By JUSTIN REESE- Net neutrality is the idea that certain rules and regulations should be applied to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Verizon and AT&T. This idea keeps the internet a free, open, and safe place. Without net neutrality, the internet could possibly be completely controlled by companies. These companies can manipulate the speed of specific websites, or altogether deny access to certain sites.
A survey taken shows that a little more than half of the participating students at IHS are aware of the vote to repeal net neutrality and that a little more than half are aware of the idea of net neutrality.
Freshman Ethan Frederick said, “I think that more teachers should talk more about net neutrality to inform students, I also believe that students should attempt to self-educate themselves so that they can better understand the current political issues in general.”
How could this affect the everyday internet use of a student? Considering ISP’s can control the speeds of specific websites, only the wealthiest of websites could afford to run fast, meaning the access to essential sites might be more difficult. Some sites might not even be accessible at all. Freshman Hasan Ali also added the possible idea of “educational packages that would limit students to educational sites” and that “this may even boost productivity considering distracting sites would not be accessible.”
FCC chair and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai is the main driving force behind this repeal vote. With the majority of members backing the repeal, the vote is was passed 3-2 along party lines. Freshman Ali adds, “It [the repeal] may be good for the internet as a whole and could spur economic investment into ISPs which will then use the extra capital to expand networks across the US to the traditionally ignored regions like rural countrysides.”
Companies that are largely internet based are strongly against this vote. Twitter, Airbnb, Reddit, along with 200 other companies banded together and signed a letter that warned the FCC not to roll back net neutrality. Sophomore Jason Kovalchick said, “I think that all these Internet companies banding together is great. But, no matter the number of letters and calls people send in, nothing will change. Ajit Pai has even said that. Right now the only realistic hope in saving Net Neutrality is to stop it in court.”
The vote passed, and the rollback of net neutrality is now a reality, this is will be a significant win for the Internet Service Providers. One way to help is to contact local congressmen and representatives to try and show political figures how the public is outraged at the vote outcome.
[Survey by Justin Reese]
Photo Caption: “A chart containing the data from a survey distributed to IHS shows that 57.6% of students who participated are aware of the vote to repeal Net Neutrality.”