The fight for Net Neutrality has gone mainstream. Advocates have worked with US lawmakers sympathetic to their cause in order to lobby the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not to make changes to the current rules. Although Net Neutrality is a hot-button issue, not enough people know the specifics.

What Is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality has become something of a buzzword. There are so many people talking about it and not enough people talking about what it means. Net Neutrality refers to the ability of each internet user to be in complete control of their experience. That means that when an internet user logs on, they expect to be able to visit the sites that they want to see without their internet service provider blocking websites or slowing down particular apps. Net Neutrality essentially means that internet service providers, and phone service providers as well, cannot show preference to certain websites, companies, or services.

Why Should We Worry About It?

The FCC is pushing to repeal Net Neutrality, under the idea that the rules are burdensome for small businesses. If Net Neutrality were to be fully repealed, then internet service providers and phone service providers could take payments from third parties or big corporations in order to give their sites faster access. Smaller companies without the resources would not be able to compete, and thus their services would not reach nearly as many internet users as they do under the current rules. That would mean that big corporations would have even more power over what people see and do on the internet.

What’s The Outlook For Net Neutrality?

Currently, the outlook for net neutrality is murky. The FCC Chairman, appointed by President Trump, is looking to gut Net Neutrality. Advocates and sympathetic lawmakers have not given up hope, but in the coming months Net Neutrality may no longer be the norm in the US. Even if that comes to pass, that isn’t a reason for advocates to give up: a future US administration could decide to re-implement Net Neutrality rules at a later date, even if Net Neutrality is defeated in the present.  

VPNs Help Safeguard Internet User Privacy

In a world where internet service providers can sell consumer data, and big corporations have more influence over what users see online, it is easy to see why virtual private networks are growing in popularity. VPNs allow users to bypass content restrictions, but they also allow users to maintain their online privacy through end-to-end encryption. Third parties, government actors, and hackers are all shut out of your online activities, which makes VPNs attractive to a large number of internet users. As corporations and government organizations try to gain access to more internet user data, look for the growth of VPNs to continue.