Net neutrality subject to change

The internet provides a level playing field for all those who have access to it. It holds history, information and innovation, all of which is just a few clicks away from its users.

Although it is not a new topic, net neutrality is trending again as the Federal Communications Commission will vote on reversing the net neutrality guidelines Dec. 14.

If you haven’t been paying attention to this topic, you should.

Set in place during the Obama presidency, the Open Internet Order of 2015 was the law enacted to ensure the protection of net neutrality.

Simply put, net neutrality bans blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. According to the OIO of 2015, these terms are applied to both fixed and mobile broadband internet access service.

Net neutrality prevents ISPs from deciding what content consumers see, how quickly consumers can see the content, and from prioritizing and pushing out specified content and information for a network’s financial gain, such as slowing down your Google but speeding up Bing because of a deal with Microsoft.

While some praise FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for revisiting the OIO of 2015 saying it is a good move for the economy by returning the laws back to what they were before 2015, if the vote is favored, Pai may make a difference in America’s economy, but will make a larger difference for us, the consumers.

The internet gives us the ability to claim our right to know. We have a right to know what is going on in our city, our country and around the world.

It is the place where all opinions exist, where all history resides and where the possibility for future knowledge and development awaits those with curious and creative minds.

Should the OIO be repealed, the freedom we have to learn and communicate is suddenly barred. If this happens, ISPs can bundle websites together, creating packages for purchase depending on what social media you want to use.

Whether you are a consumer, small business owner or content creator, the end of net neutrality will directly affect you.

The possible end of net neutrality should matter to you. If it is overturned, no longer will you be in charge of the information you receive — at least not without higher prices and the selection of the right bundle(s).

Voice your concerns. The news you consume, the businesses that pop up in a Google search, the ways you can grow as an individual, a worker or a creator can change depending on the vote turnout Dec. 14.

About Kaitlynn Labit


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