When we use the Internet on a computer or a smartphone, we take a lot for granted. We assume we'll be able to access any website or use any application we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it's a giant corporation’s website or one for a mom-and-pop business around the corner. We assume we can use any service we like — watch online videos, update our Facebook status, read the news — any time we choose, on any device we choose.
What keeps the Internet open is Net Neutrality — the longstanding principle that preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.
Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of online content and apps. It guarantees a level playing field for all websites and Internet technologies.
Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven online economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech. It protects our right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network's only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher-quality service and which to demote to a slower lane.
But the nation's largest phone and cable companies — including AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which websites and apps go fast, which go slow … and which won't load at all.
Free Press is fighting to preserve Net Neutrality — and strengthen the Federal Communications Commission's open Internet rules so that they protect users of all devices.
For our 101 on Net Neutrality, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.