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Net Neutrality: What Is It and Why Should You Care about It?

The ‘net neutrality’ terminology is often mentioned by Mozilla as one of its main missions. But how much do we know about it? Do we really know or it’s just our own assumption?

Here we briefly take a look at the important issue for any of you who haven’t understood what the term means and the reason why all of us as internet users should pay attention to this and fight for it before it’s too late.

In its Manifesto, Mozilla is committed to protecting the internet as a publicly accessible resource regardless of geographical boundaries and any other factors. Mozilla sees it as a foundation and underlying principle of its endeavor.

Then why do you need to pay more attention to this and get yourselves even more actively involved in it?

Basically, according to net neutrality principle, there must be no institution (either bureaucracy or private) that determines at its own will whether a certain type of content is consummable and accessible on the web.

On daily basis we make use of the internet and all we care about is its speed of multimedia files downloading, accessing favorite sites, and uploading as many updates as possible on media social feeds. We’re already very satisfied after all of the aforementioned activities are accomplished, aren’t you?

It’s humane not to care about what you have before it’s taken from you. All of our current activities on the web may be freely, rapidly and cheaply done. But who or what can guarantee that will last forever?

Imagine you’re driving on a highway on which all vehicles are treated equally. No vehicle is prioritized or stopped. Whether it be a rich man’s luxurious car or a wholeseller’s pickup truck, the treatment is just the same.

This freedom and equality are what Mozilla fights to protect. It’s because in some cases, there’re institutions/ bodies cooperating with Internet Service providers (ISP)  to manipulate internet access for the sake of their own interests and agendas. Bureaucracies or businesses have great authority (both legally and financially) to block content they deem unsuitable to their their interests.

And why is such a freedom important? Because it’s closely related to the enforcement of democracy at the same time. When access to information on the web is blocked by certain entities (such as a regime in a country) only because it’s considered against a status quo’s political stance or view or a certain business agenda, public or laymen like us will never know that we are actually denied of access to more sources of information and ‘brainwashed’ with biased and less balanced information. And if public remains brainwashed this way, how can they compare and determine their attitudes and responses?

If you think democracy is not of your concern, think about this: lacking net neutrality also means being robbed of our own rights of CHEAP internet access.

How is it related?

Let’s take a case involving Netflix in the US back in 2014 before net neutrality regulation were enshrined. Customers of Comcast (one of main ISPs in the US) complained bitterly about the sluggish connection when accessing Netflix service. Once Netflix agreed to pay, the speed to the service via Comcast recovered. Did Netflix voluntarily charge this on their own budget? Definitely not. They charge the cost of settling up with Comcast on their customers, because what business on earth is willing to suffer from losses? This is our wakeup call.

Basically, according to net neutrality principle, there must be no institution (either bureaucracy or private) that determines at its own will whether a certain type of content is consummable and accessible on the web, or  - in Netflix and Comcast case - determines speed of access.

So does net neutrality matter to you more now?

Source : Mozilla's Dixon Says No One Country Should Regulate Internet

Written by Akhlis Purnomo.