If you’re not aware of the issues of net neutrality, and you’re a student of medical billing education through Allen School Online, you should take a moment to read up on it because the courts are making changes to the laws that govern the way the Internet works. And while there may not be an immediate and present threat to your ability to study online, the potential for that to happen is being greatly increased. Start by reading this short piece from Wired.com on yesterday’s decision by a Federal appeals court to gut Net Neutrality regulations.
For those who just want the gist of it, here it is. Essentially, Net Neutrality meant that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – you know them as Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and others – were legally bound to treat all web content equally. That is, until yesterday, the ISPs could not treat any website with preference over any other. So what?
Here’s an example. Let’s say your ISP is your local phone company or cable TV company. Let’s also say you decide to do away with your landline telephone service (or cable VoIP phone service) and instead use a web service like say Skype. Well, with Net Neutrality regulations removed, your ISP can now slow down (throttle) your connection to Skype, making it work poorly essentially forcing you back into using their service. Or let’s say to save money you decide to do away with Cable TV, “cutting the cord” and using Hulu and Netflix instead. Well, now, if your ISP is your cable company, they can throttle your connection to Hulu and Netflix so that the user experience is horrible. Then you’ll have to go back to them for TV and movies. The elimination of Net Neutrality essentially gives the telecoms all the power and eliminates your freedom of choice on the net.
If you believe in a free and unfettered Internet (and if you’re an online medical billing and coding student you probably do) you should be aware of the changes taking place and make your voice heard.