By Amanda Klohmann
Join ONA Issues on Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT for an interactive conversation with a panel of experts to ask your questions about net neutrality. Together journalists from across the country will discuss some important questions including what is net neutrality? How does it affect reporters and their communities? How do digital journalists navigate the political, legal and financial issues surrounding it?
Before you join the conversation, ONA Mizzou would like to give you a little bit of background on what Net Neutrality is all about.
Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of content and applications online. It guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies.
The New York Times sums up the principle of Net Neutrality simply in an article from December 2010. “The concept of ‘net neutrality’ holds that companies providing Internet service should treat all sources of data equally.”
At issue with this equal playing field are big cable and telephone companies. These companies would like to charge Web site operators, application providers and device manufacturers for the right to use the network. This means it could cost you more for smooth access to Web sites, speed to run applications, and permission to plug in devices.
Forbes blogger Nick Schultz explains that some believe “the best way to ensure the networks of the future get built is to rely on the market’s unique power to experiment with new business models and technologies.” Eliminating Net Neutrality is one business model to consider.
What do you think about Net Neutrality? Join the ONA Issues conversation this afternoon to weigh in on the issue and how it affects journalists or leave your thoughts in a comment below.