Margot Valentine ShupeHonors English 914 December 2017When you go online you expect to have access to all websites. You expect to be able to in control of your time online. You expect to know that no cable companies are messing with your data.
When you go online you expect net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers should allow access to all content regardless of the source, without favoring or blocking certain websites (Press). Unfortunately, the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) repealed net neutrality on December 14, 2017. The loss of net neutrality will have a negative effect on society because activist won’t be able to fight oppression, not everyone will be able to afford and have access to certain websites, and there would be more challenges for smaller service providers and internet startups. Net neutrality offers both big corporations and small businesses the same opportunities. Without net neutrality, smaller businesses will have a much harder experience on the internet. The Internet was built on the idea that even though you have to pay for Internet access, your service provider doesn’t get to have control over what you access to. Said service provider also does get a say on who has access to your website.
If ISPs have the ability to control and limit how fast our internet is based on the apps or websites we use, they will be able to charge each website we use. This data prioritization would let a website’s user have high internet speeds while looking at that site (Green, Keegan). About 800 small business owners and entrepreneurs wrote in a letter to Ajit Pai: “Without net neutrality, the incumbents who provide access to the Internet would be able to pick winners or losers in the market. They could impede traffic from our services to favor their own services or established competitors. Or they could impose new tolls on us, inhibiting consumer choice.” Without net neutrality, no one would have a fair experience on the internet.
Bid business would get an unfair advantage, and already struggling business left behind (Breland, Ali). The great thing about net neutrality is that as long as someone has a great idea and a good website, they can compete with big-name companies. That’s what makes the internet so special: it’s a place where entrepreneurs can grow and thrive. While the FCC says that repealing net neutrality will lead to more innovation and help the economy, the truth is that since Obama opened the internet, we’ve seen an increase in infrastructure (Goldman, David).Activist will struggle in their fight against oppression.
The internet has been a platform for those who feel constricted in our society, (people of color, the LGBT+ community, etc.) have relied on the internet for an open place to access opportunities and fight discrimination (Press, Free). Open internet has played a big role in organization and free expression. Movements like “Black lives matter” or “me too” along with many others have shaped today; cleaning the corruption in society. These movements would not have have been as impactful if we did not have freedom. Open communications allows people to reform and improve ourselves without having to ask permission from the government or companies (McSherry, Corynne).
People that once had access to access any website or any part of the internet they want to now will have to be able to afford it. Net neutrality prohibited internet service providers from creating fast lanes for companies willing to pay extra to deliver their content more quickly. Fast lanes allow blocking or slowing down content so that users will have to pay more money to use the internet (Finley, Klint). In conclusion, the loss of net neutrality will have a negative effect on society. This isn’t only about net neutrality. This is about democracy. When 80% of Americans don’t want something, and the government does it anyway, that is a direct violation of the people.
It erodes faith in the government as an institution worth defending. The loss of net neutrality will make more struggles for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It will keep our society from changing and growing because it will restrict activists. The repeal of net neutrality will bring newfound hardships for those wanting to use the internet how they please.