The Cougar Courier

The Cougar Courier

A non-neutral view on Net Neutrality

Ian Jacob, Managing Editor

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Net neutrality has been a very big subject online over the past few weeks. You may be finding yourself confused on what is happening and what might stem from this predicament.

An overview of the situation is that the FCC chairmen Ajit Pai, along with other major cable and phone companies, are aiming to repeal net neutrality. What is net neutrality? To summarize, net neutrality is what allows consumers access to anything they wish on the internet for free. Yes, they pay an internet bill, but all websites are treated equally. Without net neutrality, internet providers can essentially bully websites such as Facebook or Youtube into paying more fees in order to run quickly for users. Likewise, internet providers can charge extra bundles for things such as faster internet speeds to the users.

As you would imagine there are multiple complications that could stem from such a change. The internet has been known for being available to almost everyone, to the point where our modern society revolves around it. Whether it be information, entertainment, or anywhere in-between the internet is what is used for nearly everything.

One major way that the removal of net neutrality is for students and their access to information. Today in schools research is mostly done online. Now a counter argument to this is “read a book instead”  sorry to say it but, books are not the most reliable forms of research. Yes they can be helpful in a lot circumstances but nowadays the quickest way to gain knowledge on a subject is online research. Not to mention it takes longer to produce a book than a simple article online. Take in the fact that if we were to have to pay to use online search engines some students and their families may not be able to afford to pay for these costs. Now you have students who previously been able to do projects and research online are now limited to school time which in many cases may not be satisfactory for major projects such as Senior Project. To generalize, take all that information provided by the internet and cut it down bit by bit until you only have fractions of what you could have had. This is a major drawback to repealing Net Neutrality.

Locking information behind restrictions or payments will take its toll. Not everyone could afford paying another bill just to access Google and even if you are, the companies you would be paying to have access to these sites can now monitor and change what you can view. It is no longer what you want to see, it is what the companies want you to see. This stems into another problem. When you are online and searching different subjects or arguments you are given the ability to view any side but that will change because of the actions the FCC are trying to make. You will now be shown what your provider wants you to see limiting your access to all sides of information.

Another noteworthy thing that can be taken away is social media. If the plans go through and we lose net neutrality you could possibly have to pay for the use of social media in which was previously free.

Social media is already a touchy subject. Often times when you go on social media there are arguments, debates, and just general nonsense, but when you look past that, social media is very important to society. Social media has connected us together in so many ways, allowing you to meet new people based on interest, begin possible relationships, and even keep us more connected with distant family. This is something that we often forget and take for granted. Without things like Facebook or Twitter we wouldn’t be as connected as we are now. These sites provide us with away to connect with people outside of your. If that is taken away yes we can still talk with these people whether it be through letters or rare times of meeting, but it won’t be as easy. It would be separating the connections to people, something we often fight to have.

So why get rid of Net Neutrality? Who gains anything from this change? Most people would agree the only people gaining benefits are the people in control. Companies will be earning money because they are taking away our freedom to do what we want online. The worst part of it all is that the people who would be left behind would be unable to change anything.

There is so much more that can be affected by this repealing of Net Neutrality outside of what has already been mentioned in this article. So we encourage that you also dive deeper into this subject.

As an online newspaper we also strongly encourage that  you, as a common user of the net, try to stop this from happening. There are petitions and organizations stemming because of these actions. One strong force from this website,  https://www.battleforthenet.com/ . This website, along with many others are helping by connecting people straight to Congress and other major powers. They provide you with the necessary resources to contact your local officials to tell them that you are against this change. Every person counts, especially in this situation. So please, if you do not want this to happen, do your part.

Again this is the link:

https://www.battleforthenet.com/

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