Regain Net Neutrality


Natalie Richardson

Last year, The F.C.C. voted to repeal Net Neutrality, a program which sought to protect internet users by assuring providers load all content equally, without slowing down certain websites based on bias. Without Net Neutrality, the internet becomes somewhat of a Laissez Faire Capitalist style industry, allowing providers the possibility to slow down competing companies’ websites, while speeding up their own, for fiscal gain.
It seems that the GOP’s push for repeal played into its indisputable capitalist and anti-minority agenda. Without Net Neutrality, internet corporations would be allowed to battle more aggressively for consumer business. Internet providers would also be allowed to block content they do not agree with, such as websites concerning feminism, gay rights, black lives matter, etcetera, possibly adding to the adversity many oppressed groups face while attempting to gain equality.
Much of the concern surrounding the repeal came from internet users concerned about slower internet speeds, formerly free websites requiring payment, and the possible silencing of progressive movements. Though many more serious concerns are definite issues to be addressed, most are speculation and aren’t likely, since very rarely did such occur pre-Net Neutrality.  For now, though, it is most likely that Net Neutrality will have little influence in the experiences of average internet users, with the most common issues being slower internet speeds or incessant advertisements and fees.
Amongst the chaotic struggle for the bill’s revival, the Senate voted over thirty- just enough to win the vote- in support of Net Neutrality, potentially rescuing the bill. This, however; is not the finish line for supporters of Net Neutrality, as it now must receive a majority vote in the House of Representatives and from there be signed by Donald Trump, who is avidly opposed to it. This makes it unlikely for Net Neutrality to be saved, yet this protective vote in the Senate shows it to be possible, giving the American public and internet users alike a glimmer of hope for preservation.