Soma Chu Cleveland HS 11th Grade
After the FCC repealed net neutrality regulations, there has been public outrage because of the potential of the repeal to bring direct harms to citizens. Net neutrality, simply put, is what gives us the ability to use the internet without regulation and intervention by Internet Service Providers, or ISPs. With net neutrality, consumers pay for an ISP and this payment opens up all the contents of the Internet. Without net neutrality, ISPs could control the web content that reaches its consumers at its own will.
It would be naive to ignore the potential corruption of ISPs. Under the repeal of net neutrality, Michael Hiltzik, journalist for the Los Angeles Times states, “Their [ISPs’] instincts are to raise prices and favor their own entertainment and information offerings over those of their rivals, even when their offerings are inferior.” The content consumers receive are at the hands of ISPs, which without regulation, often works in their own benefit, rather than what is best for its consumers.
Furthermore, ISPs will require fees to be paid by content providers to buy “space” on the Internet, although many argue that space is limitless on the Internet. Content providers will have to pay the ISPs a larger fee and the less they are able to pay, the lesser quality and accessibility on the Internet they will get.
Lastly, repealing net neutrality allows internet service providers to block access to certain websites. Eric T. Schneiderman, current New York Attorney General, told Futurism, “The internet is the public square of the 21st century but without net neutrality, it will become a private square - with massive corporations deciding what people and ideas get in. Without net neutrality, internet service providers will be able to censor content.” Information on the internet could become politicized, skewed, and limited; a great attack on the access to information citizens have in a democratic country.
Costs will increase as ISPs raise the fees for content providers. The content so many of us love and enjoy, like Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Prime, can be slower or lower in quality based on the decisions of ISPs. Furthermore, the information we have access to can be censored by ISPs, getting rid of the once democratic value of internet access. Overall, the repeal of net neutrality seems to have a negative impact on us, turning the Internet and its distribution of knowledge to become another means of profit.
<Soma Chu Cleveland HS 11th Grade