Heejae Park OCSA 10th Grade
Very recently, the FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, had repealed the rules of net neutrality. This repeal brings with it positive and negative impacts, both of which impact many different groups and recipients. These side effects collectively create a web of various impacts, and so it could be difficult to truly get the full scope and picture of the situation, despite how big the impact may be for everybody.
For some people, the first question that may be asked is, “what is net neutrality?” This question is often followed by another, “why should I care about this?” Net neutrality is essentially a principle of the internet that prevents internet service providers from blocking any form of content on the Internet. This, essentially, creates the broad, open network that forms the Internet that everyone is familiar with, where communication can occur for no particular cost. Essentially, the absence of net neutrality allows companies to bypass such rules and decide what content they wish to block. Now that this rule has been repealed, it is important for people to understand what will happen and how it may specifically affect them.
Without the rules of net neutrality, companies that provide Internet service are essentially able to monitor and control content, and this had the potential to be very harmful for those that trust the Internet as an open field of opinions and expression. In simplified terms, it gives service providers the power of preferential treatment. They can make things tougher for some websites and extend help to others. Of course, it is by no means a guarantee that service providers will take advantage of the repeal, but is most definitely a considered possibility.
This repeal has differing effects towards everyone. For one who hardly uses the Internet, it could mean almost nothing to them. To those that live a lifestyle revolving around accessing the Internet, it has the potential to be very harmful or easygoing, depending on whether or not they are able to afford certain websites being more constrained. For some people to use the Internet as a hub to express their opinions and ideologies, matters could become very difficult for them as a result of the repeal.
Perhaps the biggest objective impact of the repeal on net neutrality is how smaller businesses and companies will be affected. Small businesses can often use the open, free Internet as a staging ground to begin growing and thriving, as the Internet provides an excellent opportunity for them. However, the repeal could potentially unbalance the level playing field that the Internet consists of, making it far more difficult for smaller businesses to stand a competitive chance against bigger corporations.
In summary, net neutrality acts as both a major benefit and setback for many people and businesses, depending on their reliance on the Internet and how big of a business they are. However, there could be a major potential problem for the general population and smaller businesses as the playing field could tip towards bigger and wealthier companies.
<Heejae Park OCSA 10th Grade