Net Neutrality

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Net neutrality is a key underling principle that supports the free flow of information on the Internet. It means that the middle of the network is neutral so that no companies charge extra to move different bits of information through the middle.

Citizens and businesses pay to access the network paying a fee to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). On the other end those who have web pages (citizens and businesses) pay for the amount of traffic that accesses that website. This payment on both sides is what covers the cost of running the network. In the middle, network services are provided under best effort.

Those who seek to end net neutrality would charge access fees or toll fees in the middle of the network. Those who provide internet services like Verizon and Comcast are seeking to end net neutrality by seeking payment from large content providers like Yahoo! and Google to access their subscribers (or better service to their subscribers for a fee). These large providers can afford to pay these fees but chose not to end net neutrality but paying these fees they have chosen not not agree these fees and stand with the end to end principle the internet is built on.

The Save the Internet Coalition, formed in 2007, has produced a video on how net neutrality works.

Additional Resources

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Author: Kaliya Hamlin