Net polarization

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality this past December and many Americans are not happy about it. To wrap it up, net neutrality by dictionary definition is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

The FCC voted to pass the Open Internet Order on Feb. 26, 2015 and this was terminated in order to let the market figure itself out.

In an interview with the New York Times, Ajit Pai, the agency’s chairman, explained why the FCC even thought to repeal net neutrality in the first place. He claims that the “fast and slow” lanes of the internet didn’t exist before the 2015 order, so why would they play a part now? His goal is to turn it into a free market again.

“It’s basic economics,” Pai said in a speech at the Newseum in April. “The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get.”

Though I understand the thought process behind the repeal, I don’t agree with it (which you may find interesting because if you have read some of my past stories, I am typically centrist leaning right with my political views, especially economic). I believe in free market, however not if that means larger companies can use more money and possibly create oligopolies, or even monopolies.

The Supreme Court however, may possibly repeal this repeal in the next few years. Five of the Supreme Court justices were appointed by a republican, while four were appointed by a democrat. Now, this does not mean that they are all going to vote exactly how each party would like, so it could be a toss-up how the ruling will go.

Overall, the hot net neutrality topic is going to be an interesting case to follow in years to come.

With the world’s main source of connection and communication happening at our fingertips, American citizens panicked when the FCC announced it was repealing net neutrality.

A lot of the problems revolving demise of net neutrality arose on Twitter in Dec. 2017. So here’s what the app failed to mention: the net neutrality bill was established in 2015 (meaning our time on the internet will be no different than how it was prior to the Obama-era).

The repeal of net neutrality really won’t change the Internet too much because, things had not been different for long, only two years to be exact. This means millennials (who expressed the most backlash) had used the Internet before net neutrality and not much had changed.

Not to mention, the Internet itself has always been an open platform for people and companies to share information online and the repeal of net neutrality won’t change the way we surf the web. This is because net neutrality (and its downfall) is not affecting us, as consumers, directly.

Net neutrality (when established) was meant, not to lower the prices of popular web services, such as Netflix and Hulu, but to give every American protection to access to those websites, making laws that restrict your provider from restricting access to those services.

Rumors started spreading on social media platforms, such as Twitter, that certain apps would cost $18.99 a month, but net neutrality has never directly affected the consumer or decided the prices placed on web services and apps.

Whether you're on the left or right side of any issue, net neutrality (and whether you agree with the FCC or not) will come down to age and millennials fails to realize the small affect net neutrality and its repeal will have on us as consumers.

Illustration by Maeve O'Boyle


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