What is net neutrality? It is the basic principle that all data on the Internet must be treated equal by Internet service providers, and not be discriminated or charged differently by user, content, website, source, etc. Without net neutrality, we would not be able to communicate freely online. It is the way the Internet has always worked and unfortunately, it was officially repealed on December 14, 2017.
Very few Americans are currently supporting the repeal of net neutrality as the majority of Americans are opposed to this new decision. Most of the supporters are Republicans while most of the ones opposed are Democrats. Since net neutrality has been repealed, there could be many changes in the Internet that will affect millions of Americans in the U.S. unless Congress decides to take action. For example, certain websites will buffer because of competition between Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, etc and certain shows on Netflix could slow down because of your Internet service provider.
Because of this repeal, the Internet will no longer be free and open to the public as it used to be. People will be required to pay certain fees and if you cannot afford those fees, then unfortunately, the Internet is doomed for them. This will greatly impact the lives of millions of Americans who depend on the free and open environment of the Internet to freely express their thoughts and opinions on subjects around the world.
Now, all depend on Congress as they have the power to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to repeal net neutrality. I have asked fellow JSR reporter Justin Kim on his thoughts about the recent repeal. “As the past may show when a government run regulation becomes privatized, you start to see more inefficiency and problems arise. Hopefully there is a solution to this repeal.” As of now, the only thing Americans can do is hope that Congress will listen to the will of the people and save the Internet.