What is network neutrality


In the United States continue public debate and political battles surrounding the abolition of net neutrality (or neutrality) is the principle that providers are forbidden to block sites or to apply discriminatory measures against any Internet traffic. Basereporter.com explains the arguments for and against this principle and explains why it canceled U.S., and Russia, on the contrary, can fix on the legislative level.

What are the arguments against net neutrality?

The largest US providers (AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Sprint) believe that net neutrality is contrary to the logic of the market and does not allow them to earn money. This, in turn, inhibits the process of upgrading the infrastructure — laying of new cables, installation of new towers for signal transmission, etc. Pumping traffic of giants like YouTube and Netflix, requires providers to constantly upgrade communication lines, so companies want these costs to be offset by content providers or end-users. Providers believe that the abolition of network neutrality is beneficial to the users: they will be able to decide what resources they want to use in priority order.

This opinion is shared by the current head of the FCC, a Republican Ajit Pai. It was his submission in the United States began the process of cancellation of network neutrality. The corresponding decision has entered into force on 11 June, but the fight for net neutrality is still ongoing.

What are the arguments for the preservation of network neutrality?

In the book “the master switch” Tim Wu wrote that, historically, every new media promises the people freedom, but eventually falls under the control of a few corporations that have monopolized turn it into a closed system. So it was with radio, and the same thing will happen if providers start to impose to users their conditions. This process is fraught with censorship, because companies will be able practically to dictate to the user what content they consume.

Net neutrality guarantees freedom and equal conditions for both major players and startups. For example, the young Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg didn’t have to pay Internet service providers for high speed access to Facebook. Most companies in Silicon valley understand this and advocate for the preservation of network neutrality. According to them, only with the free Internet, the possible growth of the IT industry, and ultimately the development of innovations and the U.S. economy.

How it is related to a Runet?

In Russia there is no special legislation regulating net neutrality. But in February of 2016, the Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) decided that control of traffic is possible only in cases of identity theft, to prevent cyber attacks, but also in the cases established by law, and by court order.

According to RBC, the largest Russian service providers were asked to give them the right to limit traffic to individual sites, which is contrary to the principle of the neutrality of the network. However, the head of the governmental sub-Commission on the digital economy, first Deputy head of the government apparatus Maxim Akimov in conversation with Basereporter.com said that the abolition of “net neutrality” in Russia not discussed. According to him, it has no basis in the plan in the direction of “Regulatory” programs “Digital economy” or in any other project.

“Kommersant” writes that in the law the principle of net neutrality suggested that the Council for the development of the digital economy under the Council of Federation. Under the project, providers will be banned on its own initiative, to restrict access to any Internet resources. The document enshrined “comfortable for all participants of the market” conditions, I think the operators.

Arthur Thunders

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