On February 26 [last Thursday], the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] - the governing body of telecommunications in the United States, passed a regulation on internet neutrality. As the semantics suggests, it is all about an unbiased treatment of internet traffic. For example, the amount of bandwidth available for a specific site would be the same as another site giving the same kind of content and service. It treats internet as a utility, just like electricity and water. There would be no service interruptions by the ISPs. And, there would be fewer gateway protocols controlling traffic.
Net neutrality is described by the person who coined it as a "network design principle". The idea that a maximally useful public information network treats all content, sites, and platforms equally. Though I don't really grasp the necessity of this definition [because of ATM maybe] but I think it deals more with the meddling of ISPs and individual internet hosts on internet traffic [though from my experience in the core network... I haven't really encountered such a practice directly, either I was unaware of it or ISPs in the Philippines don't practice it]. Perhaps there is a big difference in the conditions of internet access in the U.S. compared to the Philippines so making opinionated comparisons won't be effective.
Those who are in favor of net neutrality say that it can help even out an unfair playing field.
However, critiques are saying that this is a clever cover up for the internet to be imposed with government taxes and the like, describing the move as rash with long-term economic consequences detrimental to innovation and developement. Some professionals say that the internet is best left unregulated.
Now, how does this affect the internet users outside of the United States? Could this trigger other countries to follow the FCC ruling as an example and make their own governing bodies push through with their own forms of internet regulation? Sweden once tried to regulate the internet through the Data Act and BBS Act [well, a different form of regulation]. What would happen if the National Telecommunications Commission banned Smart Telecomms., Globe, PLDT etc. from throttling sites such as sulit.com.ph, etc.?
Internet users visiting sites with servers solely based in the U.S. can experience a sudden faster browsing experience on one and a slower browsing experience on the other. However, if there are servers outside of the U.S., the passing of net neutrality would obviously not have any effect.