Power of Net Neutrality

Chapin Lenthall-Cleary

Net neutrality arguably is one of the most important issues of our generation. People who agree with net neutrality believe that companies who own internet wires have no right to restrict traffic flowing through them. On the other hand, people who oppose net neutrality think that companies, regardless of how badly it will effect the vast majority of people, have the right to maintain total control over the wires.

Eliminating net neutrality, first of all,  could slow down numerous internet websites.  This would inconvenience many people, but this is definitely the least significant consequence. In fact, ending net neutrality will give the power to companies who control the internet to cripple other companies’ advertising. This will create monopolies, and without regulation, would increase internet costs drastically. Furthermore, without net neutrality, companies could stifle online political speeches and news by not publishing sources from newspapers that cannot afford to pay money to internet providers. This type of censorship goes against the fundamental constitutional rights.

Under Obama, an FCC ruling known as the Open Internet Rule of 2015 was passed, reaffirming the importance of net neutrality. Donald Trump, however, recently appointed Ajit Pai, an opposer of net neutrality, as chairman of the FCC. Pai has the power and plan to overturn net neutrality, which will set a terrible precedent that has the potential to ruin the vast internet market. In times like this, internet should not be thought of as merely a money-making business, but as a powerful and necessary tool for our generation and generations to come.