Slow Internet Speed: Is the Government to Blame?

Recently, the Internet has been buzzing with news about net neutrality and the impact government regulations have over standard Internet operations. For those unfamiliar with the term, net neutrality is a legal principle that, until it was struck down, stated that Internet service providers could not choose which Web traffic would be sped up or slowed down. Regarding the question of who should be blamed for slow Internet speed, the government isn’t involved in throttling or other controversial measures.


The End of Net Neutrality

As discussed in the Washington Post, slow Internet speed is usually in the hands of your Internet service provider. Since net neutrality was recently struck down by a major court, Internet service providers technically now have the freedom to throttle Internet traffic as they see fit. In theory, Internet service providers can charge companies such as Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, and other multimedia websites fees to deliver content through their networks. If the companies choose not to pay, the Internet provider can intentionally slow down the traffic.

The court ruled that as Internet service providers are private networks that are voluntary, the government cannot dictate what is and isn’t slow Internet speed. While the loss of this protection is a significant blow to consumer protections, Internet service providers likely will not exercise selective throttling because of the public backlash it can trigger.

How to Determine Your Internet Speed

By using a responsive Internet speed test, you can measure your Internet speed regardless of whether you are on a desktop, mobile device, or even a console. By definition, “responsive” simply means that the speed test runs in your Web browser, so you don’t need to worry about app compatibility or the test being inaccurate due to the versions being different between devices. This ensures that if you believe your Internet provider is throttling your speeds, you can troubleshoot the issue effectively.