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Net Neutrality: The Needed Conversation

The+internet+is+at+risk+of+corruption+because+of+money+and+the+influence+of+businesses+in+politics.+%28Courtesy+of+Pixabay+www.pixabay.com%29
The internet is at risk of corruption because of money and the influence of businesses in politics. (Courtesy of Pixabay www.pixabay.com)

The internet is at risk of corruption because of money and the influence of businesses in politics. (Courtesy of Pixabay www.pixabay.com)

The internet is at risk of corruption because of money and the influence of businesses in politics. (Courtesy of Pixabay www.pixabay.com)

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The heart of this generation, the internet, has been a disputed topic over the last few months. Network Neutrality, or Net Neutrality, has become an intense subject discussed by the government and the people because of the controversy that arose about it.

“Net Neutrality, from what I know, is letting people access whatever they want on the internet freely without any interference from internet providers. I think it is a good thing because there will be no persuasion to click on links from ads that pop up when you go on a website or what website to use based on what shows up first when you search something in Google,” says junior Mumbi Mungai.

The internet has been running with Net Neutrality for years now, where every website is allowed an equal opportunity of speed without any interruptions from other competitors. In other words, a business cannot pay an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to slow down or damage another business’s website in any way.

“I don’t care about it; I don’t think anything is going to happen,” says senior Morgan Forester.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently repealed the act in which Net Neutrality was established. Many people responded indignantly, wondering how this could have happened. Others, however, were ignorant of what an impact the absence of Net Neutrality would have on everyone with an internet connection.

“[By repealing Net Neutrality] they charge you for accessing certain websites, but on top of your internet bill,” says freshman Allie Weber.

Some people are also not aware of what exactly could happen without Net Neutrality. The truth is, if Congress does not end up overriding the FCC’s action, people will start to notice the way that some websites will slow down and the quality of their music, sound, and images will diminish. For instance, there will be a lack of choices of which websites we get to view because businesses will pay to be shown before their rivals. Also, the websites that some people may use frequently may not be able to keep up with all of their competitors’ speed, causing them to give in and charge customers more money so that they can pay the ISP’s for speed quality.

“Even Google has censored the front page. When advertisers pay Google to show their websites as the top results in the front page, they won’t specify that it is an ad, like they did before. It’s like a trick because they know that people only look at the first page when they search something,” says senior Joseph Orlandino.

All of the great efforts to make the internet a place of innovative content, where small creators and businesses are born, doesn’t seem realistic in a future without Net Neutrality.

“I believe that net neutrality was a beautiful thing…and that it should still be discussed and that we should try to change the way things have gone… However, I believe that whatever society does will not change the government’s greedy mindset, and the government will keep the act repealed for a very long time,” says junior Jack Lavoie.

The fight, though, is now to keep Net Neutrality current in the news so that it doesn’t become a thing of the past. Many people were invested in making a difference by communicating with their senators through Twitter and other social media platforms. It’s been a month since the repeal of Net Neutrality, but the people should persist now that the Senate only needs one more senator to make an override possible.

“Net Neutrality is still argued about with freedom of speech; the censorship part of it is debatable…[T]he fact that they repealed it brings up constitutional rights as well, and the people that don’t want to pay that extra little amount are just really upset that the government would allow something like this,” says junior Chad Lowe.

The freedoms of navigating with a new capitalist internet environment worries Americans because it ultimately affects the future of the internet worldwide. The hope of having a safe place where people don’t have to pay more for different options of content or quality is still alive.

“Overall, I believe that the concept of Net Neutrality is essential, not only for individuals to receive equal, uninhibited access to information on the internet, but to reflect America’s values of free speech and communication. Online companies shouldn’t have the option of slowing down the content of their competitors or blocking programs with any political views to which they’re opposed. Repealing Net Neutrality could ultimately lead to these kinds of abuses to the content people wish to view without their ISP’s interference,” shares junior Eva Purcell.

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