Net neutrality is one of those ideas that sounds reasonable but which has been complicated by huge companies fighting over, what else, money. And in the middle is Congress, whose members are also trying to find a way to make a buck off the deal.
The concept here is that companies providing internet access should just provide the connection at a reasonable price and then get out of the way. Data is just data and everyone’s bits should be treated equally
The phone companies don’t like that idea because they feel large web companies like Google are “freeloading” on their wires. They want to charge them more to use their networks.
At the same time they’re already collecting lots of money from us users on the other end.
The fight going on now in Congress is over how much authority the FCC should have to regulate and settle disputes about web access (little or none according to the phone company’s pet Congress critters). But why should the FCC be involved at all?
The law should state that every company, every person, once they’ve paid for connection to the net, has the same right to send or receive information. Period.
Of course, there’s no obscene profits in that approach.
For more about why net neutrality is so important, go read this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor.