By Danielle Thompson
Should an Internet service provider (ISP) control what you can view online? A proposal at the Federal Communications Commission could have serious consequences for all Internet users.
Reduced to its essentials, net neutrality is a simple issue: ISPs provide users with broadband connections they can use to access websites and services, with all content delivered at the same speed. In essence, net neutrality is Internet freedom.
As a student who studied abroad last semester, I used the Internet voraciously. Facebook, Twitter and Gmail were my sole links to friends and family in the states. Without net neutrality and the freedom it provides, such access may not have been possible.
Now the FCC is weighing a proposal that would allow "fast lanes' for Internet users who can afford them and consign everyone else to slower Internet access.
This would do a lot more than make it difficult for college student to connect with friends. In all likelihood, social media sites that link all of us would slow, and connectivity would decrease.
Notoriously poor, university students pay for tuition, textbooks, and housing while working and maintaining their grades. As a politics major, I need to stay up to date on national and international news; slower internet would decrease my ability to receive the news updates from my smartphone apps or on my computer.
My situation isn't unique. For millions of us, the open Internet is vital to life in modern society. We can't have a net divided into fast and slow lanes. The internet is not I-95.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Media and Democracy
Tags: Broadband for All