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Why we should keep Net Neutrality

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Net neutrality regulations passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015 defined broadband service as a public utility rather than an information outlet.

That sounds complicated, but it just means that internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon and Comcast can be regulated by the government like electricity and water services. These regulations force ISPs to provide equal access to all internet content to consumers.
Without regulations, internet service providers can speed up websites that pay them extra while slowing down those that do not. They can also charge users extra for access to certain websites in packages such as an entertainment package for Netflix and Hulu or a social package for Instagram and Tumblr.

Some websites may be completely unavailable to users if the website cannot pay the internet service provider or if the ISP simply disagrees with the website’s contents (which is censorship).

Internet service providers can also prioritize their own websites over others. For example, Verizon could make prioritize Yahoo (which they own) over Google (which is better).

Small businesses and blogs and websites like Etsy and Reddit cannot pay enough to be accessible. The harm this would cause small businesses makes it surprising that it is only the three Republicans on the FCC support removing net neutrality.

One of the Republicans, Ajit Varadaraj Pai, was the one who proposed an end to these regulations effective April 2017.

The internet as we know it would change significantly.

That famous British Youtuber you like to watch? The loss of American viewers who can’t afford the entertainment package would cut their earnings from Youtube, and they may not be able to afford continuing on Youtube.

That artist you love that makes their living off Etsy? They’d be out of a job.

That friendly, local family-owned landscaping company? If they can’t afford an accessible website, they will lose business.

The internet needs net neutrality.

Pai argues that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should be in charge of enforcing net neutrality regulations instead of the FCC, but the FTC has much less enforcement power. Pai also believes that Internet service providers should be deregulated and government reach limited.
But this government intervention is necessary for the spread of information which is necessary for a good, democratic society. Allowing large companies to control what information is available may not be the downfall of democracy, but it would be majorly detrimental.

Many lobbyist groups and petitions have sprung up in defense of net neutrality, mostly spread through the websites that would be in danger of losing users from the repeal of net neutrality.

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The student news site of Summerville High School.
Why we should keep Net Neutrality