Since its creation, the internet has changed the way that we all live. It has single-handedly changed how society thinks, acts, and learns such as how we use google classroom to complement our classes. One of the reasons why the internet is so important to society is because it can be used equally by anyone. The principle of Net Neutrality protects this ideal, and our government is currently trying to remove it. As a society, we should support Net Neutrality because its purpose is to help regular people such as students like us who rely on the internet for essentially all of our work and do not benefit from a lack of Net Neutrality. One way to define net neutrality according to Brian Fung of the Washington Post is that it “is the principle that Internet providers should not be able to speed up some websites while slowing down others, particularly in exchange for money” (Fung).
Internet providers or ISPs would also be allowed to hide or block content that competes with them, content that is controversial, and content that is used frequently behind a paywall so that they would make more money (“Net Neutrality”). For example, in the event that Net Neutrality laws are repealed, the internet provider Verizon would promote its own content over other content, like Yahoo Sports over ESPN and Fox Sports, Go90 over any other live streaming app, and the Huffington Post over other news sources. I chose this topic because Congress is voting today to repeal Title II, which “gives the FCC the authority it needs to ensure that internet providers can’t block, throttle or otherwise interfere with web traffic” (“Net Neutrality”). Ajit Pai, who is both the FCC chairman and a former Verizon lawyer, has pushed to repeal Net Neutrality due to heavy influence and lobbying from ISPs (Solon).
The current congress will likely let Pai have his way however, because much of the Republican congress will benefit financially as a result of lobbying from ISPs. On top of their personal gain, much of the Republican congress would prefer to jeopardize millions of American’s lives than make an agreement with the Democrat minority, a scenario we have already witnessed this year with health care policy. The government would be violating the freedom to learn and gain knowledge by allowing corporations to influence the way we interact with the world. This combined with the paywall system I mentioned earlier would be a direct example of the rich who are connected to both lobbyists and ISPs benefitting from poorer consumers who would just be trying to maintain the way we currently use the internet.
As students, we have nothing to gain from the repeal of Net Neutrality laws and there nothing we can do right now to stop the government from repealing it.