Net Neutrality

Lilah Slaughter, Reporter

 

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of Obama’s net neutrality rules and pledged to uphold them. This year, Ajit Pai, who replaced Tom Wheeler as the chairman of the FCC, pushed to repeal net neutrality and the FCC voted in favor of doing so.

Many Americans heard the buzz words and knew of the final decision, but didn’t know exactly what it meant for them. Luckily, some of Durango High’s own are not among them.

“You pay the same amount for water that you drink as you do for water that you give to your dogs to drink. Net neutrality guarantees the internet is treated the same way; you pay for volume of data or base rate, but not for how it’s applied,” said Sr. Joe Lawton.

This applies to everyone who uses the internet because individual service providers are able to charge consumers for what they do online in accordance to their own beliefs.

“In Albuquerque, there are 27 internet service providers, so we have a bit more of a selection [than Durango]. But you can only choose one, and that one will control what I’m exposed to on the internet,” said So. Jordan Rich.

If net neutrality is completely repealed, the most control people will have over their internet freedom is choosing their provider. In Durango, there are only 17 options, including national and local providers, less than two thirds of the variety in Albuquerque.

For Americans, internet is a primary source of information and entertainment; many use the resource for school and work, including North Dakota Jr. Callen Rothbauer, who takes online school.

“If net neutrality is repealed, then I can no longer do my online schooling without paying outrageous fees,” said Rothbauer.

There are limited options for online high school, and many, including Rothbauer’s, that are religiously affiliated. Because religion can be controversial, there’s the possibility that ISPs will charge exorbitantly or block religious content altogether.

The same is true with any controversial topic, especially including news sources that give access to information regarding controversial topics. Unfortunately, news is a source for research for students in mainstream high school as well.

“School would be reduced to right and wrong answers in even non-STEM classes. In any class where the discussion is important, there would always be a right and wrong answer because the internet service provider could restrict the news sources that the school could access,” said Lawton.

Beyond school and work, the internet is also the basis for many forms of communication.

“Since I moved to North Dakota, I usually Snapchat my friends from home. Without net neutrality, I won’t be able to stay in touch,” said Rothbauer.

The internet has become a tool for global interconnectedness and a tool for revolution, simply because the ease with which anyone can communicate with anyone else. Without the freedom to do so, it will be as if the internet has disappeared as a global communication tool.

Support for the repeal of net neutrality lies almost solely with the FCC and internet service providers, the public’s interests are not being considered in a decision that will impact everyone.

JOE LAWTON

Net neutrality is basically guaranteeing that internet is treated like water. You pay for volume, but not for how it’s applied. For instance, you pay the same amount for water that you drink as you do for water that you give to your dogs to drink. Net neutrality guarantees the internet is treated the same way; you pay for volume of data or base rate, but not for how it’s applied. This is important because your internet service provider can’t restrict access to certain media or news sources based on their own political views.

I value my ability to google any question I have and get multiple responses from multiple sources. This gives me the ability to form opinions based on accurate information.

The repeal of net neutrality would drastically restrict what I could do in terms of research I could do, news I could watch or read and games I could play. Basically, everything I use the internet for would be restricted or locked behind massive paywalls, making the internet basically unusable for me.

School would be reduced to right and wrong answers in even non-STEM classes. In any class where the discussion is important (history, language arts), there would always be a right and  wrong answer because the internet service provider could restrict the news sources that the school could access.

 

CALLEN ROTHBAUER

If net neutrality is repealed, then I can no longer do my online schooling without paying outrageous fees.

Since I moved to North Dakota, I usually Snapchat my friends from home. Without net neutrality, I won’t be able to stay in touch.

 

ABQ FRESHMAN JORDAN ADAMS

In albuquerque, there are 27 internet service providers, so we have a bit more of a selection. But you can only choose one, and that one will control what I’m exposed to on the internet.

The repeal of net neutrality