The Wildcat Voice

Net Neutrality: Free Internet Access Threatened by Upcoming Vote

Gigi Shirazi, Staff Writer

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When using the internet, one has certain expectations. Individuals expect that they can connect to any websites they want. They expect their data isn’t being messed with or controlled by their phone companies. This is called net neutrality. Net neutrality is when one is able to access any content or applications without getting blocked. According to Battle for the Net, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was pushed by many activists to bring back the historic Net Neutrality rules to keep the internet open and free. These rules allow individuals to freely access and share information of choice without any interference.

There is a chance this now-expected freedom will be taken away from people. On December 14, 2017, the FCC approved the net neutrality vote on whether net neutrality should be eliminated or not. Now, it is up to the Congress to decide if it should be repealed or ratified. It will take about a month or two for the Congress to make this decision, and it has many individuals worried. Without the Net Neutrality rules, companies like AT&T and Verizon will be able to decide which websites, content, and applications can be accessed.

There are so many reasons net neutrality is important today. Net Neutrality is important for small business owners, startups, and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses and reach customers. Net Neutrality is the reason that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. But without Net Neutrality, it will be difficult for business owners to do all of this.

Net Neutrality is also needed for school purposes. Websites such as Google and Bing are used everyday by students for research, online course sites, and more. Everything school related is online nowadays, and if Net Neutrality is eliminated, students will not be able to do what they are assigned to do without restrictions.

With Net Neutrality gone, people may have to pay to access the internet. According to CNN, “[it is] possible internet providers will one day begin charging customers more to access services like Netflix that are currently included as part of your monthly bill.” The purpose of Net Neutrality is to keep the internet fair to everybody, not rob people of their money.

Individuals are signing a petition in hope for the Congress to repeal the Net Neutrality vote. Change.org claims over 3,000,000 people have signed the petition and are trying to do everything they can to stop this.

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