U.S. President Barack Obama has called for regulations to make sure American consumers can access any website at the same speed, whether it’s a small business or a large corporation. However, it’s unclear whether these net neutrality regulations would protect consumers or just make it more expensive for them to go online.
The issue of net neutrality is gaining more attention in the United States and across Europe. Proponents say the Internet should be an open platform and broadband companies should not be able to interfere with a user’s right to access services or content online.
“The beauty of the free and open internet is that you can go online, do whatever you want, download whatever you want, read whatever you want and it’s not up to your phone or cable company to decide which sites are going to work and which won’t,” said Craig Aaron, president of the advocacy group Free Press.
President Obama supports imposing regulations to promote net neutrality, and has urged the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action to keep the Internet free and open.
The FCC was expected to vote on net neutrality in December. However, the vote has been put off indefinitely. European Union legislation on net neutrality could also be in jeopardy. EU governments are considering less stringent rules on how Internet service providers manage traffic on their networks.
The Heat interviewed a panel of experts on the issues surrounding net neutrality:
Our panelists Ot Van Daalen, Cathy Sloan, and Joshua Steimle, continued their discussion on net neutrality.