Net neutrality in danger

by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief

The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new rules that will ultimately ditch Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality, discrimination between content and apps will be allowed.

Net Neutrality is what allows people to freely roam through the Internet and download any content or application possible. With Net Neutrality, there are no limits or restrictions on our Internet usage. That could all change though, as the FCC plans to get rid of this principle.

The problem starts with the big cable and phone companies who believe that they are entitled to charge the web site operators for easy access to sites, speed to run applications, and permission to use plug-ins. These big companies would also charge app providers and device manufacturers.

Those web sites that cannot afford to pay the big companies will face discrimination – their content will not load fast and their applications will not work as efficiently as others. The websites include startups, nonprofits, activists, and all of the others who simply cannot afford to pay up. These sites may have to charge regular consumers to access content.

“It’s crazy that the government would even allow this change. It will affect so many companies nationwide, and for most of them, they will suffer a great loss. People need to stand together against this so that Net Neutrality won’t go away,” says senior Evan Kane.

Since there will be no law to protect these sites, it also means the big companies will be able to block sites of a competitor or make them run so slowly that the website could be unusable. According to OnlineGraduatePrograms.com, one out of four people will leave a website if it takes more than four seconds for the page to load.

In the new proposal made by the FCC on May 15, the Internet Service Providers would not be allowed to block or slow down other sites. However, charging those sites is still fair game.

This change comes with the new Chairman for the FCC, Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler says, “I will not allow the national asset of an open Internet to be compromised. The prospect of a gatekeeper choosing winners and losers on the Internet is unacceptable.”

Wheeler argued at the proposal that this plan does not allow for a “fast lane”, but many others disagree. The public can give comments on the proposal to the FCC until July 15, and can reply to those discussions until September 10.

Senior Alexandra Palmer says, “I do not think the FCC should go through with this. Why try to fix something that’s not broken? This is just opening a door for problems between companies and even consumers, since we are going to end up being the ones paying for it.”

Since the debate is now open to the public, it is important to get the word out and take action for your opinion. Net Neutrality is in danger, and it is up to the everyday Internet users to save it.

Contact your representatives and urge them to vote against restricting Net Neutrality.

Do you believe that the FCC should get rid of Net Neutrality?

#FCC #HaleyMillan #netneutrality

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