Net neutrality

Sandy Hutchins, Sports Editor

Net neutrality has been a hot button issue for a while now, with internet providers on one side and internet users and services on the other side. Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites (Wikipedia). Up until May of 2017 regulations have been in place to keep the internet companies like Comcast and Verizon from regulating internet services and providing fast lanes for preferred services. Basically, this law kept Verizon from slowing down Netflix to a crawl if they wanted people to use Hulu. This decision to end these regulations in a 2-1 vote has made many very unhappy. With these regulations gone, internet companies can now discriminate against websites of their choosing. This also allows these companies to censor speech and content that they do not like.

However, on the other side of the issue are those that believe these rules were stifling innovation and progress. Those against net neutrality are mostly lobbyists for internet companies; however, also among them are citizens who believe in the free market and the invisible hand of consumers that will prevent these companies from doing these terrible things through competition. Also to those who are against government regulation, the ending of this bill is just switching control from the government to the free market. Those that distrust the government and see it as the biggest monopoly of all see no difference between the government controlling it and the tech companies controlling it.

It seems as if it is the big corporations vs. the people again. And again it seems as though the short lived victory won by the people is coming to an end and big money is taking back over. The FCC, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, has given in and has begun to dismantle the regulations protecting citizens. Of course, I have allowed my own perspective to leak into this article but none of the arguments are solely my own but rather made by both sides and there is truth to all of them.