FCC Votes on Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission, often referred to as the FCC, made an extremely difficult decision. whether to vote for, or against, net neutrality. Net neutrality is defined as the principle that internet service providers (ISP) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

There are many pros and cons to this. A major pro to having net neutrality is that the internet simply remains free for everyone. Besides illegal content, regulations would not exist. This means that an ISP (internet service provider) cannot block access, change services, or alter the flow of data to customers. Net neutrality would also allow new companies to establish themselves. In the past, companies began and grew with equal opportunities for everyone. “Net neutrality is incredibly important for small startups like Discord because all internet traffic needs to be treated as equal for us all to have access to the same resources as the big companies,” says Jason Citron, co-founder and CEO of the videogame-centric chat and video-conferencing app Discord.

With net neutrality, big and small companies would have access to the same resources, allowing innovation of products and services. But with net neutrality would also be many cons. The customer would have to pay more for internet access, plus extra for faster internet service. If comcast chooses to block access to certain websites, they have freedom to shut it down. When asked how they felt about net neutrality, a SLV student said “Personally, I think everyone is making too big of a deal of this whole thing. Of course it sucks that people would have to pay extra to do stuff on the internet, but why does everyone have such a problem with paying for what they use?” This student brought up an important idea that many have not thought about. Nonetheless another student was asked the same question but replied by saying “Why would it be fair to change how the internet has operated for years now?”

Many are recently grateful that the FCC repealed net neutrality, so your browsing habits will not have to change! A SLV student commented, “I am so happy that the government repealed net neutrality! I just feel like it’s really dumb because there are much more necessary needs to improve our world, but net neutrality isn’t one! Why doesn’t the government focus on getting people off the street, or ending world hunger?”

The Federal Communication Commission’s vote on the future of the internet came down to politics. The agency’s two Republican commissioners, joined by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and voted to eliminate the “net neutrality” rules, while the panel’s two Democrats opposed their repeal.
by Olivia Lapioli

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