What You Need to Know About Net Neutrality and the FCC’s Plans to Take it Away

Susanna Montgomery, Staff Writer

Living in a generation of technology and social media, we have become used to the easy access of the internet at any point of our day. When we log onto the internet, we expect full access to be connected to all websites, no screening of certain websites, and complete control over our internet experience. In other words, we expect full Net Neutrality. Net neutrality, a basic principle that prohibits service providers from messing with our internet experience (slowing it down, speeding it up, blocking, etc.), has always been the way the internet has worked. However, that internet freedom is in danger right now. President Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Ajit Pai, is pushing to take away Net Neutrality.

Internet freedom is in danger right now

In May, the FCC voted to move this idea forward, and on December 14, will officially vote on Pai’s final proposal. So, as internet users, here’s how this bill might affect you:

 

Firstly, this open industry that has let anyone share will be soon controlled by service companies like Verizon or AT&T and therefore subjected to their standards. Thus, these companies will be the ones deciding who and what is heard, taking away what some would call an important right for internet users or even an extension of the first amendment. Many oppressed groups have found a voice on the internet, as a platform for all races, religions, and genders. Further, Businesses and websites have relied on their full access to the internet in order to succeed. On the other hand, the FCC sees this as a way to control “misbehaving” websites in hopes of preventing internet sites from  “mislead[ing] or l[ying] to the public”, as said by a Washington Post article. There are pros and cons to both sides of the debate, but the real question is, who will ultimately be gaining from this removal of internet freedom? We will all be waiting to see what the FCC officially votes for, and the outcomes of their choice.

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  • Nice work, Susanna!

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