Internet Freedom will soon Disappear

Internet freedom may soon disappear if the FCC votes to get rid of net neutrality which would allow internet service providers to charge its customers to access certain websites and services.

Net neutrality preserves the right for everyone to freely communicate on the web. It essentially preserves freedom of speech on the internet and prevents internet service providers from blocking their customers from certain websites, or charging them extra in order to access them. Net Neutrality laws make it illegal for internet providers like Verizon or Spectrum to slow down internet speeds to certain websites, or even blocking their customers from accessing certain websites or services.  If the FCC strikes down this right in an upcoming vote it would be a violation of our freedoms.  

Without net neutrality, ISPs, or Internet Service Providers such as Verizon and AT&T would be able to push certain political motives. For example, if Verizon favors Trump, and The New York Times publishes an article about Trump that is unfavorable, Verizon could slow down your internet speed while accessing The New York Times website or could even block you from viewing the website all together. It is essentially taking away our freedom to freely access content on the internet. In another scenario, Netflix could pay AT&T to speed up their customer’s connections to their site and could block access to a competitor’s site such as Hulu, or block the connection all together. It would also enable companies to give certain websites in different internet packages. Similar to cable packages that offer different channels depending on what packages you get, a company could put Facebook and Tumblr in different categories forcing you to pick one or the other.

Getting rid of net neutrality would not benefit the consumer. It would only benefit the ISP. Getting rid of net neutrality is purely motivated by greed. Internet without freedom is a cash pool for ISPs to squeeze even more money out of its consumers.

The ISPs claim it would allow consumers to get faster speeds to the services they want to access. If someone plays video games online frequently, they might prefer to have faster speeds to those video game servers in exchange for slower speeds to things they never use such as Facebook.

However, once given the power, companies will not use the reversal of net neutrality to benefit its customers, they would use it to simply make a bigger profit at the expense of the consumer.

FCC commissioner Ajit Pai claims that the Title 2 regulations that give people net neutrality are preventing smaller ISPs from growing and is decreasing incentive for ISPs to expand into more rural areas. However there is evidence that ISPs have attempted to block certain websites like Skype and Google Wallet before but FCC chairman Ajit Pai claimed in an interview with PBS news hour that “ Well, there are isolated cases, but if you look at the FCC’s own records, there are only scattered anecdotes to support this.” These cases may be isolated now, but if net neutrality disappeared companies would make this a more widespread practice.

As of right now anyone could startup a news website such as the Viking Post and everyone on the internet would be able to access it. If net neutrality disappears this could make it impossible for small news websites and online entrepreneurs to become successful because ISPs could block these smaller websites and only allow one news source such as The Huffington Post.

Net neutrality is also essential to our ability to take in information freely. Internet Service providers may block certain ideas and allow others. During an election an ISP could favor one candidate over the other, and could completely block any news sites about the unfavorable candidate.

America’s internet freedoms are on the line. If these rules disappear than many Americans will lose yet another freedom in the supposed “Land of the Free”. You can help fight for net neutrality by going to www.battleforthenet.com. Together we can fight fro our right to freely access the internet.