Net Neutrality: A Loss of Control Over the Internet

January 19, 2018
By IsabellaConway BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
IsabellaConway BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When you go online you expect to be connected to whatever website or app that you want. You expect these things so much that it is almost difficult to think that one day you may be restricted to them. When you go onto the internet you expect Net Neutrality.


Net Neutrality is the way that the internet works. It is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commision to adopt Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open. Only two years later, on December 14, 2017,  in a 3-2 vote the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) republican majority approved the plan to gut the Net Neutrality protections.
The rules that were repealed are blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. The rule for blocking was initially created so that internet service providers could not discriminate against any lawful content by blocking websites or apps. The rule for throttling said that service providers could not slow the transmission of data based on the nature of the content, as long as it is legal. Lastly, the rule for paid prioritization made sure that service providers could not create an internet “fast lane” for companies and consumers who pay premiums, and a “slow lane” for those who don’t. Without the Net Neutrality rules, companies will be able to call all shots and decide which websites, content, and applications succeed. They will also be able to slow down their competitors content and block political opinions that they disagree with. Many consumer advocates have argued that if the rules get scrapped, providers will begin selling the internet in bundles. The internet will go from being a privilege, to yet another thing we will have to pay for.


In the republican defense, this may benefit corporporations financially. By selling the internet little by little, corporations will make more money. However, I personally believe that the impacts on everybody else outweigh these already financially stable corporations.


Being a teenager during this time, I can vouch for the people of my generation to say that as much as we love our apps and internet, having to pay for them is not something that we would not be happy about. I don't see any problems that have occurred in the past two years that make it justifiable to repeal these rules. The impacts this repeal could have on society are very large and nobody is going to be happy about it. Just think about all the lives that this repeal will be changing. The internet is the one thing that everyone can share. The poor, the wealthy, and anyone in between. Repealing these rules will create a barrier between the people who will be able to afford the internet and the people who can not. Net neutrality keeps the internet open to everyone, which is necessary for our technologically inclined world to thrive.



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