Net neutrality is the ability for Americans to use the internet freely. It allows us to visit whatever sites we wish, comment on any article we read, and reach a wide variety of opinions. Literally, it’s freedom of the net.
Recently, the FCC has proposed a plan to dismantle freedom of the net as we know it. In layman’s terms, the FCC is attempting to take the format of cable TV and bring it to the internet. Rather than paying your internet bill every month and having access to all websites, you will instead be forced to pay more for certain websites you wish to visit. For example, if you want to use social media like Facebook you will be forced to pay an extra ten dollars a month for access to those sites. Just like how On-demand or movies cost more on cable, certain websites will begin to cost more if you want to visit them. The FCC seems to believe that this new proposal will increase competition and “it will spur investment”.
This is a HUGE issue and will completely change the way we use the internet as Americans. By succumbing to this government agency’s debacle of regulations, you will be giving up some of your freedom to large telecom corporations. If you decide not to give in and pay more, your internet provider will push you into what they call a “slow lane” and neglect your access to the internet. The “fast lane” will be quick and easy access to the internet, but with a higher bill per month.
There are so many important aspects of this proposal and how it will affect the general public. We talk about silencing voices when we think of history and this is a huge step in reenacting that same history today. Who’s to say that one news program won’t cost less than another? Imagine if Fox news costs five dollars a month and CNN costs ten….how many more people are going to start watching Fox news? Although this may be an extreme example, it’s important to realize that segregation and interruption of the content we choose to read is an example of control. The FCC is giving large ISPs the ability to segment, control, and abuse their power of the internet. Although Pai has said this new plan is a deregulation by the government over the internet, it’s giving the power to large corporations. Corporations in which Pai has worked for in the past, which seems a bit suspicious to me.
The FCC currently has the control to make sure that telecom companies do not regulate or block legal information from the public. It doesn’t allow the push of fast and slow lanes. It keeps the internet free. The new purposal “takes away government involvment” and gives all the power to these large companies. If this happens it gives these companies the ability to charge services like Google, Amazon, and Facebook for providing their “network.” The interesting part is that, as Americans, we know no comapnies are going to lose money. Nevertheless if the cable bill doesn’t cost more for Americans, your accounts on websites like Netflix, social media, and Amazon will cost more. The money this new bill calls for needs to come from somewhere and neither the telecom companies and service companies will foot the bill.
The fact that so many Americans are unaware of this proposal by the FCC is scary. We need to invoke a response and promote educating each other about what is going on. Take a minute today to read about the FCC’s proposal. Learn about the pros and cons. Tell your family and friends.
Keep the internet free and fight for net neutrality.