By Christopher Place
A safe haven where anyone can watch funny videos, buy things, or find the answers to obscure questions, the Internet is free and open to all. However, this is about to change. Telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon want this to change. This change would involve the repeal of an Obama-era policy called net neutrality. Net neutrality prevents these companies for charging different rates depending on Internet speed or content. If net neutrality is repealed, the telecom giants could slow down certain content, change content, and even charge customers more money to gain access to content they could get for free under net neutrality.
But why would these companies want to restrict our access to the Internet? The main reason is the almighty dollar. These companies would make so much more money by charging customers for equal access to the Internet and by charging other companies to have their websites and services displayed equally on the Internet. Certain companies would even restrict your access to certain content, because of conflicting political or moral views. Many think that capitalist competition would keep these companies from doing anything too troublesome. However, there are so few large telecommunications companies, and most families only have access to two or three based on where they live. So these companies could do whatever they like to whomever they like, and could get away with it with little to no repercussions.
The FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has stated that his motivation for repealing net neutrality is to end government “micromanagement” of the Internet, but regulation of the Internet is necessary. Without the government’s regulations, telecom giants could easily end the American people’s equal access to Internet content. The repeal of net neutrality would also affect companies that depend on the Internet. Giant Internet companies like Google, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook have already come out against the repeal of net neutrality, because it would hinder their profits. These Internet giants can easily afford the fees telecom companies would impose on them, but start-ups and local businesses could be in danger. Unable to afford the extravagant fees that telecom companies could set to display their websites, their content could be restricted.
So America, net neutrality isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a common sense issue that goes against capitalistic competition, and could create a telecom monopoly on Internet content. It goes without saying that access to a free and open Internet is critical to America’s young people, and is also critical to Generation E’s operations. So contact your lawmakers, and tell them that you want equal and fair Internet access for all!
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Kang, Cecilia. “F.C.C. Announces Plan to Repeal Net Neutrality.” The New York Times,
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