By Chloe Saunders
I can guarantee that almost every college student uses the internet everyday, but there is a chance that most do not understand the importance of net neutrality.
On Dec. 14, a vote will be held by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to decide whether they should repeal net neutrality.
Net neutrality is the idea of having an open internet, where no websites or services are prioritized over any other, and nothing legal is blocked.
This is something that every college student should know and understand not just because of how much we use the Internet, but because it inherently ties into our freedom.
Repealing net neutrality could lead potentially lead to internet service providers (ISPs) regulating content that they don’t want you to see.
This is hinders all forms of freedom of expression.
The internet is often used as an outlet of expression and ending net neutrality could limit one of the most common uses of the internet.
This could be something as simple as ISPs theoretically blocking a rival video streaming site or anything that goes against their best interests.
It is one thing to have the government control laws and regulations, but to have these ISPs regulate us is completely wrong for the American people.
We vote politicians into their positions, but there is nothing but hidden faces controlling these ISPs.
Regulations should not be controlled by businesses with only interest in their own group.
With net neutrality in place small startup companies are given a platform where they can promote freely.
Having net neutrality repealed could lead to the creation internet fast lanes, which would obviously lead to slower lanes.
There is a chance that only larger, more powerful companies would be able to afford these fast lanes.
Frustration with companies that have slower internet connections could potentially lead to consumers not accessing these smaller startup companies.
Many people came to this country with nothing and made themselves successful with what little they had.
Before the internet, we didn’t squelch the dreams of smaller groups trying to make something of themselves.
Why should we take away any chance of success for these smaller startup companies on the internet?
Net neutrality creates a level playing field where every website has the same internet speed.
Consumers could also be negatively affected in a more direct sense.
Without net neutrality there is a possibility that ISPs create extra fees to access some services.
To be able to keep up with potential fees for faster lane services some companies, such as Netflix, might end up charging customers a higher monthly fee.
There is a claim that with net neutrality there would is no innovation within ISPs since the rise of bandwidth-heavy web services, such as Netflix or Hulu, could be paying higher fees that could lead to upgrades.
It is not the job of the consumers to create innovative environments for the ISPs.
Another reasoning is that piracy and pornography thrive under net neutrality.
There are many ways for parents to protect their children online, such as parental controls, and the ISPs do not need to be directly involved.
Regarding piracy, people will continue to find ways to illegally download content as our society continues to technologically advance so rapidly.
Up until 2015, there was no clear legal protection over a free internet; and one of the most ridiculous arguments is that ISPs hadn’t abused the freedom yet.
The internet has only been available publically since 1991, which isn’t very long, and will most likely continue to exist indefinitely.
Just because it hasn’t happened in the last 26 years doesn’t mean that ISPs won’t potentially abuse the system in the future if net neutrality is repealed.
Plus, if something were to happen in the future, preventative measures accomplish more than reactionary legislature.
The vote to decide the future of net neutrality is happening in just a couple of weeks on Dec. 14 and students should have control of their future and their internet by leaving a comment on the FCC’s website urging the FCC to uphold net neutrality.
Valerie Mancia / The Poly Post
Net neutrality is the idea of having an open internet
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