by Jason Thiel – Staff Writer
Net Neutrality is something that sort of exists as a background mechanic of the internet age that prevents corporations from ripping off the working man in another way. Before now, many people didn’t know what net neutrality was or how it helped them. Now that the FCC is considering repealing it, it’s gaining interest throughout the country. Repealing such a crucial part of internet policy will lead to corporate greed running rampant online and when paying for internet service.
For those that do not know what net neutrality is, it’s a policy that runs behind the scenes on the internet that prevents corporations from tacking on extra charges to access domains, purchase and upgrade internet packages, and when creating domains. It says that there cannot be a pay wall acting as the only reason a person cannot access a website. It also mandates that internet service providers cannot tamper with your internet speed. This keeps the user in control of what they browse for and what they look at. In 2015, activists pressured the FCC to adopt many net neutrality rules that are now in jeopardy thanks to Trump’s new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai. On December 14, the FCC plans to vote to repeal the net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration. This is disgusting. In an already corporate-based world where big businesses are frequently allowed to cheat the people and the government, the Trump administration, and more specifically Ajit Pai, think that the next best step to “drain the swamp” is to provide corporations with another outlet to abuse the working class.
This administration’s mentality regarding corporations is so backwards, as they seem to talk about how greedy everyone is, and then just throw money and opportunity right into the pockets of corporate executives. Repealing net neutrality would do nothing less than allow them to dig further into the pockets of middle class Americans. People who just want to watch Youtube or Netflix, run a website for their small business, do their taxes, buy health insurance, any number of things people use the internet for in an affordable way. Small businesses will find that they won’t be able afford to pay for their domains, and they’ll have less outlets to advertise their businesses. Additionally, working families will have a hard time paying their internet bills, as corporations will be allowed to slow down their wi-fi speeds in order to force families to pay more for upgrades, causing many people to lose access to the internet and the plethora of information and resources it provides. Kids in school will find it harder to keep up with their work without internet access at home. It will increase the educational divide in this country, throwing more people in poverty back into poverty by further obstructing them from receiving an education comparable to those with more money.
The FCC’s disastrous plan to repeal Obama’s rules on net neutrality will cripple the middle class and destroy opportunities for families to experience the “American Dream”. Kids will find it harder to keep up, small businesses will take a huge hit, and families will lose an amenity that has become all but necessary, while big corporations will continue to thrive and increase their wealth even more than they already have. In a country where we already have massive wealth inequality, we cannot afford to pass more legislation that cripples the middle class.