Net neutrality plays a pivotal role in determining the state of the web. Defined as treating all data and content on the Internet equally, net neutrality ensures that the web will remain as a neutral platform, for the freedom of speech of its users. This means that no user or content on the Internet is discriminated.
So the question comes: why is there a need for web design in the first place?
The Internet is the first of its kind – designed as the first global communication network that allows us to communicate not only with individuals, but also with the world. Our increased reliance on it makes it even more vital to protect the safety and fairness of it for all users. In the recent years, there has been an ongoing debate, on whether to allow access to the Internet as a human right or not. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States of America calls for an open Internet (no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritisation), whereby users are allowed to go where they want, however they want it.
Of course, some are not in favour of net neutrality, citing that large companies will not have the motivation to improve, and definitely, the government will have more control over the Internet. This is especially in the case of developing countries, whereby companies and telcos need to transform, improve and upgrade in order to increase efficiency.
That said, I personally feel that we should not kill net neutrality.
It would obviously be unfair if a large multinational company (MNC) pay Internet Service Providers a sum of money so that they are able to deliver content faster to their users as compared to a small start-up company that doesn’t have the financial capabilities to do the same thing. With faster content delivery and easier access to websites like the former, users will obviously be turned off by sites with poor service. Thus, this unfair advantage that huge companies like MNCs have, to “bribe” ISPs, will result in an uneven playing field.
Net neutrality also allows for everyone, regardless of status, race or background, to create and spread new ideas that they have freely, on the web. This not only allows for more innovation, but this free-for-all platform provides an opportunity for users to tap on their creativity, and share their ideas with the world. With this, it also creates a more competitive environment for ISPs to further upgrade themselves as well.
In short, maintaining net neutrality will provide a better surfing experience for users, providing them with an “almost ideal” environment, fair for use for anyone and everyone.