The internet is undoubtedly one of the most heavily used mediums for communication, networking and education in the present day. There are over three billion people that are current users of the internet, as reported by the U.N.
Net neutrality, the current standard for internet usage, ensures that all of these three billion users have equal and fair access to the information carried on the internet. The principle of net neutrality treats each click on the internet the same, whether you are streaming on Netflix, skimming through Amazon or searching through academic databases. Net neutrality allows every user to access content for the same price and at the same rate, regardless of their internet provider.
Net neutrality is a positive concept for every internet user, but is currently in the process of being terminated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The termination of net neutrality would be the end of the internet as we know it.
If the FCC continues to move toward ending the net neutrality standard, the consequences would be detrimental. In order to protect consumers and businesses from biased tendencies, the FCC must reconsider their move to terminate net neutrality.
Ending net neutrality would affect both everyday internet customers, as well as internet providers. Large businesses would have the ability to block sites from their users that are provided by competitors and be allowed to fix prices.
Without net neutrality, a consumer who wanted access to certain sites provided by a competitor would have to pay more in order. The internet without net neutrality would also interfere with the ability of new online businesses to emerge, as every competitor to large companies would be affected.
These large companies will have the ability to have faster “lanes” and slower “lanes” on the internet, and the slower would be providing access to companies that are smaller or in competition. The business and economic aspect of the internet are being held to a higher standard than the positive aspects that benefit consumers.
Small businesses would not be able to compete with larger companies and ending net neutrality would eventually lead to the closing of many small online businesses. This move by the FCC would start the transition to a monopolistically run society.
Whether it is adults who pay their bills through online banking or children who find education through online databases, it is undisputable that the internet is a key factor for everyday modern life. Net neutrality is what makes that concept a reality.
The FCC’s move toward ending net neutrality would be unfair to consumers and small businesses and would hinder our current ways of communication, networking, and education. Ending net neutrality would be the end of the internet that we all know and love.
Samantha Moffett is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.