Opinion: Net Neutrality, and Why We Need it

Nikhil Bansal, Writer

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Net neutrality.

If you use the Internet, it affects you. While at first you may think it means neutral opinions on the internet, it actually means something entirely different. Net neutrality is the principle that anyone should be able to view any and all legal content on the internet for free. The only fee is having to pay for an internet service provider (ISPs) (the people who give your house or cell phone internet access for example, like Verizon or Comcast).

Originally, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had protected the Internet under Title ll, and the government regulated the internet. Under the Obama administration, laws were passed to protect net neutrality. However, with Ajit Pai as the new director of the FCC, he has announced plans to remove net neutrality.

Now that the cold, hard facts are out of the way, now let me explain how this affects you. Without net neutrality, ISPs will control the internet. Your ISP can decide what websites you can and cannot visit, and can charge you to view certain websites like Google, Youtube, or even Netflix.  

They will sell you website access like TV channel bundles. To give you an example, imagine waking up one day, and going on youtube, and BAM! You can’t go on it because you haven’t bought access to it. You better shell out another extra $20 to use it this month.

Or let’s say you want to go on Google, but Microsoft payed your ISP thousands of dollars, and now you have to use Bing. But there’s even more VERY serious consequences of this. What if there’s a news article, exposing your ISP of scamming, or fraud. They could just simply block you from reading these articles that are bad for their reputation. A political candidate could pay your ISP, and therefore make sure the public doesn’t read articles about their dark secrets, or even poll results.

40% of people in the US get their news online, and most of those people are our age all the way up to 18.

It may not seem like it, but this basically means ISPs, and whoever pays them, control your opinions.

They are voting TOMORROW on this! You can still make your voice heard.

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Opinion: Net Neutrality, and Why We Need it