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The Fight for Net Neutrality

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The Fight for Net Neutrality

Kaitlyn Zamago, Business Manager

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Every day, almost 80% of the United States population uses and is affected by the internet. People use it for work, school, research, and entertainment in their day to day lives. The United States allows access to almost everything on the internet to view and manipulate. This is because of Net Neutrality.

 

What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is the Internet principle that preserves the right to communicate freely online. It allows people to use the internet without Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intervening. Net Neutrality gives us access to all parts of the internet with open networks and unblocked content. With it, we can view or post anything we want.

 

Why is it Important?

In 2015, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of Net Neutrality giving people everywhere a chance to use the free and open internet as they pleased. However, Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to end Net Neutrality. In May, the FCC voted to allow Pai to to continue with his plan to get rid of Net Neutrality. December 14 marked the FCC’s vote on his proposal, which ruled 3-2 in favor of it, and against Net Neutrality. This is assumed to proceed towards congress.

 

What Will Happen Without Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is a major protector of free speech. If we were to lose it, companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon will be able to block usage of the Internet. They may block websites and competing companies they are against. This will greatly limit public freedom of the internet.

An example of a country without Net Neutrality is Portugal. In Portugal, their internet access is split into packages. There you pay for packages for specified use.. Some examples of packages include Messaging (iMessage, Skype, WhatsApp, Hangouts), Social (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, Tumblr, Pinterest), Video (Youtube, Netflix, Periscope), Music (Spotify, Soundcloud, Pandora), and Email & Cloud (Gmail, Yahoo, Google Drive, iCloud). Simple packages such as these add up while they are free product with Net Neutraility. Most of these packages cost around $5 each. Many would have to add on multiple of these packages to have access to what they need in addition to paying their regular wifi bill.

On top of all the added payments, you would also have to pay in order to have access to the “fast lanes”, which load content quicker. The alternative “slow lane” costs less but loads your content at a much slower rate. All of these things add up to a very expensive internet bill.

This doesn’t just affect those who use the internet everyday, it can also affect smaller companies. Larger companies have the ability to pay off ISPs in order for them to let people have more access to their content. Smaller companies, on the other hand, may not have as much influence or finance. This can affect those companies in a very negative way and put most out of business.

 

Having net neutrality is very important to many people. Without it, they would not be able to do the things that they regularly do in their day to day lives.  It is important to fight for net neutrality in order for everyone to have equal access to all parts of the internet.

Sources

https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-portugal-internet-20171127-story.html

https://www.wired.com/story/heres-how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-change-the-internet/

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About the Writer
Kaitlyn Zamago, Social Media Manager

My name is Kaitlyn Zamago and I am a sophomore at Northwest Career and Technical Academy. I am in the Media Communications program and I am also a board...

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