Wondering what net neutrality is? Simply put, net neutrality bars Internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating against web content and platforms technically and financially on the basis of ownership, ideas or location. Net neutrality is what makes it so that Comcast cannot throttle your connection to Amazon Prime Video because they want you to watch new shows on Comcast. It is what makes it so that Sony cannot pay Verizon more to have its online gaming platform run faster than Xbox Live. And while these are banal examples, net neutrality also protects users from conservative corporations and their owners slowing down or removing access to resources like Planned Parenthood, pro-LGBTQ2S Forums, Domestic Violence support lines and similar services for women and gender minorities that have been under attack by the conservative politicians that telecommunications companies support.
How did we get here? In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission created net neutrality rules to protect end-users’ content from being controlled and affected by ISPs. Verizon sued the FCC, arguing that it did not have the power to enforce such rules. In response, the FCC reclassified telecommunication companies as “common carrier,” meaning that they offer services to the general community under license and authority of a regulatory body. Thus, net neutrality became a part of the oversight and enforcement of the FCC. But that oversight is dependent on the FCC chairman, who can choose their own path towards protecting access to online resources based on their own judgment.