Net neutrality. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? You may be wondering what this is, or why it should matter to you. We are here to tell you the importance of keeping this system in place and what it does.
Net neutrality is a “principle” that allows open and free internet access. Service providers are not able to ban a website or slow down the speed just because of their views or profit.
The number one rule of net neutrality is that all data must be treated equally. Without net neutrality Facebook and Google would have never been built and have become so prominent in society.
How would you find the information you need for a project without the help of sites like Google, Yahoo, or Ask?
What a world without net neutrality looks like:
Picture a highway with two lanes. One lane is an express lane, with less cars. This lane allows them to reach their destination, faster. However, to go into the express lane you must pay extra. Naturally the regular, no extra fee lane will be full of traffic because it is the cheaper choice.
Netflix, Facebook, Google, and Twitter would load very quickly. However small-business sites and blogs would load very slowly, if at all. We cannot give our Internet Service Providers (ISPs) this power.
Comedian John Oliver talked about net neutrality on his show, “Last Week Tonight.” Oliver believes that net neutrality is a very boring issue but has a lot of power. He urged people to go and comment on how they should keep net neutrality in place.
What this looks like for companies:
Some critics believe that this will stop companies from keeping up with the ever growing industry of technology. As well as limit possibilities. The FCC has been talking about this issue for a decade, the main topic of discussion is how to maintain a stable internet safe zone while still letting it be open. They have concluded that the way to reach this goal is to set some ground rules.
Without net neutrality internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon would be able to block certain content and gain more income because they are not paying for the site to run. Well, without this principle the more money you pay the faster your internet will be. Imagine having to pay a toll just to get access to a page, including your favorite websites on the interweb.
Net neutrality is a big monopoly. Meaning there is no competition, one single ISP would own nearly all of the market. They would sell internet packages to you at incredibly high prices and get away with it because there is no competitor and they have the best products to offer.
What this looks like for an SLA student:
You have a paper that is due at midnight and it is currently nine o’clock. You have only written your name on the piece. The essay requires you to use at least 5 sources. The requirement is 2 pages. With only three hours to go you open up your computer. All of the sources you have tried to look at are still loading. Only one has loaded and of course it is wikipedia. You now have two hours to go with only half a page written. This is what will happen without net neutrality.
Many of the sites that are on the internet are banned from the school district, so us as students already understand the feeling of not being able to view a certain site. Now this same technique is used by your ISP. So much more of the internet will be off limits, creating a more difficult path to gain knowledge.
We support net neutrality. And want to keep it in place. This “principle” is so incredibly important to not just us, but to everyone in the every growing world. February 26 the FCC will come to a decision.
We cannot allow the big corporations to make this decision for us. We need to make them hear our voices. Our opinions matter too.
To show your support for net neutrality, go to: http://www.savetheinternet.com/what-can-i-do
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