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The Repealing of Net Neutrality - a Review

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On December fourteenth of last year, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, held a vote in favor of the repeal of Net Neutrality. It was all tied up at two votes against repealing and two for, and it came down to the head of the FCC, Ajit Pai’s decision. While the FCC was torn between keeping or repealing this act, the American populace was heavily against the removal. Myself included. Pai voted to repeal, which officially killed Net Neutrality. The Net Neutrality act, placed in 2015 during Obama’s term of presidency, granted the American population to open internet access. In this current moment in time the Open Internet Order, enforced by the FCC’s previous chairman Tom Wheeler, is now overturned. Now that it is repealed, I am certain a damage has been placed on consumers, small businesses, and open internet defenders. It was a poor choice made by the Feder Communications Commission, and it has caused an outrage among Americans. This review will help provide information on Net Neutrality, and why I deem repealing it was a mistake. In the repeal of Net Neutrality, I believe that it will affect consumers of the internet the most.

Every person that is currently purchasing a wireless data plan from an internet service provider such as Verizon or Charter will see price increases in the near future. This is explained on Public Knowledge, stating that internet service providers like these now have free reign over all website traffic. They can raise prices for certain websites for them to receive high-speed access, and lower prices for others. This means the ability to throttle any websites that the ISP’s desire. Basically, what this repeal had told me was that Ajit Pai, the new FCC chairman, gave even more money to the billion-dollar corporations, such as Verizon who he had previously been a lawyer for. As it stands now, the average person in America is susceptible to high data rates for the internet, according to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge. I asked my father a few questions on this subject to obtain some information from an outside perspective. I asked him, “Do you believe that repealing net neutrality will give the ISP’s of America too much say over internet traffic? And finally, would you like to see Net Neutrality return?” He replied with, “That is something I am not entirely too sure with at this point in time. I know for a fact they won’t change too much, or they will lose business in the long run. That being said, they will definitely have a lot more control than they did before and I’m not happy with these changes. Is it the end of the world? No. But I’m not looking forward to it and would like to see Net Neutrality return in the future”.

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I personally think this is a horrible decision as the repeal of this one act will affect the common citizen buying an internet plan. Earlier I explained how repealing Net Neutrality would hurt consumers. In my interview with my father, I asked him how the repeal of Net Neutrality would affect his personal life, he responded with, “Right now, I hope it won’t drive the prices of my bill up. After doing some research of my own I know they will have ultimate control over my data plan and could shoot the price way, way up. Throttling is another thing I’m not looking forward to. As a frequent user of my data I know for sure I would like to use it at its highest speed, not the speed charter decides. This will all become political when it comes to websites ISP’s are competing with or are in an endorsement with”. My father has a similar view on the subject compared to my own. We are a part of the majority, as most of America was not happy with this change. Although I’ve only recorded one interview, there is lots of evidence online to prove that no one was on board for these changes. A petition on for 3,000,000 signatures to “Save Net Neutrality” is at 2,326,708 and counting by the minute. This shows that not only I believe in this, but millions other as well. I can’t help but wonder why the FCC would think this idea was a smart decision when it clearly was receiving a large amount of backlash before the official vote came through. The petition wasn’t the only of it’s kind either. I have received a multitude of e-mails linking to a petition trying to save Net Neutrality. Although America has continued to fight this, the FCC has made a concrete decision.

Another area that I believe the repeal of Net Neutrality will affect is small businesses and their websites. Under the Open Internet Order of Net Neutrality, the opportunity for small businesses to have high-speed internet was granted. This has now vanished under the repeal, and I predict that small business websites are to struggle in the future. To acquire an internet “fast lane” a large fee must be paid. What this means to me is that small businesses will hurt overall as they won’t generate enough revenue to meet this large demand. Being a supporter of small businesses, which is a large part of what the Tri-Cities is, I am upset. The internet is a powerful tool to help extend their reach. With high speeds being harder to reach, a setback is in place for small businesses worldwide. The repeal of Net Neutrality will negatively affect how we as Americans use the internet.

Giving power to billion-dollar corporations and allowing them full control over data throttling and price inequality. Lead by a former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, the FCC cut a very important act for internet equality. This will erupt throughout America and is a very poor choice on the government and FCC’s behalf. America as a whole has multiple petitions for the reinstatement of Net Neutrality and it will hopefully see a return in the near future. It is the entire of principle of repealing the act that feels wrong. I feel as if this repeal will give the advancement of the internet a major setback. This great country of ours, being founded on a principle of equality to all who can work for it, is now subject to companies who can legally create a bias over internet speeds. My final thought of the repeal of Net Neutrality act and Open Internet Order is that it was a mistake made by the FCC, hurting millions of Americans, and should be reversed.


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