What the Repeal of Net Neutrality Really Means

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In light of recent social media protests about the FCC’s decision on net neutrality, it is important to clarify how consumers will be affected by the repeal of net neutrality. According to SavetheInternet.com, net neutrality is “the basic principle that inhibits internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, from speeding up, slowing down, or blocking any content, applications, or websites you may want to use.”  This repeal gives companies the authority to block any content or applications they wish and gives them power over the internet and what is produced and seen by consumers. It also allows consumers to pay more for faster internet and certain benefits. This is concerning because under these new rules protest platforms could be silenced and small businesses could be left in the dust if they are not willing to pay for a fast internet connection. Contrary to popular belief, however, this repeal will not cause consumers to have to pay money to view content on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook.

Here’s an example of how this could come into play. Say a small business owner created a website. If they posted their website to the internet, without net neutrality, the internet service provider could block that website if it conflicted with an investor’s business or was simply disliked by the provider. The plan to repeal net neutrality was put forth by Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC, who was appointed by Donald Trump. He is also a former lawyer for Verizon, which is a major internet service provider. A new net neutrality bill is now being discussed by Congress, and hopefully the FCC’s decision will be changed in the next several months. In the meantime there are many things that we as citizens can do to help protect net neutrality, like contacting our congressmen and women and urging them to take action. Let us all do our part, and save the internet.

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