A Brief, Unfolding History of Net Neutrality (Infographic)

The Internet changes very fast technologically, socially and in creation of economic opportunity but the rules governing it change very slowly.

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By Peter Page

The one certain outcome of the current debate about net neutrality and how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) is we will live with whatever the rules are for a long time.

This infographic, commissioned by WhoIsHostingThis, a hosting review business with a deep interest in Internet regulatory issues, maps the key decisions by Congress and the FCC over a period of decades. The rules now in place were written years before the Internet became a pervasive presence, socially and commericially, not just in the US but globally. Even the term "net neutrality'' was not coined until 2003, when the giants of the Internet now were merely ideas or obscure startups.

Related: The Latest FCC Net Neutrality Rules Should Be Opposed

The FCC is soliciting public comment on a proposed Open Internet Rule. The proposed rule allows Internet "fast lanes'' that were barred by a previous rule tossed out, in part, by a January federal court ruling. However, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has stated publicly the rule, to be completed by the end of this year, could regulate ISPs much more closely. Now is the time to educate yourself and speak up.

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A Brief, Unfolding History of Net Neutrality (Infographic)

Related: Internet Providers Strike Back Against Net Neutrality Activists

Peter Page

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur

Peter Page's journalism career began in the 1980s in the Emerald Triangle writing about the federally-funded Campaign Against Marijuana Planting. He now writes and edits for Green Entrepreneur.

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