not to enact the law until an official ruling. The ruling finally came down, with the judge siding with California to pass the law.
What is Net Neutrality?
Network neutrality, more commonly referred to as net neutrality, is a principle that governs how internet service providers, or ISPs, treat internet communications. It says that ISPs must treat internet communications equally. They can’t discriminate or change their charges based on the user, website, content, platform, website, application, type of equipment, source address, communication method, or destination address.
If there is no net neutrality, it gives ISP’s the ability to do whatever they want. They can prioritize certain kinds of traffic, possibly block traffic from certain services, or meter others. It also allows them to charge consumers for various tiers of service.
A judge decreed that California has the constitutional right to enact its own net neutrality laws. He also disagreed that phone carriers were being good children and said they couldn’t play by the rules. He specifically mentioned the situation a few years back when there were terrible fires, and Verizon throttled back many wireless services, which caused havoc. The judge agreed that there needed to be set rules to keep the carriers in check.
Biden’s administration/the FCC have said that they plan to go back and re-enact the previous laws at the federal level. The federal law would then trump the state law. This decision means that California, and any state, can create their own net neutrality laws to prevent carriers from throttling, putting on caps, or any manipulation.
Carriers can appeal the decision to try to get it changed and even try to get it to the supreme court. However, with the FCC potentially re-enacting net neutrality, phone carriers will likely wait and see what happens.
Pros of Net Neutrality
Freedom of Expression
With net neutrality, anyone who wants to create a website can make one. There is nothing stopping anyone, so it gives everyone the ability to express themselves and gives people many things to look at.
With everyone having the ability to put whatever they want on the internet, small start-ups can compete with larger companies.
Net neutrality prevents companies from paying for faster access to their websites, which means any website should pop up as quickly as any other. It stops internet fast lanes from occurring. This happens when ISPs charge content creators to provide enough bandwidth for people to see their content properly. It also eliminates providers from charging fees to access vital services or entertainment platforms.
Cons of Net Neutrality
Less Network Innovation
Content nowadays requires a lot of bandwidth, so companies have been developing capacity rather than innovating new things.
Objectionable Content Thrives
While it is great that anyone can develop content, that also means that it is simple for objectionable content to thrive as well.
No Free Internet Access
It is possible that if service providers could charge money to access specific sites, it would free up money to allow certain websites to be accessible for anyone. This means even people who didn’t have internet would have access to specific websites.
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