Will the Repeal of Net Neutrality Hit Australian Shores?

  • Net neutrality means that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same without discrimination.
  • The net neutrality in the United States has just been repealed.
  • This may eventually influence the internet worldwide.

Net neutrality - the lingering bastion that was ensuring that internet service providers treat all data the same and not discriminate or charge differnetly by user, websire or application - has successfuly been burnt to the bloody ground by the Federal Communications Commisions (or FCC) of the United States. 

The rules that stipulated that internet service providers must offer equal access to all web content were put in place by Barack Obama in 2015, and were subsequently legally thrown out the window on June 11 of 2018 - almost six months after the FCC voted to roll back the rules. Changes are likely to happen slowly but inevitably, with the laws now allowing companies to find new ways to charge people for using online services; unless of course, said people put kick up a sizable fuss. 

Effectively, it means that it's now legal for companies to put together "premium" packages for websites. Theoretically, varous competing social media services that that are currently free, could bundled into a package and sold for an access fee that only the wealthy can afford. Although this is currently an America-specific legislation, time will tell whether the same practice will manifest in other countries. Stay vigilant!