The Dismantling of Net Neutrality :The Internet Will Never Be the Same


Matthew McGovern, Editor

At around 1:30 PM on December 14th, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on whether or not to reinstate net neutrality rules implemented by former President Obama during his eight years as president.

If you don’t already know, net neutrality is a set of rules that apply to broadband internet suppliers such as Frontier or Spectrum, as well as websites such as YouTube, Google, and Twitter. Net neutrality makes it so that these privately owned companies are not allowed to charge users/customers for differing streaming, or loading speeds, and so that they can not selectively restrict access to certain parts of their services to users.

The vote on whether or not to repeal or reinstate net neutrality was voted upon by 5 members of the FCC, and they voted 3-2 in favor of repealing; effectively scrapping all rules that came along with net neutrality.

While right now this does seem like it will have a negative effect on Americans lives at first glance, there are several aspects that may impact how smoothly the rollout of the net neutrality repeal will commence.

1) The rollout will take several weeks.

Many people are convinced that these new implications on our internet browsing will go into immediate effect which is far from true. The new rules that companies will be able to make for themselves will take weeks to draft, then be integrated within their services. Thankfully, this will allow citizens and organizations opposing this ruling to gain backing from opposing politicians, and hopefully allow for a push to possibly reverse the decision of the FCC.

2) Widespread opposition.

Over 80% of the United States population showed opposition to the repeal of net neutrality. As for many other concerns of the public, there will likely be protests that occur in response to the FCC decision. These actions may push politicians who also oppose the decision to (possibly) call on President Trump and Ajit Pai, the two men mainly responsible for this repeal of net neutrality, to reconsider their decision on behalf of the American people.

The past few weeks have seen a large number of petitions and movements to sway the FCC in favor of saving net neutrality but wound up making no difference in the end.

This decision will have an effect on almost every citizen in the United States unless they are ones who don’t access the internet. In the 21st century, it’s a world dependent on internet connectivity and technology that should be freely available to all. This move sets the United States back from many developed countries (many in Europe) who have free, widespread, high-speed internet access across large parts of their respective countries.

The decision made today is important for everyone to know about because it will directly affect everyone who winds up reading this, regardless of whether you want it to or not.