Sophie Hughes February 1, 2018

In December, 2017, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) voted to overturn the Obama-era regulations regarding the freedom of the internet. This policy, known as net neutrality, gave all internet users immunity from discrimination regardless of the platform, content, website, application, or form of communication. At DHS, students consistently use the internet to socialize, complete school work, and entertain themselves.

“I think net neutrality is incredibly important,” said Jr. Noah Clements, “If these new regulations are passed, the internet will become a government utility.”

Since the FCC voted to abolish net neutrality, there has been a national outcry to keep former internet regulations in place.  By abolishing net neutrality, the government will have the power to control what internet consumers see. Without open internet, users will have to pay more to access the specific content they want to see.

“The internet has always been a place of free speech and open expression,” said Clements. “My fear is that the government could micromanage what internet users see by blocking websites or news sources that have an opinion adverse to their political interests.”

In the last two decades, the internet has become an essential part of life in the western world. The web has become a main source of knowledge for many people in the United States.

“The majority of Americans now turn to their phones and to Google to research information,” said Sr. Mary Fenberg.

Internet usage has shaped the way the modern world works. As of June 2017, a study showed that 51% of the world’s population regularly uses the internet. The freedoms made accessible to internet users has revolutionized an entire generation.

However, some people disagree with the idea that the internet should be a place of unfettered opportunities. The chairman of the Federal Communications Committee, Ajit Pai, recently voted on a policy that would increase competition in online business, therefore raising prices for consumers and creating more powerful corporate monopolies. “Certain companies support saddling broadband providers with heavy-handed regulations because those rules work to their economic advantage,” said Pai, “I don’t blame them for taking that position.”

The FCC’s chairman has his own economic interests in mind, not the rights of the consumer. Through banning net neutrality, business titans are enabled to become more self-serving, and minorities are given less opportunities than ever to use their voices.

 

To voice your opinion on net neutrality, go to https://www.battleforthenet.com or email Colorado’s Senators: Michael Bennet — https://www.bennet.senate.gov/?p=help_with_the_government and Cory Gardner — https://www.gardner.senate.gov/

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