Net Neutrality

By Lydia Pendergast

On December 14th, 2017, Net Neutrality, something that has been in place for a multitude of years, was repealed. Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to remove net neutrality was approved by the Republican majority. This essentially means that the internet will be altered to either move slower (so that you pay more), or to prevent you from reaching websites without paying. Net neutrality, by definition, is “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or website”. When you go online, whether that be to complete a simple Google search, or to spend time scrolling through Instagram, you expect that the internet will be free and will load properly. In this way, you are invertedly expecting Net Neutrality. Since announcing its repeal, Pai has yet to listen or take word to the millions of citizens rebelling against his act. Instead, a small group of men have decided for themselves that our internet is to be taxed. Although its effects will not go into place for a few months, the idea has already begun to place rage and worry on the many internet users of America.

As of 2011, 78.2% of the US population had used or continued to use the internet. This vast majority of the country, after Pai’s plan, will now have to pay for their internet; something that should be given freely. Many cannot afford this or do not want to have to pay for something that has already been given without taxation.

In the 21st century, technology and the internet have become increasingly important in not only the US, but the entire world. It has become a social norm to always be connected. Not only is the internet used socially, but many workplaces, fields, companies, and schools rely on the internet to assist in their work. Although slightly alarming, our attachment as humans to technology is stronger now than ever. We rely greatly on the internet to complete everyday tasks, and taking that away for the majority of America is extremely concerning. It may not be in place yet,but the idea of no net neutrality has become a looming shadow of reality for the people of the United States.