Do you remember back when the internet first came out? It used to be a lot slower than it is right now. If you had a dial-up internet connection say, 10 years ago, it might have taken you an hour to load a single 3 minute long YouTube video. But when high-speed internet came on to the scene, it changed the game forever. Anybody with a stable connection could load videos and perform all kinds of actions on the internet at lightning speed. Now imagine having the same broadband internet service you have right now, with the speed of your favorite websites and apps going back down to a crawl. This is what will happen if the FCC is allowed to repeal net neutrality without resistance. Of course, not every site or service will be extremely slow. No, the ones that fork over huge sums of cash to internet companies will be able to keep their services running just as fast as ever. That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to benefit from the same speed though unless you’re willing to pay an extra large fee to your internet company.The loss of our net neutrality rules will affect us in many ways, none of which are good. The only benefit of peeling back net neutrality is for large telecommunications companies who will be able to extort massive sums of money out of American civilians once it’s all said and done.Let’s take a look at just how many different negative impacts will be felt in America due to the FCC’s recent attack on our net neutrality laws.The Death of InnovationThere used to be a time when you had to drive to a video-store if you wanted to rent a movie. Now, we can stream all kinds of movies directly from by using services like Netflix, and others. Without net neutrality laws, services like these would have been throttled by internet companies before they were allowed to reach the level of success that they currently enjoy. As we look ahead to a potential future without net neutrality, it’s easy to see there will be no room for new start-ups to flourish the same way Netflix has. As soon as something comes around that starts to compete with any big companies that already exist, it will be put in an internet “slow-lane”. This means that nobody is going to use it because it’s too slow, and the company won’t be able to speed up their services unless they can put up the kind of money that huge corporations can. The FCC is arguing that without net neutrality the internet will able to flourish as it should, but without an even playing field for all companies the only ones flourishing will be mega-corporations. Crippling Our StudentsOne of the most amazing things about the internet right now is the access we have to free, high-quality information. Students of all ages can now find reliable and intelligent sources of information on their topic of choice just by entering a quick search into Google. One of the most tragic consequences of repealing net neutrality will be a big reduction in the amount of access our students have to this information. No longer able to quickly search for answers to schoolwork-related questions, the average college student will be at a huge disadvantage in their education. This will inevitably lead to higher drop-out rates and lower levels of attendance for low-income students.Of all the ways an attack on net neutrality hurts our country, this one could be the most crippling over the long-term.Less Transparency, More RestrictionsIn addition to not allowing broadband and wireless providers to slow down your access to lawful content, net neutrality also forces internet service providers to reveal information about their service speeds. This is so that consumers can see what their internet speeds are and if they’re actually getting their money’s worth. Broadband providers are also required to let you connect any non-harmful device you like to your internet, and they can’t make you use a specific kind of Wi-Fi Router either. By repealing net neutrality all these safeguards will go right out the window, meaning you’ll find yourself paying a lot more for individual things that used to come under one bundle. One likely scenario in a future without net neutrality involves wireless providers slowing down alternative communication methods like Skype. This would force you to burn through your regular mobile-carrier minutes whenever you want to talk to somebody. Another possible scenario would see your favorite video streaming service being slowed down to a crawl. This of course would mean you’ll have to keep paying for your expensive cable package if you want to watch your favorite TV shows, rather than spending around 10 bucks a month for apps like Hulu or Netflix.An Open SecretThe FCC didn’t just decide to repeal net neutrality in the interest of the American people, they did it to please their lobbyists. Each of the major broadband and wireless providers in America has donated millions of dollars to members of the government in hopes that they might secure some favor down the line. Eventually it paid off, as the FCC voted in favor of repealing net neutrality on December 14th, 2017. Unfortunately, there are more corporations with huge influence in Washington who oppose net neutrality than there are proponents of it. Google is the only company with major lobbying influence who favors net neutrality laws, and even their influence was not enough to prevent this disastrous decision from being made.Closing ThoughtsWhile the battle was lost, the war is far from over. Despite the FCC’s decision, attorney generals from states across America have defiantly stated that they’ll begin enacting legislation aimed at upholding the values of net neutrality. Around 20 states have also joined together in a promise to sue the FCC over a decision that violates our laws and undermines our citizens. As Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson stated, “This isn’t just a consumer protection issue – it’s a democracy protection issue too.” With more states coming out of the woodwork against the recent net neutrality decision, there’s a good chance that it won’t stand for very long. Which is good news for us, because unrestricted internet access is a basic right that everyone in America deserves, no matter how much money they have.
September 2, 2019 0 Comments