What Does Net Neutrality Mean for Our Future?

Updated on January 9, 2018

So What Is Net Neutrality Anyways?

In 2015, President Obama created a law that would protect the internet. By providing an open and free internet, users have resources available at no cost. This law keeps companies on a fair playing field and allows startups like Wag and Lyft to be just as accessible as Amazon or Google.

Along with those rules are others like not charging users for access to websites or slowing speeds down on competitor websites. For example, if you watch Netflix, I'm sure you enjoy watching your show with no buffering issues. But what if that were to change? With net neutrality gone, companies like Verizon can slow down your data streaming on a website. They may want you to use a website that they promote so they can either slow down or block access to other websites.

An example of what could be in our future is the case of Apple vs. AT&T. Apple's Facetime app was blocked by AT&T. If AT&T was your service provider, you couldn't use face time on your IPhone. AT&T wanted to move their customers to a new data sharing plan. By blocking Facetime they caused an outrage with IPhone users. This was not a violation of net neutrality but it is now an option that other companies can do without consequence.

How Did the Media Get Involved?

The real question is how the media wasn't involved. In 2014, there was some talk about net neutrality but the media didn't really know how to explain it. In a podcast post on NPR, the host brings us up to speed on net neutrality. In the podcast, she displays how reporters couldn't explain what net neutrality meant. Reporters were trying there best to explain but weren't getting the point across. The story died down after a while until John Oliver brought it back to life.

How Did We Let This Happen?

Before 2014 there wasn't much talk about this subject. While there was some media coverage, John Oliver was one of the people who helped elevate the conversation to a broader audience. On His "show Last Week Tonight", he did a segment about net neutrality.

Who is Ajit Pai?

Ajit Pai is the Chairman of the FCC. He was appointed by President Donald Trump to the position. He is a former Associate General Counsel at Verizon. Terminating net neutrality was one of his top priority when he was first offered the position as top dog of the FCC. He released this video trying to convince the public there was no change to their day to day usage of the internet. But is that really true?

Online Gaming Could Take a Hit

One change that could happen is in gaming. Systems like PS4 have online gaming where you can play over the internet against other opponents. Since the internet was free, you didn't have to worry about the other person's service provider because all you needed was access. Looking ahead, companies like Verizon will be able to control your access. They can even block you from going to a website if they want to. If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn't want you to use a certain webpage, you might not be able to play against some gamers. Here is an article I found about the future of gaming and net neutrality.

Not Looking Good for the Little Guy Small Businesses

Small businesses are in big trouble. This article from Forbes.com talks about how small businesses will have to pay more to speed up connection to websites that might be just starting out. That means if you wanted to start a company and have a website, your provider can block your site if you don't pay up. This is just another way you can be effected by the roll back of net neutrality rules.

Hpw Do You Vote?

In a poll taken by Mozilla earlier this year, the majority of voters chose to keep the rules in place. You can see the results of the poll here. There are other poles where the media try to convince people that the public wants to remove the laws on Net Neutrality. If it's not popular with the public then why is the media promoting it as a good thing? On Fox & Friends, Ajit Pai talks abut the benefits of net neutrality.

After viewing both videos, how do you feel about net neutrality? Do you feel the media is trying to sway you in a certain direction? Does the FCC really want to help provide a free internet by dissolving the laws? What does this change mean to you? Please respond to the poll below.

Are you in favor of the net neutrality rules?

See results

© 2018 David Johnson Jr

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