The Olympian

THE END OF THE FREE INTERNET

Ricardo Lira, Staff Writer

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The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the existing net neutrality laws made during the invention of the internet.

   The Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai, appointed by Donald Trump, announced mid-November about his plans to kill net neutrality.

   If you use the internet, listen up because the decision on Net Neutrality will not only destroy internet discrimination, but also how your internet provider can slow down your favorite apps, and websites; and then charge an extra fee to access them.

   One thing still remains, what actually is net neutrality?

   Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers cannot discriminate against certain websites by blocking them, charging excessively, and prioritizing certain websites over others. What would this mean for us as the customers of internet providers?

   Internet service providers, like Spectrum, Comcast, and Charter, were categorized and regulated as a utility, just like water, gas, phone and electricity services. When regulated like a utility, internet service providers have no say over how much internet any individual can receive as long as they pay.

   In the absence of net neutrality, internet providers would have the power to limit what websites we can access such as YouTube, Facebook, and even including Instagram.

   The FCC moved forward on December 14th with its proposal after  a 3-2 vote to eliminate net neutrality. With the decision made by the FCC, net neutrality fate is up the federal government, more specifically so, Congress.

   The vote from the FCC came in spite of both Republican and Democratic support, also known as bipartisan support, for net neutrality.

   Opponents of Net Neutrality commonly state that the regulations were never needed because the internet was doing just fine before the placement of them.

   Supporters say that neutrality will help keep internet providers from being discriminatory against certain websites.

   Senior, Blake Guzman says, “I think it’s pretty bad that these people can do this to everyone that uses the internet. I think we should keep net neutrality.”

   With a majority vote against repealing Net Neutrality regulations in both the House of Representatives and Senate, Congress can use a Congressional Review Act which can be used to vote on a “Resolution of Disapproval” that will overrule the FCC’s vote.

   The political turmoil and implications that consumers’ freedom on the web will be threatened that surrounds the pressing issue of net neutrality renders its fate one that is hanging by a thread.

 

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THE END OF THE FREE INTERNET