What Is Net Neutrality? (Infographic)

When President Barack Obama started talking about "net neutrality" this month, it set off an instant public debate.

But what is net neutrality?

In short, net neutrality is the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. In other words, traffic from one website should not get preference over another. And no website should have its traffic "throttled" - its speed cut back - for any reason.

Republicans immediately objected to President Obama's net neutrality statement. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, actually called it "Obamacare for the Internet."

Well, it's not quite that.

President Obama suggested the big Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) be treated as utilities under the 1934 Telecommunications Act.

But that might be too much regulation. The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called that approach "too simplistic" and said he needed to figure out "how to split the baby."

To be sure, net neutrality is a complicated issue. To get a better idea of what it's all about, take a look at the infographic below.

what is net neutrality


Infographic courtesy of WhoIsHostingThis.

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About the Author

David Zeiler, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.

Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.

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