In Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda’s article, “The World Is Watching Our Net Neutrality Debate, So Let’s Get It Right”, he discusses in the importance of network neutrality and what it means for the world. But what is network neutrality? Why is there a debate happening in our nation’s capital about this issue?
Network neutrality, often referred to as ‘net neutrality’ or ‘open internet’, is the idea that governments and internet providers should act blindly and impartially to information moved on the internet, without regard to content, destination, or source. This is an important concern because even today there are examples around the world of governments restricting internet access, limiting what companies can do, and hindering the free speech of citizens.
In the United States, freedom of speech is a right of citizens and on a daily basis this right is used by millions of online users to express their thoughts, concerns, dreams, or grievances over the internet. Ambassador Sepulveda discusses the importance of this freedom, not just for Americans, but for the whole world. Through the internet, the sharing of thoughts and ideas have occurred across borders. This has allowed for internet users to benefit from the flow of information and enable growth in all levels of the world economy.
There are debates occurring in the halls of our nation’s capital currently. Internet providers desire the ability to restrict or slow down access to some websites and offer easier access to the provider’s preferred websites instead. Ambassador Sepulveda argues that instances like this should not occur. Instead, the United States needs to be an example of how governments should maintain their internet access.
Ambassador Sepulveda argues that America “…is working hard to preserve and protect the open internet, ensuring that it remains an engine for innovation, economic growth, and free expression.” If that is the case, it is essential that Americans work hard to maintain their internet rights – setting a standard for the world to follow as we continue to bring more users online in a world of growing connectivity.
Be sure to read Ambassador Sepulveda’s article here.
Cover photo credit: Kirk Lau of flickr