The Californian

Net neutrality is an internet necessity

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Net neutrality is an internet necessity

John Symank, Staff Writer

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In our day and age, we rely very heavily on the internet for almost everything we do. But what if I told you that the way we use the internet could turn on its head within the coming year?

Net Neutrality is something that affects us every day, in ways that the average person might not even realize.

In my experience, the people I talk to have an opinion about it, but many don’t even know what it is. 

In short, Net Neutrality is the policy that says that the internet is a completely free and fair realm, and that everyone who has access to it has access to ALL of it.

That being said, the Federal Communications Commission has recently declared plans to repeal the act passed by the Obama administration. Now people are wondering: what does this mean for us?

In short, what this could mean is that you could no longer have access to certain websites or information, and this could entirely be in the hands of your wireless service provider.

For example, say that next year, Net Neutrality no longer exists. This would allow AT&T to make a deal with, say, Netflix, that only allows AT&T customers to use the service.

Now I’m sure that you’re freaking out now because you might not be able to watch the next season of “Stranger Things”. Believe me, I’m worried too.

So many different problems show up beyond this, however. Could you imagine being depressed and being unable to get help online? Or perhaps unable to write that paper because you can’t use Wikipedia? 

Or imagine reading through your internet bill at the end of the month to find that it has doubled in price? What do you do if you can’t afford that? That’s what it may look like if the vote passes. 

But this may not necessarily happen, even if Net Neutrality is repealed. 

Many major service companies are against the change, for the main reason that they don’t want the extra competition.

It may be similar to the Cold War, and the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction, in the sense that when one starts, everyone else will start too, and make a power grab for everything they can.

Even with all of this, there are still some downsides to Net Neutrality. In total fairness, it doesn’t give the little guy a chance. 

Small wireless service providers have struggled ever since the institution of Net Neutrality. 

They have been unable to get a foothold over large companies like Verizon and AT&T, and if net neutrality is repealed, it may give them a chance to gain ground and a larger following.

The issue with net neutrality is that it plays right into the hands of the existing service providers. It  makes them unable to offer anything more than faster service speeds, but they already have so many existing customers, they don’t need the extra money, they’re already charging us enough for the service.

The small companies, however, need something to offer more than the larger companies. Ironically, they are unable to have this due to the existence of Net Neutrality.

Do the disadvantages outweigh the benefits of it? No, I don’t believe they do, and neither do the great  many people who don’t want to see the end of The Internet, and the end of an era.

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