By: Mindy Larios
Many might have never heard about net neutrality and are unaware of how much we actually depend on it. Net neutrality has a big impact on how we navigate the internet. With net neutrality we are able to post and check on our social media whenever we want, watch videos or movies at any time on YouTube and Netflix, work on schoolwork through Google apps, and a million other things. We have the freedom to visit and download any app and website without any restrictions thanks to net neutrality. However, without net neutrality, service providers would block, slow down, and charge money for specific apps and online content. The average phone bill for an individual ranges from $40-$200. With neutrality gone, you’d have to pay additional money to your monthly phone bill that can be up to $100 in order to get access to every app and website.
Firstly, Ajit Pai, a telecommunications director who works in the White House, began his plan to wipe out net neutrality in mid 2017. According to the president of an activist group, Pai is planning a “really aggressive agenda to benefit the biggest companies.” In other words, his motive for wanting net neutrality gone is for big phone companies such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc, to earn more money than the already immense amounts they receive. As expected, Americans did not take the news of the possibility of net neutrality being gone good. Many were angered and expressed their extreme dislike toward Pai via social media. In December 14 of 2017, the FCC repealed net neutrality by a vote of 3-2. Although millions of Americans wanted net neutrality to stay, only the opinions of 5 people were taken in account for such an impactful decision. Fortunately, that didn’t mean net neutrality was lost. Before net neutrality is completely gone, it has to be approved by Congress. Net neutrality ends in April 2018, unless Congress decides to act. Passing the bill to keep net neutrality will not be easy with The White House mostly controlled by Republicans. The bill would also have to be approved by President Donald Trump, who is not a fan of net neutrality.
Lastly, many people have already taken action in their own hands in order to save their internet by protesting and signing petitions. Without net neutrality, we will all be affected drastically. Especially those who already struggle to keep up with their monthly phone bills. Portugal is an example of what American would become without net neutrality. Portugal does not enforce net neutrality and is considered the “net neutrality disaster.” If you don’t want to pay extra for your favorite sites, you need to be supporting net neutrality. Therefore, visit www.battleforthenet.com to save and continue to enjoy your internet.