Net bias

Net bias (or network bias) is the counter-principle to net neutrality, which indicates differentiation or discrimination of price and the quality of content or applications on the Internet by ISPs. Similar terms include data discrimination and network management.

Net bias occurs when an ISP drops packets or denies access based on artificially induced conditions such as simulating congestion or blocking packets, despite the fact that ample capacity exists to carry traffic. Examples (models) of net bias include tiered service (specialized service), metering, bandwidth throttling, and port blocking. These forms of net bias are achieved by technical advancements of the Internet Protocol.

The idea of net bias can arise from political and economic motivations and backgrounds, which create some concerns regarding data discrimination arising from political and economic interests. Non-discrimination means that one class of Internet customers may not be favored over another. According to this view, the Internet should continue "to operate in a nondiscriminatory manner, both in terms of how subscribers access and receive Internet transmitted services and how content and other service providers reach subscribers."[1] Every internet user should have equal upload and download capabilities on every network.[1][2]

Net neutrality

The principle of equal treatment of traffic, called "Net Neutrality" by proponents, is not enshrined in law in the United States but is supported by some regulations. Most of the debate around the issue has centered on tentative plans, now postponed, by large Internet carriers to offer preferential treatment of traffic from certain content providers for a fee.[3] Network neutrality is a set of rules that forbid network owners from discriminating against independent applications (instead of against competing ISPs, as with open access).[2]