Net Neutrality or Not?

With net neutrality, you can freely browse the internet. What would happen without it?

Jared Arbolario, Staff Writer

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What if you had to pay to access this website? What if you were limited to using the internet? If you weren’t charged to open this article, net neutrality is still in place. But, if there was no net neutrality, there’s a high chance some money would be leaving your pocket. Still, what is net neutrality? Well, net neutrality is the basic regulation which says that all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must enable equal access to all websites and applications. By freely opening this article and website, you’re taking advantage of net neutrality. With this law, ISPs like AT&T or Verizon, are not allowed to discriminate internet content by blocking sites.

Over the years, people have used the internet for millions and millions of reasons. Net neutrality has given the people the ability to use the web like a common tool such as a hammer or screwdriver. But we have taken this for granted, and our ability to use the internet may soon be limited. People who use this valuable tool for important work, research, and studies will be affected in many ways if net neutrality is changed or removed.

If a document or website is blocked or slowed down, it can affect the level of productivity in a negative way for people who use sites like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. It can limit information known to the public, which can be seen as good or bad, protecting personal information, or removing the ability to learn online.

Title II of the Federal Communication Commission, a.k.a. the Open Internet Order, was placed on February 26, 2015, presenting the basic rules of freedom across the internet. With this law, the content on the internet was made equal. But, this law may change due to a proposal made by Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, to eliminate net neutrality. The proposal against net neutrality will be voted on December 14.

Julius Genachowski, former chairman of the F.C.C., responds to Pai’s proposal: “It ain’t broke, so why fix it? The core rules of no blocking, no discrimination, and transparency have worked to create an ecosystem of innovation and investment that’s the envy of the rest of the world.”

Dana Middle School Teacher, Ms. Evanow, teaches 8th grade STEAM. She uses the internet for social media, profession (teaching), research, and news. Being a teacher, she says that using the internet for grading and assignments makes things easier for her. She thinks that if net neutrality is removed or negatively altered, it will affect how she teaches her students. She thinks that an open internet is more beneficial for for the public.

Even though the ISPs like AT&T and Verizon, are powerhouses in this arguments, there are also huge web companies, like Google and Netflix, that are against the elimination of net neutrality. They are a part of an association called the Internet Association. This group is motivated to have an open internet for the public to use. Some companies in this association are Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and they are against the FCC.

If the proposal sets place in our laws, then ISPs may block sites that are smaller and less known to the world. Some sites that may be blocked are of small businesses that require open internet to support their financial levels. Another form of sites may be where discriminated people talk about their stories, speaking of racial and social justice.

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The Open Internet Order has made life on the internet beneficial and convenient. The internet has been used for education, work, research, entertainment, and designing, and without some of the content, a ton of people would be impacted, whether it be good or bad. So, the vote for eliminating or keeping net neutrality will determine how the internet will be used in the future.

1 Comment

One Response to “Net Neutrality or Not?”

  1. Hobo Sensei on December 14th, 2017 10:35 am

    Good job Jared.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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