Portugal Gives Us an Idea Of a World Without Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

The debate around net neutrality has been hotly contested in the past few years. As explained by a post on Wikipedia, net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating most of the Internet must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

Thanks to net neutrality, it ensures that ISPs dont intentionally slow down or charge specific charges so as to give them an advantage or disadvantage. This levels the playfield for everyone where the small players can compete with the big players for the same customers.

Interesting enough, there are countries who don’t have net neutrality and Portugal is one. We now have a glimpse of how a world without net neutrality is and does not look fun at all.

In Portugal, Internet Service Providers are starting to split the use of Internet into various “packages” like social, messaging, video, emails and music. From the above screenshot, MEO, a Portuguese teleco gives options on how one can subscribe to use these bundles at €5 each, which means if you wanted to use at least one app from the five bundles provided, you would pay upwards of €25 monthly to access it.

The big problem about lack of net neutrality is that it would lead to a situation where smaller players would find it hard to compete with already established players since it would cost more to access them. We hope that net neutrality is maintained so that we don’t have a situation like what we see in Portugal.