Since the earliest days of the Internet, when just a few universities exchanged data at a leisurely pace, nearly all network transmission has been treated equally, no matter what it was, who sent it, or where it was going (other than spam and malware). That’s the nutshell version of net neutrality. “Network neutrality” is sometimes called “Internet freedom” or “Internet openness” and has been a gentleman’s agreement that would prevent cable and phone companies from slowing or blocking some websites while providing special priority to others. As the Internet has expanded, now encompassing email, the World Wide Web, social networking and voice and video services, it has honored that modus operandi. All the content on the Internet was treated equally… until this year.