The Truth about Net Neutrality

You may know what net neutrality is but there might be more you may not know and some myths you might think are true but are fake. Net neutrality in general is the principle of affirming that all internet service providers must enforce that all data on the internet equally. Under the regulations of net neutrality an ISP (internet service provider) is not allowed to slow down certain websites and content whether it be on websites or things like movies on Netflix. This is a huge deal in today’s world due to almost everything we do today involves the internet in some way or another. Weather it is in school with google classroom for the students and teachers or some person protecting you from identity theft. Even most of our Cars are connected to the internet. No matter where you are or what you are doing the internet affects you in some way or another.

Over the past 25 years there has been a huge increase in entertainment and communication which we now take for granted due to the fact we have it every day, and the way it has an impact in all our lives. Without Net neutrality The ISP’s you use could block, slow down, and even charge you additional fees for things you already pay for such as Netflix or Facebook. This is enforced by a rule made in 2015 that Internet service providers be regulated as a title 2 utility service that provided the Federal Communications commission (FCC) the things they needed to enforce the rules of net neutrality in an attempt to “maintain a free and open internet”(1). The FCC chairman Wheeler said back in 2015 that “The action we take today is an irrefutable reflection of the principle that no one, whether government or corporate, should control free and open access to the internet”(1). The opponents to the 2015 decision of the rule argue that the “regulations stifle competition and impose a larger burden on smaller, local ISPs”(1). The Current chairman of the Federal Communications commission Chairman, Ajit Pai, decided to vote on December 14 this year on the repeal of the Net neutrality that started back in 2015. After he voted he said “The internet is not broken, there is no problem here for the government to solve “. The vote on December 14, 2017 ended in a 3 to 2 vote in favor of repealing the FCC’s 2015 decision. Clyburn who was one of the 2 people against the vote said that “the next big startup such as Paypal or Facebook may fail because of a lack of a level playing field and ‘pay to play’ scheming of larger corporations”. Clayburn also asked “Blocking or Throttling – that is something that will never happen, you say. But after today’s vote, who will be the cop on the beat that is preventing them ISPs?”(1).

Some things that can benefit from net neutrality are consumers and smaller internet service providers in that it can create an equal playing field. This means that larger ISPs have little say on what passes that limit consumers access to the internet. With net neutrality there are rules in place for illegal activities and companies like AT&T or Spectrum wouldn’t be able to change how a customer’s data is delivered to them. That means an ISP is not allowed and cannot block access, or alter the data simply because there is something that they don’t agree with. Net neutrality allows us to keep our 1st amendment right on the internet. With Net neutrality there is no censorship on the internet as long as the content being offered meets legal obligations. If the content is illegal and it is discovered it can be and should be reported to a law enforcement officials. If a smaller Internet service provider blocked access to all and approved things, it could lead to the things “spilling” into our every day social media.

With all the good things net neutrality brings like with anything else there is also bad things. With some business and high-use individuals who consume large amounts of bandwidth (The maximum data transfer rate of a network or internet connection) every month would be made to pay extra for their internet while the average consumer still pays the lower rate. But with the businesses and the high rate consumers money the ISPs could use the extra money to upgrade the advanced fiber networks to be installed in more communities. Without net neutrality free internet access would likely go away due to providers being able to control how much you have to pay to use the internet and restrict access to whoever they please.