Why is Net Neutrality so Important?

Corinne Kearney, Editor in Chief

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You might have overheard people complaining about net neutrality on the news or around school. But what exactly is it? Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet providers should allow access to all websites and applications without blocking sources.

On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled in favor of net neutrality and in June 2015, the final net neutrality rules went into effect. These rules ensure that all service providers will treat all content the same, without slowing or stopping internet access.

Ajit Pai is the FCC chairman appointed by Donald Trump. On Thursday, December 14th, 2017, the FCC voted to repeal the net neutrality protections set in 2015. The vote was won to repeal net neutrality in a 3-2 vote. Pai wants to get rid of net neutrality as a way for the government to “stop micromanaging the internet.” Without net neutrality, service providers have the ability to slow down or even block certain content.

All over social media, the topic of net neutrality is blowing up. It has been trending on twitter for the past few weeks with celebrity opinions. Also featured is memes about net neutrality saying “______ is cool but have you heard about texting RESIST 504-09 to save net neutrality.” The purpose of texting 504-09 is to send a letter to your officials about any subject. Many people used this service to voice their opinions about net neutrality.

There are strong arguments against net neutrality. “I am completely opposed to getting rid of net neutrality. I believe that the internet should be open to everyone to explore.” said Mr. Isacco. He believes that they want to get rid of net neutrality because the FCC doesn’t trust few corporations to run the internet. Net neutrality supporters want the internet to remain free to everyone in order receive education, not just the top 1% of the population.

On the other hand, net neutrality gives the government more power over the Internet. They are able to monitor consumer activity. People want their privacy. Others believe that net neutrality “isn’t fair” because people that use the internet more, should have to pay more than others. Ajit Pai argued that the rollback of rules will eventually benefit consumers because AT&T and Comcast can supposedly provide better service than others.

In the following weeks, the new rules will begin to take effect. This topic is definitely not decided, as many companies are planning to file law suits against the end of net neutrality. Overall, this will be a big subject of discussion in the following months.

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Why is Net Neutrality so Important?