Despite its name, few people are neutral about Net Neutrality. This contretemps won’t end when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission convenes tomorrow (26 February) to publicly declare where the U.S. government stands on the matter. Part of what has inspired the disagreement over how bits of data should traverse the networks that together form the Internet is the lack of consensus about whether all information should be treated equally and what “equal treatment” really means. Should it really mean equal treatment for all bits? All information providers? Or should carriers be able to charge extra for premium services, but be barred from blocking or throttling access?
Earlier this month, we published an article that spelled out the arguments and counterarguments in the hope of making sense of it all. Now, Clyde C. McElroy, a former member of the general assembly under ICANN and a participant in domain name system operations (DNSO) working groups on new top-level domains, has further illuminated those points with this infographic:
As for his personal take on how the Internet should evolve, McElroy says, “I'm more in the equal treatment for all information providers camp, but think that the technical people should be in charge of exactly how that happens.”
Willie Jones is an associate editor at IEEE Spectrum. In addition to editing and planning daily coverage, he manages several of Spectrum's newsletters and contributes regularly to the monthly Big Picture section that appears in the print edition.