Net neutrality is something that I have heard about for a couple years. To put it simply, net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all websites equal and is protected in the United States under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. It is now being enforced since April 13, 2015, but as of April 2017, FCC chairman Ajit Pai wants to repeal the policy.
Now, if the FCC removes the policy, it will allow ISPs to treat other websites without equality and force websites to pay a sum of money to not be throttled, or slowed down. This not only gets me worried, but sort of upset regarding the main reasoning behind why Ajit Pai and the FCC have called to repeal this policy.
Under Ajit Pai’s words, he said that the policy is hurting revenue for ISPs and that taking down the policy will not only help the revenue of the ISPs but also help ISPs build internet in rural locations. Now, Ajit Pai does not disclose how exactly the policy is affecting the revenue of companies, and he also neglects all the downsides of taking down the policy.
Something else that really upsets me in this situation is the complete lack of recognition to the backlash coming from supporters of net neutrality. I have seen many petitions online asking for Net Neutrality not to be repealed that range from a couple thousand to over one million signatures. Hundreds of websites that rely on net neutrality for a fair market have also been trying to spread the message that the policy is important to their operations. Many other sites that I use have completely recognized the potential for their sites going under if the policy is repealed.
And the worst part is that some of the commissioners voting on repeal have openly acknowledged the backlash and have dismissed the response as false, stating that taking away net neutrality will not impact the internet. This makes me believe that these people who will be voting do not fully understand what net neutrality is, despite their position. It’s as if it’s coming down to people who do not know the correct decision, and that actually scares me. To think that even the slightest possibility of this has the biggest impact on so many websites and consumers.
I do not think net neutrality should be repealed, and I am worried that it even got to this far of a point, to where either the government-backed FCC openly ignores the response of the population or dismisses the response as false, and to where we, the people, have no power over the government in this situation at all.