On Thursday, February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new regulations relating to net neutrality. Essentially, these regulations seek to classify the internet as a utility—similar to water and telephone service. This means that internet service providers (ISPs) would not be able to speed up, or slow down, the download or streaming speed to an internet content provider. ISPs such as AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable could previously speed up, slow down or block certain content or websites—such as Netflix, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.
For example, Netflix was being streamed into millions of Comcast Cable homes, but slowly. Comcast sped up the streaming speed after Netflix payed a hefty sum for them to do so.
These new net neutrality regulations would seek to eliminate that “Fast lane,” and make all download and stream speeds equal. As CNN discusses, “It’s like equal opportunity for internet speeds and access to websites.” Likely, these regulations won’t take effect for several months to come, as it’s predicted that ISPs willfight them in court. Needless to say true net neutrality isn’t a reality just yet.