The Importance of Net Neutrality

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The Internet is a driving force in the ever-changing world of today. As a communications major and public relations minor, I understand the importance of the Internet, social media, and the ability to access the Internet and the vast amount of information it has to offer at any given second. Since the 1860’s there has been an ongoing debate about Net Neutrality, and for some of you that may not understand the importance of net neutrality, here we go.

Net Neutrality asserts that neither Internet Service Providers nor governments should be able to impose restrictions on the use of the Internet. Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could sculpt the Internet into fast and slow lanes this means an ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with (think China, North Korea, etc.). ISPs could charge extra fees to the very few companies that could afford to pay for special treatment – forcing everyone else into a slow tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet which could become a quite precarious situation. An open Internet means consumers (like you and I) can go anywhere that they want. Broadband providers cannot block legal content, they cannot degrade/impair legal Internet traffic, and broadband providers cannot favor some legal content over others. ISP’s see this as a money making opportunity but is this fair?

In my opinion, the Internet should be free and open just as it is today. Restricting content and charging extra for specific site use essentially creates a barrier to the world around us and decreases the accessibility of information. To further understand net neutrality and its specifics check out this video:

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