Cyber Wars

Kiss your Netflix goodbye without net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently unveiled its plan to change
regulations that allow equal access to the Internet, otherwise known as “net neutrality.”
They were hoping we’d be too busy eating turkey and cranberry sauce to notice what’s
happening, but we did.

I read through their proposed plan as I was browsing “Business Insider” and I think it’s
awful for multiple reasons. Net neutrality is the last defense for a free and open Internet
against one where your Internet service providers can make it harder for you to access
parts of the net.

Here’s the deal: the FCC wants to change regulations that ban Internet service providers
from dictating how broadband is used. Without that rule, the FCC can’t protect you from
providers abusing lack of competition in the industry.

As a Democracy, we depend on the FCC to allow us access to diverse medias. There are
other nations, like China, that do not have this. I fear the direction we could potentially be
going in soon.

The term broadband refers to high-speed Internet access that’s faster than dial-up.
Do you remember the sound of dial-up? Think back to your childhood. It’s almost 2018,
and I for one don’t want to experience maddeningly slow Internet access like I’m playing
Minesweeper on Windows 95 because a corporation wants me to buy into a payment

The future of the Internet is on the line here, quite literally. This entire situation sounds
like the setup of a dystopia society from a George Orwell novel. We’ll lose more than net
neutrality if we set up this kind of precedent where corporations can do what they want.
Point blank, broadband providers shouldn’t decide which websites, apps, or content you
can use. Verizon has challenged this notion before. What will stop them from blocking
political opinions, competitor’s content or restricting access to information?

This plan is not out there to benefit consumers. This lack of transparency is extremely
concerning. Rolling back current regulations might also make it possible for corporations
to stronghold Internet companies to pay for faster connections—this can drive up the
prices of things we hold dear like Netflix, Skype and Facebook. It will also discriminate
against people in lower tax brackets and those who rely on the Internet for information
and networking.

I rely on the Internet as a health resource and networking platform for activism. As a
disabled woman, the Internet is sometimes my only tether to the outside world when I am
particularly ill. I participate in support groups through social media and connect with
people in legislation to ensure disability rights are given due diligence. I am not alone in

Losing access or being forced to pay for something that is currently free does not sit well
with me, and it shouldn’t for you. Net neutrality is for the consumer and it should stay
that way.