Net Neutrality in America

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Net Neutrality in America

Caroline Crowell

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Net neutrality is a term that has been floating around the media a lot recently. You might be wondering what it is, why it’s such a big deal, and how it affects your life. Turns out, net neutrality plays a huge role in our tech savvy society, and net neutrality, along with our way of life as we know it, is currently in jeopardy.

Net neutrality is essentially internet freedom. It means that internet providers like AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum, and DISH cannot limit a consumer’s access to any content on the Internet. They are required, by law, to treat all data available online equally, giving consumers the freedom to access and use whatever they want. Without net neutrality, internet service providers would have the power to control what sites and applications consumers have access to. This would mean that your internet provider could only offer access to certain sites based on what companies they have preferences for or affiliation with. Americans would no longer be guaranteed access to anything on the internet, including social media like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Net neutrality seems like a guaranteed part of internet use, and most of us would never consider that we might one day have to pay additional fees for access to certain sites. However, the laws protecting Americans’ net neutrality are at risk. On December 14th, the Federal Communications Commission is voting on whether or not to roll back the laws that protect net neutrality. Only 3 out of the 5 members of the FCC have to vote in favor of rollback for it to go through. The repeal of the laws set in place by the Obama administration would have major effects on all of our lives, especially since we have become such a technologically-dependent society. The sites you visit have always been under your control as a consumer, but without net neutrality, it is up to your internet provider.

There are many ways for you to take action to fight back for net neutrality. You can contact the chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, and voice your opinion. You can also reach out to your senators and let them know that you, as a current or future voter, value net neutrality and hope that they will do everything in their power to maintain it. For more information on how you can help to preserve net neutrality in America, visit https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home.

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