fbpx

Your IT Support Experts

We partner with many types of businesses, and strive to eliminate IT issues before they cause expensive downtime.

Home

Stores

About Us

IT Services

Understanding IT

News

Blog

Contact Us

Support

Free Consultation

Interested in seeing what we can do for your business? Contact us to see how we can help you! Sign Up Today

JensenIT Blog

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

The cloud cast by COVID-19 wouldn’t seem to have very much of a silver lining at all, but if one looks very closely, there is the faintest one there. As more and more people are subscribing to self isolation and similar practices, remote work has become a more pressing need. In response, many Internet service providers and mobile data carriers are taking action and putting changes in place that actually resemble net neutrality.

Before we get too far into this, let’s go over what “net neutrality” is.

The Foundations of Net Neutrality

The fundamental idea behind net neutrality is that of the open Internet: that all content and all websites are given equal footing, regardless of the platform used to access them.  Basically, an Internet service provider (ISP) wouldn’t be allowed to make a user’s connection to a big global enterprise’s website faster than it would be to your website.

One analogy for net neutrality that many experts have used is that of the “dumb pipe.” In a city’s water system, all users would ideally get the same water pressure--their individual identity and specific use of the water isn’t factored into the speed at which they receive it.

Net neutrality has its biggest supporters in human rights, civil rights, and consumer advocacy groups, as well as in many major websites. However, Internet Service Providers and telecom companies have been resistant to the idea in the past, largely because of some of the other implications brought by net neutrality. 

The entire issue is fascinating, but is far too in-depth and convoluted for a single blog post--the important thing to keep in mind here is that telecoms and ISPs have generally been opposed to net neutrality in the past.

What the COVID-19 Outbreak Has Caused

With coronavirus running amok around the world, and more and more people subscribing to the social isolation policies suggested by entities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has become clear to many that connectivity has become a critical need for our society. As a result, the Federal Communications Commission has taken steps and released a pledge for ISPs and telecoms to take up.

Here is the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, as written in a press release given by the FCC on March 13:

“Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to: 

  • (1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; 
  • (2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and 
  • (3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.”

Dozens of providers had signed the pledge within a day, and many others have taken other steps to help soften the blow dealt by COVID-19 in addition to what is demanded by the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said,

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and — importantly — take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus.”

Many observers have noted that this approach relies on many of the tenets of net neutrality, but in the face of a disaster like COVID-19, it also seems very necessary in order to support the large amount of people who will have no choice but to work from home at some point, and will need that Internet access and speed.

What do you think? Has your mobile carrier or Internet provider lifted data caps and other restrictions to help you rely on the Internet better? Share your thoughts in the comments--just do your best to keep it civil.

What are Tech Industry Giants Doing About COVID-19...
Taking a Short Look at Windows 10’s Action Center
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, May 30, 2020

Captcha Image

Customer Login

Latest Blog

If you consider it, it’s amazing how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. They not only believe that these companies will fulfill their expectations, but that they will work to provide protection for some of their most valuable and sensitive information. Let’s take a look at some of the data collection practices that companies use and what they do with that data. 

Contact Us

Learn more about what JensenIT can do for your business.

JensenIT
1689 Elk Blvd
Des Plaines, Illinois 60016

Sign up for our Newsletter!

Hey! Before you go, subscribe to our newsletter for IT tech tips and advice!