Net Neutrality

OED Definition- Buzzword – Noun:  the fact or principle of Internet service providers enabling access to all content and applications regardless of the source or destination, and without favoring or blocking particular formats, products, websites, etc.

Wikipedia Definition – Noun: the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality: 

Business Insider breaks this video down into its more important parts, Click here to be directed. 

Etymology: Net, (a network of computers, shorting for Internet), + Neutrality, (French & Latin, An intermediate state or condition, not clearly one thing or another; a neutral position, middle ground.) The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003, in effort to help push towards making the Internet a public utility and help protect consumers rights. The term Net Neutrality rose to popularity in 2014 when the FCC & Congress were debating and voting on a bill that would have ended Net Neutrality and would have enabled large companies to pay a premium for faster speeds when their websites are accessed by consumers.

Sociolectal Information: Used initially by academics & lawyers who worked in the technology field who saw this as a possible problem in the future. Yet as companies like Comcast & Verizon started slowing down data-heavy websites like Netflix, People started catching on and Net Neutrality became a hot-button issue almost overnight. Very soon after the FCC & Congress attempted to rectify this issue in 2014, yet this led to even more contention and debate. Usage of this word dropped off soon after the outcry and debate regarding the congressional bill, yet it still remains an important and unresolved issue.



Survival Predictions: Net Neutrality, although having already peaked in usage, has a long life ahead of it. As usage of the Internet spreads around the globe and becomes an even more integral part of our society, Net Neutrality will remain a huge issue until it as protected similarly to other utilities such as water and electricity. Net Neutrality has already been discussed around the world in countries ranging from Brazil, India, Netherlands, and the EU. 

Lexopinions:  Net Neutrality is becoming and will be an important principle as usage of the Internet spreads throughout our society. Net Neutrality has yet to be discussed in a majority of modern nations or at the international level, which is something that most experts see as inevitable.

Students at William & Mary define & discuss Net Neutrality:


  1. Adam Wang says:

    John Oliver also said this in his piece on net neutrality (and probably said it better) but essentially do you think the word net neutrality is too long and technical for the general public to either adopt the word into their common vocabulary, or know what the word actually means. Do you think there’s going to be another word that’s going to be more speaker-friendly version of the word? Also the bill did not get passed, do you think that because of this the word would be less relevant? Great post, a very important concept and issue.

Speak Your Mind