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Net Neutrality: a Free and Open Internet

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The decision to remove network neutrality has affected many people in the United States of America in this last year. America is divided on this topic with massive companies and political figures controlling the conversation and for some, being the voice of the people. Network neutrality should stay in America because without it, massive technology companies will have too much power. With the removal of network neutrality, low income families, people, and organizations cannot afford not to have network neutrality. Losing network neutrality will make it hard for smaller companies to stay in business. Also, copious amounts of students will not learn as fast as ones with internet access. These reasons will affect most people in the United States. Low income families, people, and organizations cannot afford to not have network neutrality because many communities can already barely afford it. Schools, for example already spend a good amount of money on internet each year. “A recent Pew Research study found that 5 million, most low income, school-aged children do not have access to broadband internet connection. This is an enormous problem because the internet can definitely help many people in school as a child or teenager for research and homework. With the internet becoming more expensive, this number will only grow.

However, this will not only affect students. Adults will also travel to the library to use the internet for reasons such as, “Search for health information, apply for jobs, even pay their bills. This shows that everyone without a home internet connection that needs internet can get it somewhere, the removal of net neutrality could make it too expensive for even these places to afford it. Again, this will also spread the amount of people who will need to use these places. Network neutrality will make it harder for smaller companies to stay in business because many companies will not have a good user experience therefore the website will be too slow for the customer. Jenny Odegard from Forbes informed many people on the subject when she wrote, “As a small business owner, a user having a bad experience on your site can be a literal nightmare. It gives customers a bad impression of the brand in general… [which] hurt sales and customer retention. This will wipe out the smaller companies for many services like watching videos and listening to music.

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This will provide less creativity in the marketplace to produce new products. In the article, Odegard also states,”The net neutrality removal makes it harder for small businesses to compete with bigger ones. Whether it’s [a slow website], a worse user experience, or preferential treatment for company-owned software, these ramifications of losing net neutrality are bad news for small businesses and startups. Without equal access to internet services and users, small companies trying to disrupt the status quo will have less of a chance to survive and thrive.” This excerpt is talking about all of the problems smaller companies will face. Software owned by internet providers will be faster than the competition that will make the other software unpleasant to use. So current and future software will most likely not survive long because it will be given an unfair chance to start off with. The network neutrality removal will give students with internet an advantage in learning over those who don’t because students with internet can access more online software, and research resources quicker with a wider range of information. Many students rely on the internet for many reasons.

Even fifth graders need it to help their learning as seen,”In Virginia,… Molly Fuller uses the internet with students struggling in math to help. They can play math-based computer games, or see a digital diagram of a math problem broken down. [Her class] uses computers to teach her students how to find good sources versus bad sources. Fuller, along with most teachers in America in 2018, rely heavily on internet use to improve the learning quality for the students. Without internet that is affordable, public education will most likely take a step back in the learning process because everything will be more difficult to access. ‘One of the key elements of the internet is that it provides immediate access to a huge range of high-quality resources that are really useful to teachers, stated Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education. Culatta is explaining that teachers as well as students use internet everyday, especially for research. Teachers often use PowerPoint, or Google Slides for their schedule in class.

Also, in the Issaquah School District, teachers are required to have an updated website. With slow internet, or none at all, the task of building or accessing the website will be almost non-accessible.Some people might say that the “fast lanes” are worth it because not as many people will be on certain websites freeing up servers and making the customers experience faster than others and they can afford it. However, right now the internet is cheaper because the internet is now considered an utility,”Like electricity, water or gas. This category certain restrictions on what companies providing the utility can and cannot do, and provides users certain rights along with it. This statement refers to the fact that the internet is cheaper and internet providers cannot enable “fast lanes” or give anyone a premium internet speed. This let’s people collaborate with other people of all backgrounds and financial levels online. Without this, maybe one person could chat because they can afford it, but the person can’t talk to many people because other people can’t afford it. Finally,” Lifting the regulations providing a utility would clear the path for internet providers to slow down or speed up your service based on what website you are browsing. These service differences would likely have to do with who is paying for the privilege of a fast connection. Many companies such as Google are trying to at least introduce cheaper option such as Google Fiber where their internet becomes cheaper as more people use Fiber in the same city.In conclusion, the repeal of network neutrality will cause a mass loss in internet users in the United States. This will also cause less diversity in the marketplace and drive smaller companies out of business.

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