For a while now there have been multiple activist groups lobbying hard for a free internet. You may remember last year the wonderful grumpy cat flying above the sky, or even before that the perpetual loading symbol that webmasters added to their website to show solidarity for the internet as we know (and love) it. Well the next hero, who has come running onto the scene is none other than the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee.
Berners-Lee co-wrote a letter with law professors Barbara van Schewick and Larry Lessig stating:
Securing this [net neutrality] is essential to preserve the open Internet as a driver for economic growth and social progress.
They argue further that the “internet has become the critical infrastructure of our time” and even mention the low blow of 17 of Europe’s largest telecom companies threatening not to invest in 5G mobile networks if the decision does not favour them.
Net neutrality has long been argued for by the users of the internet. The flip side is a tiered internet system, where users could pay for a faster service and telecom and ISP (Internet Service Providers) companies would flourish and take control of the internet. Last year the US voted in favour of maintaining net neutrality. However, the cause has not been won so far in Europe.
Currently we have net neutrality. This means that small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs can challenge established business and make their own platform on which to conduct business. Losing net neutrality would make it impossible for small businesses to be found online, marking an end to market competition and the small guy still turning a profit. If you would like to learn more about net neutrality, you can read this article by Garrick Long or if you would like a simple overview you can find this at http://www.factory.co/net-neutrality . Here they have created a pdf that provides the basic information regarding net neutrality so far.
If you would like to help secure an internet that works for everyone rather than a privileged few, you can send an email to the BEREC. On this page you can also find a small banner widget that you can add to your website to show your support. If you need help adding it to your page, let us know and we will do it for you!