The Blueprint

Net neutrality impacts all users

Michael Mates

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Network neutrality mandates all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat web content equally by not blocking or slowing any website based on the content.

The term “net neutrality” was first coined by Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu in 2002. Net neutrality promises consumers equal and unbiased access to all legal content and applications without favoritism. The large ISP companies—including AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon—have been accused of unlawfully slowing down websites or blocking them completely.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on either repealing or keeping net neutrality next week on Dec. 14. Mr. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, proposed the end to net neutrality. He has been quoted by the New York Times saying, “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet. Instead, the FCC would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.” So, it’s possible that consumers will have to pay more for specific sites or levels of streaming. 

The majority of analysts believe that the FCC will vote to end net neutrality, opening up the speed and control of the internet to the ISP companies. Although, the likely decision will go in favor of the ISPs, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is working to keep internet users protected and educated. The Internet Association is also trying to stop Mr. Pai from destroying net neutrality. Sophomore Heidi Copple said, “I think they should keep net neutrality because no one wants to pay for accessing websites on the internet.”

If net neutrality is lost, ISPs could charge users money to go on their social media, emails and every other website. The loss of net neutrality would also cause a rippling effect on the economy and many businesses.

Junior Matthias Benko said, “I think the ending of neutrality is one of the worst things that could possibly happen. I can not imagine paying to go online, and it would totally ruin our view on technology.”

Sophomore Timmy McNelis searches the internet on his iPhone. Currently, once a consumer has wifi access, he  can surf where he chooses. If net neutrality is repealed, there may be charges for sites the internet providers want to charge people.