Net Neutrality Commentary

Written by CubeCorps – Guest Blogger Katherine Caven

I’ve never existed in a world that doesn’t have internet.

For many adults, that seems like a shocking statement. For me, it’s just how it is. But I, along with millions of people, may not have access to the Internet after December 14th, 2017.

Net Neutrality may be killed on that date, if the Federal Communications Commission has its way.

Net Neutrality is a series of regulations made by the U. S. in 2015 to ensure that access to the internet is unregulated and equal. To put it simply, Net Neutrality keeps that URL bar at the top of your screen free and nearly limitless.

The FCC wants to roll back the protections on Net Neutrality by repealing its earlier decision to classify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act. This classification essentially outlawed privatization of Internet access.

The FCC is now changing its stance on the Net Neutrality decision with the new Presidential administration, saying that they should repeal the Title II because it exceeded the reach of government.

However, removing the neutrality regulations would leave the Internet a capitalist free-for-all, similar to how cable TV and phone services are structured. Website access would be heavily controlled according to how much online traffic they receive. Internet carriers would throttle the online speed of the people who have not paid for Internet access. This is a manipulative way to acquire customers who have long since been accustomed to high-speed Internet.

The removal of Net Neutrality would not only be a pain in the rear end – it would also be a major threat to all websites whose entire source of income relies on the internet marketplace, such as social media websites, Google, Amazon, Pandora, YouTube, and Netflix.

Former President Barack Obama advocated for the Net Neutrality regulations back in 2014, before they were even established.

“Ever since the Internet was created, it’s been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness, and freedom,” Obama said in a video. “ . . . Abandoning these principles would threaten the end of the Internet as we know it.”

Obama’s administration protected the Internet by urging the FCC to recognize it under Title II in the Telecommunications Act, thereby shielding the Internet from money-hungry Internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable.

“There are no tolls on the information superhighway,” Obama said.

That “superhighway” is necessary to both everyday life and everyday business, for without it, economic security in the U. S. may crash.

Net Neutrality needs to continue. I would like to keep binge-watching Netflix, perusing YouTube, and keeping up on social media, and more than that, I want unlimited access to the Internet for the countless other users in the U. S. All of us need the Internet, whether for communication, information, or entertainment.