Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality in simple form is what reserves users rights to communicate freely and openly online. 

It means that Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), such as Sky and BT should not discriminate against what you as a user are able to view or post online. ISP’s have to transport all data between the servers and your computer in the same way, whether it be a Youtube video or movie streaming using Netflix. Without Net Neutrality ISP’s would be able to block certain websites, or views if they disagreed with it or slow down a competitors content. It means that Internet Service Providers would steer consumers to more expensive packages to access content. 

Net Neutrality has been in the press recently, because of a large debate that occurred in the US. The US ISP Verizon successfully challenged the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over it’s Net Neutrality rules. The courts pulled down two of the three rules of what was formally known as the “Open Internet Rules”.  This allowed ISP to start charging fees to carry data heavy services. 

In March of 2014, Netflix reached a deal with Comcast to pay a fee which would allow it’s Comcast’s customers quicker access to Netflix. This caused massive uproar, with hundreds of tech firms, including Google calling for a free and open internet. 

In February of 2015, new rules on how the internet is governed. 

The main changes for broadband providers are as follows:

  • Broadband access is being reclassified as a telecommunications service, meaning it will be subject to much heavier regulation
  • Broadband providers cannot block or speed up connections for a fee
  • Internet providers cannot strike deals with content firms, known as paid prioritisation, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers
  • Interconnection deals, where content companies pay broadband providers to connect to their networks, will also be regulated
  • Firms which feel that unjust fees have been levied can complain to the FCC. Each one will be dealt with on a case by case basis
  • All of the rules will also apply to mobile providers as well as fixed line providers
  • The FCC won’t apply some sections of the new rules, including price controls



After creating the new databases for users to post into about the businesses, we have linked this database to our existing code for the website. Using PHP, the final result now allows users to register for an account for the site, login and post to the website. 

Today, we added the PHP to allow the information from the database to be displayed to the user, similar to a Twitter feed, with the newest post appearing at the top. This allows the user to see the posts that other users have made to the site. We have also added the functionality to filter the posts by category. 

We have found an error in the text box that users post into, we found it does not allow certain characters, such as apostrophes. We will investigate further to solve this issue. Other than this, I think we need to just make it look slightly better using CSS, then the project will be complete. 

I have created a new database on my PHPmyAdmin account that will store the information which users will post to the website. The table contains the following fields:


This will be a unique ID that will be linked to the post. i have set the data type as an integer, as it will be displayed as numerical data and given it a minimum digit of 10. I’ve also set this to be an Auto increment, which means that the data will be automatically ordered. 

Name of Business

This is simply the name of the business in which the user is posting about. This has been set as a VARCHAR data type, as this is text. I have set it to have a maximum of 40 characters. 


This field will contain information about what category the business falls under. I have used the ENUM data type for this field, as the user will have the option to pick from 5 options: food, clothes, night clubs, gyms or electronics. 


This is a rating out of 5 that the user thinks the business deserves. This has been set as a Enum, again because the user has a choice of options that they can make, in this case, rating it from 1 to 5. 


This is where the main body of information will be, a description of what the business does and their offers. I’ve set this is a text data type, as it would need more information that what a VARCHAR offers.

Date posted

This will be a timestamp of when the post was made by the user. I’ve set the default as current timestamp, so it displays this information in the database.


This field will store information about which user made the post. Similarly to name of business field, I have used a VARCHAR data type, but set the maximum characters as 10. 

Going forward, the next step is to link the database to our existing code, so that users can post into the database. 

Our project now has a group repository set up on Github, this means that myself, Hallam and Robin can all contribute to the code to the project and upload it to this repository. 

The benefit of using Github is that it tracks the changes made to the code, so it’ll be easy to see what happened to the code and when.  It also makes the code available for public viewing and others can spot errors in the code.  The repository can be found at

Here is some screen grabs of how the site is currently looking. We have combined the code that I had created for the “about the team” page with the code that Hallam created for the rest of the site.

The whole site now links together and has continuity between the pages. We’ve also added a sign up page where users can register, so they’ll be able to post information to the website for other users to see.

The next step is to start looking into PHP and linking it to a database, which I will be working on.

I have being updating the code I wrote for the about the team page that will be used as part of the website.  We plan to combine element of code from other pages of the site, such as the code that Hallam created. This will help create a coherent experience for the user, for example with things such as the navigation bar.