Filed under Opinion, Showcase

Life, liberty and the pursuit of net neutrality

Ajit+Pai%2C+Chair+of+the+Federal+Communications+Commission+%28FCC%29%2C+who+repealed+Net+Neutrality+rules+in+a+3-2+vote+on+Dec.+14.+
Ajit Pai, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who repealed Net Neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 14.

Ajit Pai, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who repealed Net Neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 14.

Ajit Pai, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who repealed Net Neutrality rules in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 14.

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America seems to be at an edge with net neutrality. Net neutrality is the ground rule that internet service providers (ISPs) must give equal service and treat all internet data the same. It prohibits the providers from speeding up, slowing down or even blocking content from users. This current rule was repealed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 14.

This causes worry in Americans on what internet plans may look like in the future. Without net neutrality, internet providers can change the way conduct  business from what people might know today. In a way, the internet could now have a tax. Customers could potentially be charged monthly for certain services like access to social media, email and  search engines. Providers would no longer be prevented from blocking services they don’t profit from.

The vote has raised fears about the repeal’s effect on consumers. In reality, these ISP’s will take full advantage of the repeal. The repeal would allow the providers to experiment with new ways to earn money. Although, fears of extreme limited access are unwarranted. If net neutrality is repealed, it would be similar to what the internet was in 2010 but without widespread high-speed access. Net neutrality has only been around for a couple years but has done a tremendous service for internet users.

Net neutrality is the only thing allowing people to communicate and gain information freely. It widely allowed citizens to connect movements such as Black Lives Matter. It protects people’s freedom of speech. Without it, large amounts of information could be censored from American citizens.

The vote still has to go to Congress, and they have already shot down this process twice. Those who oppose the repeal should call their senators or send a pre-written email.   

Texting ‘RESIST’ to 504-09 gives an open lane to Congress. The automated text messaging system asks you where you want to send a message–just reply with Congress. It’ll then ask texters for their address to find which senators to send their message to. Simply reply with, “Save net neutrality.” It’s that easy and takes about two minutes. It’s up to the people to fight for the free and open internet, or they will lose it.

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