Twilight of Net Neutrality affects us all
A la carte. It’s good in a food court and a cable package. Imagine Internet service where
websites were bundled and offered in packages.
For instance, if you wanted to access social media, you may have to pay an additional $5.99
per month for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
The sinister part is that Internet Service Providers could potentially pick and choose which
websites load faster with better streaming quality.
For instance, Time Warner, a part of Charter Communications, provides internet service in the
greater New York City area. CNN is part of Time Warner, and in theory, the ISP could slow
down the ability to access other news sites to its customers.
Why is this on the table?
The Federal Communications Commission is headed by a five-person board. Three of the five
members, including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, are in favor of repealing the Obama administration
These regulations are intended to prevent ISPs from creating the a la carte scenario previously
What makes this urgent, especially now, is that the Internet is the great equalizer. As former
Washington Post columnist and current ESPN commentator Tony Kornheiser said, “ The
Internet is the best and worst thing ever.”
In a world where income inequality is worse than ever, and an entire generation is being
politically railroaded for the desires of an older generation, the Internet is a place where anyone
with an idea and a strategy can make money.
Essentially, the Internet, for all its toxicity in politics and its seedy underbelly, contains the last
vestiges of the American Dream. It’s one of the last places where corporate greed hasn’t run
shamelessly and openly amok.
I don’t want to live in a world where corporations are arbitrarily slowing speeds to sites based
on maximum profit potential. I’m not naive and there’s money and corruption in the Internet as it
Net neutrality is the last bastion against unadulterated corporate greed on the Internet.
Freedom of information is the lifeblood of this country, the lifeblood of democracy, and if
corporations are allowed to influence the consumption so directly, the results could be
For most college students, I understand that political issues by their nature seem far away, and
hardly applicable to the life right in front of us. This issue affects all of us. Every click on a
browser, every like on a post takes place on the Internet.
Contact the FCC’s switchboard, let them know you want the Internet free of cumbersome
bundles and manipulation.
This is why it is important to participate in elections. These issues do not appear suddenly over
a period of months. The repeal of Net Neutrality has been in the works for years and it has been
made possible by the election of Donald Trump and the subsequent confirmation of Ajit Pai as
The rollback of Net Neutrality could be approved as soon as Dec. 14.