Many of us enjoy spending time using one of mankind’s greatest inventions, the Internet. A wide source of not only information and necessities but also a source of great entertainment for kids and adults alike. This service, which today many would likely consider essential to everyday activity, is actually serviced through providers such as Comcast, Time Warner, and many others who you have likely heard of. These providers, who usually also specialize in the distribution of cable services (as they are all mainly TV providers), charge users monthly for free, uninhibited use of Internet services and capabilities, no matter what they may be.
What many don’t realize, is that this freedom of Internet access stems from the insurance of a certain piece of legislation known as “Net Neutrality”. Net Neutrality is what insures that Internet service providers, or ISPs for short, can neither slow down or speed up your connection for certain websites. This is so that these companies cannot take advantage of this service, and charge the consumer extra money so that their speeds can all match up and they won’t receive poorer quality on some of their services. Or, it did at least, because recently there was a vote to repeal this important piece of security for the American public.
The issue stems from the request of FCC (or Federal Communications Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai to repeal Net Neutrality. Despite the demands of nearly the entire American public, who were dominantly against the repeal of Net Neutrality, lawmakers decided they would repeal it. However, this is not the end for many who have likely given up the fight for Net Neutrality, and the dire piece of mind it provides to those who use the Internet. Once this legislation is repealed, it must also be voted on by the courts to determine the relevance of the repeal. This issue has actually occurred twice before, and was fought off twice by lawmakers at the time.
Whatever the case, many are afraid of their future and livelihood at the thought their Internet access might very well likely be taken from them. There are many who make a living off of using the Internet as a source of creating and spreading entertainment across a wide variety of spectrums, from those that stream themselves playing games, to YouTubers who provide services such as knowledge based programs, and even now artists who create digital works online and distribute them this way. Many of these individuals rely on the Internet to sustain themselves and their families, and would be left without a job without it.
Now, the issue is not that they think they will be unable to continue with their work, but that the service will be harder when they will be forced to pay extra money for the various services that they use, and if a certain website is not supported at all then they will be out of luck. The problem isn’t just lying in the fact that the financial need of these services would be upped, it is the principle that these companies would seek to withhold these services from those that find it necessary. This is why many have taken to fighting the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality, desperately hoping it does not come to full fruition.
For now, we will simply be forced to wait and see how this pans out. Whether for or against the repeal, whether you’re out there fighting for your freedom or not, we can all agree; this decision is sure to impact the entirety of American culture and society in ways we never could have determined.