By Simon Haberfeld
Browsing the Internet freely with no interruption (unless your Wi-Fi is being slow) is a really wonderful thing. There is so much you can do on the World Wide Web that is helpful for school, work, or for just leisure time. You see, this is all protected by a beautiful law called Net Neutrality, something that does not let service providers block certain websites and allows everyone to access all of the Internet. Net Neutrality makes sure that regardless of who you are, if you pay your normal Internet fees every month, there is nothing on the web you cannot reach. This keeps everyone in sync and in harmony. However, Net Neutrality has been in serious danger lately. Donald Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, voted to destroy Net Neutrality.
What Does This Mean?
No Net Neutrality would mean that those who choose to use the internet would have to pay extra to use certain websites, boosting the monthly costs for the web each month.
In Portugal, a country without Net Neutrality laws, the websites are bundled together like television channels (as seen in the image on the right). This may not be a concern for the rich, but it’ll be a huge issue for the middle class and lower. For example, people with low incomes whose jobs rely on the Internet will lose their jobs because they are unable to pay for premium packages and it will pack a punch on the education system due to how many online students there are. It may be news to some people, but the Internet and technology have intertwined themselves into people’s lives and Ajit Pai wants to abolish our right to those services just for the benefit of the government who already has enough money. We must fight for free knowledge.
What Can You Do?
Search the web for petitions to sign that oppose Pai’s plan, and sign them. Type RESIST to 50409 to text ResistBot, which will help you write a letter to Congress so you can tell them to save Net Neutrality. More information is also available on savetheinternet.com/sti-home and battleforthenet.com. Your voice matters and can make a huge difference. No matter what you do, remember how incredibly important Net Neutrality is.