What net neutrality does for you


In the time it takes to download a video game, the right to a free and open internet was ripped away from the United States by the FCC ruling to get rid of the Internet Freedom Act.

Ever since the high school began the one-to-one learning approach by giving each student a Chromebook, the internet became a key part of the learning process due to the many resources it provides teachers and students.

Principal Jeff Trapp stated, “I think it’s had a big impact from the standpoint of the opportunity that it brings and all the online resources the teachers can now use.”

According to Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education, many internet providers will slow down internet speeds for resources that many schools use due to the fact these resources are free and will not make Internet Service Providers a lot of money.

With these resources being slowed, schools that can afford experts and physical resources will have a major advantage compared to those that cannot gain access.

“The axing of net neutrality should keep us awake at night. Most educators remember when internet access was so slow and unreliable that it couldn’t be used in the classroom. Imagine going back to that, but for students and districts that aren’t willing or able to pay,” Culatta tweeted.

Businesses and the public have been locked in a decade’s-long, gripping battle of words that started when the world wide web was created in 1990.

The internet has recently been plastering the battle of net neutrality to the farthest corners of its expansive digital world.

Although most students understand what net neutrality basically is, few know how it really affects them.

Many students see the loss of net neutrality as a threat to their success at school.

“If net neutrality goes away, then we won’t be able to research anything,” senior Taylir Butterworth said. “The education base we have would be gone and grades would suffer.”

One group of students who are very concerned about net neutrality are students who excel in the sciences.

“Teachers would have much less resources to be able to give us all the resources we need to actually be able to be able to learn stuff, especially in science,” sophomore Shaddai Demarath-Shanti said.

More than just schools will be affected by the loss of net neutrality. One of the groups that will have the largest impact due to net neutrality being revoked are the future internet service providers (ISPs).

Neutrality is one of the ideas that has given so much to the internet and pushed forward the innovation of internet communication. When gone, many new ISPs will have a much more difficult time starting up and competing with ISPs that already exist according to Amanda Lotz, the professor of Communication Studies and Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

“It will mean that more of what we see comes from a companies that have deep revenue streams,” Lotz said. “The fact that we have limited or no competition in ISPs makes all of this worse. Most consumers just don’t have a choice in providers, and eliminating this provision makes companies that are already very powerful even more so.”

With the lack of new ISPs, there will be little to no competition between existing ISPs to have the fastest and cheapest network. This drought of new, creative ISPs yearning for a shot to become the leaders of the industry will make the public settle for a slowed down or more costly internet service.

Net neutrality has been taken away from us by the FCC, and we may be unable to get it back judicially. This murder of a progressive principle will soon affect everyone. Be it the average internet user or the next executive of the latest cutting edge ISP.

“The FCC has eliminated it,” Lotz said. “They are sorting out if there is any judicial action that can stop that. The best action is to legislate net neutrality (Congressional Act)–but it needs to actually be net neutrality, not some Act called the Internet Freedom Act that is actually written by telecomm lobbyists.”