Opinion: Why we should fight for Net Neutrality

AUSTIN SMITH, Staff Writer, Copy Editor

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On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to vote on and try to end Net Neutrality. But what exactly is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality is, to put it simply, the right to a free and equal Internet. It is the rules set in place to force all internet service providers to treat all data on the internet equally. Without Net Neutrality, companies like Comcast and Verizon will be able to cut the internet into “fast and slow lanes”, wherein they will be able to slow down the speed of specific websites such as Netflix, Facebook, and Wikipedia.

Without Net Neutrality, these large corporations will be able to force these companies to pay extra for their website to be faster. Without Net Neutrality, they will be able to treat the internet like television, cutting websites into different packages that you have to pay for each month.

Removing Net Neutrality laws will allow big corporations to take total control of the internet, and force us as consumers to pay more and more for the use of the internet. This isn’t just some theory, either. This is exactly how the internet is sold in countries without Net Neutrality like Portugal, and how it will be sold here if the FCC is allowed to destroy Net Neutrality.

It gets worse. Without Net Neutrality, these companies can choose to slow down any website they choose, including media outlets. These corporations will be able to essentially block out whatever news they want, with zero legal repercussions. This power should not be held by companies like Comcast, who have consistently been proven to do whatever they can for profit. These companies don’t need more money. They don’t need more control over the internet. There is no legitimate reason for these companies to be able to monopolize something as important to our daily lives as the internet.

There are people who can’t afford to pay more than they already do for the internet, but in this day and age the internet is almost required for daily life. Robbing lower class citizens of their freedom of information, freedom of entertainment, and so much more is something that should absolutely not be allowed. We need to do everything in our power to fight for Net Neutrality. It is too important for us to let the FCC destroy.

Which brings us to the most important question of all: how do we fight back? Luckily this is the easy part. One way is to text “RESIST” to the number 50409, and follow the steps from there. This will let you write a letter directly to our state representatives, who are the only ones able to stop the FCC from dismantling Net Neutrality.

Alternatively, you can call our senators and representatives, and let them know that you do not support the FCC’s attacks on Net Neutrality, and urge them to vote against the end of Net Neutrality. If you know people in other states, you can urge them to do the same.

Finally, though it is a long shot, you can call the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who supports the end of Net Neutrality and try to change his mind. In the end, we may not be able to directly stop the FCC, but we can show that we will not be silenced, and that we stand for a truly free internet.

To find the numbers of your representative and senators, type in your zip code to the website below. https://callyourrep.co/

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