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Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown

K6ka September 10, 2014 User blog:K6ka

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Imagine a world where all the data on the Internet was not treated equally. Imagine a world where your ISP got to pick and choose the websites that they want you to visit. Imagine all your favorite websites taking hours to load, whereas the websites your ISPs chose to be on the VIP list loaded at the same speed that they originally loaded at.

This is the Internet, without Net Neutrality.

Wait, wait, Sherlock, hold your horses. What the heck is "Net Neutrality"?

Simple, my dear Watson. "Net neutrality" is basically the principle that all data sent over the Internet is treated equally. It pretty much means that "All data that you send and receive over the Internet can't be judged or treated differently than any other data." For example, if you were watching cute kitten videos on YouTube, playing TF2 or Minecraft with your friends online, and uploading a video of you taking the ice bucket challenge on Snapchat, all that data you were sending out are treated the same as one another. Minus the Internet connection you're on and the server you were managing the data with, all this data will be transferred and sent across the planet at the same speed with the same priority as everything else. ISPs and governments have no control over what type of data it is - it's data and it will reach its destination.

This is the benefit of net neutrality. You aren't controlled or limited on what content you view, or which websites you visit. You are on the great Internet superhighway, and which exit you get off on, or which fork of the road you take, is a decision that you and only you make.

So... why do I care if this "Newt Newtrality" or whatever it is called is... gone?

You should care! Without net neutrality, ISPs and governments would have control over the data we send and receive! For ISPs, this can give bigger ISPs the power to overpower smaller businesses and eventually eliminate the competition. They will then be able to determine which websites will load more slowly, to forcefully divert more traffic to the websites that they like. This can put many smaller websites out of business quickly, and soon only the corporate dominant websites, like Google and Facebook, will load quickly enough for you to not rip your hair out. And the load speed was the exact same as the one before this mess!

Confused? Here's an analogy - let's say there is a big company in a city that asked the city government to give them full, unlimited control of the roads and transportation in the city. In return, the company promised to keep the roads, transport systems, and infrastructure in top condition, so the city could focus their money on other fields, like education and property management. If the city signed this deal, don't be surprised if the company keeps the roads and railways leading to their business in good condition while the roads to other businesses are broken, rotting, and badly damaged, forcing customers to take the good road to get to the company that only keeps getting bigger.

The same can happen to the Internet if we allow Net Neutrality to be lost. Like the story above, replacing the roads with the Internet connections and cables, the big company to be your ISP and websites the ISP likes, the smaller businesses with smaller websites and ISPs, and the city government to be the federal government. If the big ISP got a hold of Internet connections and could control the flow of data, they'll divert more bits and bytes to themselves and their fellow comrades, while other websites and ISPs lose business and go bankrupt.

Many ISPs in the United States claim that removing net neutrality will allow them to improve your browsing experience, but only the opposite can ever be true. ISPs claim that removing net neutrality will give Internet users a "fast lane" to their favorite websites, but the truth is, all they're doing is making one lane to be the "slow lane", while the "fast lane" is the same lane that you've been using the whole time. In other words, your browsing experience won't improve, or rather, it will just get worse as you can't visit other websites. If your YouTube video won't load now, removing net neutrality won't fix that at all, except that you'll probably waste half-an-hour trying to connect to that small little charitable website that you loved to support, but now you can't, because you always miss the bus waiting for it to load.

For a more detailed explanation on how Net Neutrality works, see this video by CGP Grey.

Hey, that's definitely not a good thing! What can I do to defend Net Neutrality?

Glad to hear you're on board! You can sign the petition below to ask the U.S. Congress to protect Net Neutrality, which is the reason why the Internet is successful.

What else do you have to say?

It might seem a bit dramatic, but the battle to defend Net Neutrality might be some of the most important battles we will make for a century. Net Neutrality forms the basic principle the Internet was founded on: free and open communication.

Because of this, we really, really need to take action on this. I know most of you are groaning that you have to get out of bed and do something today, but if you don't do it today, you'll never be able to go back to bed and lull out like you did before. Please visit the Battle For The Net website and help spread the word - that the Internet must be protected.

This was first posted on Wikia at Community Central by a Wikia Staff member.

And... here is that amazing video on Net Neutrality by CGP Grey - [1].

Wait... this has nothing to do with The Sims Series. So why are you posting it here?

Why can't I?


Please vote on whether you will stand up to make a change. Remember - the Internet that you love is at risk. If you don't defend it, the Internet as you know it may not be here tomorrow. Are you in?

Will you help defend Internet Net Neutrality?

The poll was created at 23:50 on September 10, 2014, and so far 71 people voted.

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